Small Talk 6 | In Conversation with David Murphy & Jameela Siddiqi

Award-winning broadcaster, journalist, novelist and Indian Classical music specialist Jameela Siddiqi and musical pioneer and conductor of the upcoming Sukanya, David Murphy join us for the sixth episode of our online video series. This sixth Small Talk explores Indian and Western music. The conversation covers various subjects from East-West fusion to the concepts and techniques of each tradition from ragas to scoring music and how both musical forms differ and connect.

Jameela and David unpack the roots of these musical traditions and their common language – the harmonic series. The conversation also raises other commonalities including the violin, an instrument that plays a significant role in both musical traditions, and the vast capacities of stretching the instruments to its limits. David and Jameela explore the evolution of Western music, particularly the development of keyboard technology and the dominance of church music in the 1300s, saw a shift away from microtonal music. David and Jameela discuss their own musical backgrounds, including David’s experience working with Ravi Shankar on his symphony and his opera, Sukanya.



David Murphy 

Hailed as “one of the most exciting and original artists of his generation”, David has garnered an international reputation for his cutting edge musicianship and the breadth and depth of his artistry. Murphy’s pioneering musicianship has resulted in many landmark world premiere performances, and an approach to the Western Classical tradition that bristles with excitement, imagination and creativity. He is a highly experienced Musical Director, having held this position with the virtuoso chamber orchestra Sinfonia Verdi since 1990. We are thrilled to support David’s latest project with Anoushka Shankar and librettist Amit Chaudhuri, the ground-breaking new opera Sukanya, which will explore the common ground between the music, dance and theatrical traditions of India and the West, begun by the late Pandit Ravi Shankar.


Jameela Siddiqi:

Jameela is an award-winning broadcaster, journalist and novelist and an Indian classical music critic and translator. Jameela is a regular contributor to Songlines, a leading publication on World Music and has written and broadcasted for the BBC. She has translated film, folk and classical Indian poetry and songs and has acted as a language consultant for Oxford University Press. Jameela has lectured in the UK and abroad on all aspects of Indian classical music and culture. Her novels include The Feast of the Nine Virgins, 2011, and Bombay Gardens, 2006.