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Nilgirls avec Z Quartett
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Ravi Prasad crossed paths with Z Quartet in 2008, during the Métis of Saint-Denis festival where they shared the scene for the first time. The friendly insistence of Bruno Letort, who runs the Signature label, allowed this happy occasion to take place and lead to "Nilgiris" a work of incomparable grace.

"Nilgiris" is a new meeting, a new dialogue, an additional stop. It is the marriage of a contemporary string quartet and a master of Carnatic music. Ravi Prasad is the traveller evoked by Nietzsche in "Human All Too Human" who "looks at everything in the world with open eyes and sees things as they really are."

“Nilgiris", named after the Blue Mountains which run along the western coast of India, deep, dense and wild, Ravi Prasad tells a story, his own. Two cultures meet. His voice blends with the string quartet.

The music of Ravi Prasad tells us about the beach of Calicut, his hometown, the arrival of Vasco de Gama, the huge Chinese fishing nets that dance along the coast, the hands weaving garlands, glass bracelets tinkling and a swinging cradle.

This music is not nostalgic, it seems to have been improvised, like the wind in the trees.


India, says Ravi Prasad, is like an altar. I do not need to return. The music connects me. I am an heir of my birth, my parents and my culture. Here I have found salvation, I have no reference. I must find balance. I do not think in any language. It's the same in music. I improvise my language. This allows me to live in the moment. I am part of a continuum.

Song passes through Ravi Prasad. The song lives in his body. The song dances within him. The song is not the vehicle of words. It is the song. Time stops. His music is stripped of anything that might relate to the old. From tradition he extracts the juice and leaves behind the frills and ornaments. He goes straight to the point.

His teacher once told him: the day you can remain silent on stage for an hour, is the day you become your own master.

I have nothing to prove now. I just want to be here. On stage I project myself more and more I'm in the moment. I feel connected to something that belongs to me. I am connected.
Is it not wonderful to have shared this joy?

Olivier Bailly

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