SHIVALA - A MODERN DHRUPAD EXPERT
While being educated as a classical western musician, Shivala has studied classical Indian music and Dhrupad since 1998. While still continuing studying and researching, she holds performances and courses in many different countries.
Born in 1963, in Bretagne, west of France, Shivala started her musical life as a child composing songs with a guitar accompaniment. After three years of Jazz training, she studied double base at the conservatory of Rennes for three years. Then she did an intensive course in research on consciousness under the guidance of the spiritual master Maharishi Mahesh Yogi for three years, and thereafter worked with him in India for 7 months on a Vedic music project.
Encouraged by Maharishi, she continued her music studies. She moved to Paris where she studied for three years at the conservatory of Rueil Malmaison and thereafter for six years at the conservatory of Paris 11ar. She also was a member of a chamber orchestra in Germany for three years.
During her life, Shivala had many clear and deep experiences of how music and sound can affect mind, body and emotions. Related to this, she became more and more interested in natural scales and microtones, which are used in original Indian classical music, and which are different from the tempered scales of Western music. She thus developed a desire to do a deep study of Indian music.
During her stay as a student in Paris, she started learning to play sitar. Later, she undertook a 3 years intensive study in Indian Khayal singing at MUM, Maharishi University of Management, in the United States, where she also did a six months course on music technology for movies.
Her quest for knowledge and experience of music was, however, not satisfied. After the study at MUM, She started to study a very old system of Indian music called Dhrupad, because it was said to have kept a very precise knowledge of micro tuning. Since 2001, she has been a student of the world famous Dhrupad singers, the Gundecha brothers.
The stay with the Gundecha masters became for her a revelation. For the first time in her life she experienced what she considers to be the real power of music. Studying and practising Dhrupad became for her a profound and continuous spiritual experience that made her strongly convinced that this science of music is immensely valuable.
However, since most of the knowledge of Dhrupad is based on oral traditions, and because of the widespread adoption of musical instruments based on equal temperament, the science of pure tuning found in Dhrupad is at risk of becoming lost. Shivala therefore has an ongoing project together with her teacher Ramakant Gundecha and Ketil Helmersberg of registering and defining the original scales used in Dhrupad to preserve and promote this unique knowledge.