Duo Shashwathi Jagadish & Rutger Muller

Photos by Rutger Muller and Unknown

From their shared passion for spirituality and playfulness, Shashwathi Jagadish (Carnatic singer) and Rutger Muller (electroacoustic composer) came up with a futuristic interpretation of a traditional Carnatic concert. Together, they intertwine the entrancing flow of raga vocals with electronic transformations of Tanpura-drones.

The duo was initially brought together by Culture Shock, a project initiated in Utrecht at multicultural venue De Voorkamer. Culture Shock gives musicians from different cultural backgrounds a unique opportunity to co-create a performance. By sending ideas and sketches back and forth,  Shashwathi and Rutger got inspired by contemporary challenges like composing techno in an entrancing 5/4 rhythm, and cosmic drone sounds to improvise on.

OUR RECITATION [45 minutes]


1. Sri Vignarajam Bhaje
Raga: Gambhira Nattai | Composer: Oothukadu Venkata Subba Iyer

Lord Ganesha is worshiped as the remover of obstacles and in this composition, he is called the king of obstacles where the composer talks about his greatness and glory!


2. Elli jaaritho manavu
Raga: Kalyana Vasantha | Composer: N.S.Lakshmi Narayana Bhatta

Elli Jaritho manavu… where has my mind slipped, why is it wandering and restless? This composition is a haunting melody about the wandering mind that never stops!


3. Thillana
Raga: Mohana Kalyani | Composer: Lalgudi Jayaraman

Thillana is a traditional Carnatic composition which is rhythmic and vibrant and widely sung for Indian Classical dance.


Biography Shashwathi Jagadish

Shashwathi, a Carnatic musician from Chennai, was only five years old when she was inspired to start singing by her grandmother. She started learning Carnatic music formally at the age of seven and has trained under various Gurus from Chennai. In addition to this, she holds a Masters Degree in Music from the University of Madras and has also completed the 8th Grade in Western Vocals from The Trinity College of London.

She has performed concerts at numerous temples and venues all over South India including various TV Channels. Aside from her Carnatic concerts, Shashwathi also provides vocal support for Bharatanatyam (South Indian Classical Dance). She made her movie debut for the Maestro Illayaraja for the Telugu movie Gaayam 2.

Rounding off her music career is her experience as a music teacher at the Kalakshetra Foundation in Chennai where she taught for three years. Shashwathi currently resides in The Netherlands and runs her own music school where she teaches Carnatic vocals to both children and adults.

She is currently collaborating and performing concerts with artists in the Netherlands such as Klapana Raghuraman, Dendon , Heiko Dijker, Mark Alban Lots, Stefan Schimd and Igor Besget to name a few. She recently performed a concert for the Dutch TV channel Vrije Gelowden. Shashwathi has also performed at the India House, The Indian Ambassador’s house.

For more of Shashwathi’s music, please visit https://linktr.ee/Shashwathi

Biography Rutger Muller (Dutch Below)

Rutger Muller is a contemporary / electroacoustic composer and interaction designer with a strong interest in mystic and spiritual sound. He often starts from the intricate, organic details of sound design: timbre, acoustics and spatiality. This leads to “soundspaces” constructed from elements of ancient / classical music, ambient, techno, free improvisation and architectonics. By shaping slowly morphing (non-lineair) sound worlds, Rutger aims to transcend the drama of emotion – towards patterns and noises that reveal something of our natural and cosmic origins; the micro and macro cosmos.

After dabbling in hacker culture and playing drums in hardcore punk bands, Rutger gained a BA and MA of Music Technology at the HKU. Thereafter, he performed extensively with his contemporary classical ensemble and in interdisciplinary collaborations, for example at Amsterdam’s contemporary concert hall Muziekgebouw with visuals by NAP Labs – and in Seoul with Korean Traditional multi-instrumentalist Scarlett Choi. As an interaction/game designer, Muller collaborates on spacious interactive installations for groups of players – research available on his blog.

Through electro-acoustic sound design and collaborations with avant-garde instrumentalists / designers, Mullers sheds a contemporary light on the spiritual essence of culture(s). His outcomes are are often more mystic than abstract; on the edge between tranquil and uncanny. What is lightness and what is darkness, Muller questions, as he uses improvisation and playfulness to seek out the freedom of uncertainty.

Biografie Rutger Muller (English Above)

Rutger Muller is een hedendaagse / elektroakoestische componist en interactie-ontwerper met een sterke interesse in mystieke en spirituele klank. Zijn werk ontspringt vaak uit de fijne details van klankkleur (timbre) en akoestiek (ruimtelijkheid). Daaruit ontstaan “soundspaces”, opgebouwd uit elementen van oude / klassieke muziek, ambient, techno, vrije improvisatie en architectuur. Door het creëren van continu transformerende  (niet-lineaire) geluidswerelden wil Rutger het drama van emotie en narratief overstijgen – richting patronen en geluiden die iets onthullen van onze natuurlijke en kosmische oorsprong (de micro- en macrokosmos).

Na amateuristische experimenten in de hackercultuur en het spelen van drums in hardcore punkbands, behaalde Rutger een BA en MA in muziektechnologie aan de HKU. Hij trad vervolgens veelvuldig op met zijn hedendaagse klassieke ensemble en in interdisciplinaire samenwerkingen, bijvoorbeeld in het Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ met visuals van NAP Labs – en in Seoul met de Koreaanse traditionele multi-instrumentalist Scarlett Choi. Als interactie / game designer werkt Muller mee aan ruime interactieve installaties voor groepen spelers (zijn onderzoek is beschikbaar op zijn blog).

Via elektro-akoestisch geluidsontwerp en samenwerkingen met avant-gardistische instrumentalisten / ontwerpers werpt Mullers een hedendaags licht op de spirituele essentie van cultuur. Zijn uitkomsten zijn vaak meer mystiek dan abstract; op de grens tussen meditatief en unheimisch. Wat is lichtheid en wat is duisternis, vraagt Muller zich af, terwijl hij met improvisatie en speelsheid op zoek gaat naar de vrijheid van onzekerheid.