Battle of the Strings

What do you get when you put two music masters that have never met in a room with a sold-out audience of curious minds? An evening full of insight, inspiration and pure music magic!

On Tuesday 21st August we welcomed Chinese Guqin Master Li XiangTing and sitar extraordinaire Baluji Shrivastav OBE to showcase and demonstrate these two ancient instruments and explain why they have transcended both cultural boundaries and have evolved through traditional to contemporary.

Master Li spoke briefly about the 3000-year-old history of the guqin and how it’s the feeling and emotion that inspires him to create compositions, often choosing to improvise music on film sets.

Baluji shared his insight into what brings together the guqin and sitar not only as traditional culturally specific instruments but as tools to stir the soul and spirit. He joked that an audience coming to watch him play often spend more time listening to him tune up than perform music.

The audience got involved by selecting two themes for the masters to improvise to, choosing waterfalls and bird song. They were then treated to a very unique experience as both masters, only having met 30 minutes prior to the event, created an improvised duet for the audience to enjoy. The room was filled with overwhelming cheering and applause that brought the event to the end.