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‘ATMA (The Soul)’ new album by Roopa Panesar in Peaceful Radio Show 1533

14 March 2023 Artists

Scroll down and click on photo for Roopa’s website.



British-Asian Roopa Panesar is one of a growing group of women who are professional
sitarists. It’s not an easy road to start on and to succeed at, it takes a lot of ability and
patience. Roopa Panesar however is triply blessed with great talent, persistence and
strength of character. Translating as ‘The Soul’, Roopa Panesar’s new spring 2023 album,
ATMA was recorded at Peter Gabriel’s Real World Studios and was made possible by the
Asian Arts Agency as part of its Breaking Barriers ‘Innovate’ Music Commissions.
ATMA is a rich musical meeting ground of both
western and traditional Indian instruments: sitar
and tabla beautifully exchange and interchange
with the double-bass, guitar, the Indian santoor
dulcimer, the tanpura, the clay pot ghatam,
Indian mouth harp ‘moorsing’, the kanjira frame
drum, the paired jori and the double-headed
barrel mirdangam drum. Electronic textures also
feature on ATMA as programmed by recording,
mixing and mastering engineer, Camilo Tirado.
ATMA is a journey that beautifully portrays all
aspects of life – love, loss, grief, separation and
ultimately the bliss of union. After a period of
personal loss, Roopa wrote the music which
echoes feelings associated with challenges of life, with the intention to uplift. At a time of
personal and global turmoil, Roopa Panesar reflects on the music,
“ATMA the album is an offering of peace and love for the purpose of elevating the listener in
the face of challenges that human beings deal with.”
Roopa Panesar has performed for King Charles III formerly HRH The Prince of Wales at VJ75
Day as broadcast for BBC1 Television. Roopa has toured India, the USA and performs
consistently in the UK. In a live review by The Guardian during the City of Birmingham
Symphony Orchestra’s Centennial anniversary concert conducted by the esteemed Sir Simon
Rattle O.M. C.B.E., it was noted, “AR Rahman‘s suite from his Slumdog Millionaire
soundtrack is effectively a concerto for sitar and orchestra, the former played with
staggering dexterity by Roopa Panesar.”
The Asian Arts Agency is a dynamic arts development agency based in Bristol that develops,
promotes and supports international contemporary and traditional South Asian arts through
performances, music releases, workshops, new commissions, tours, film screenings, new
productions and ongoing support. The Asian Arts Agency works with many world-class
artists including Roopa Panesar, Talvin Singh, Rizwan-Muazzam Qawwals, Amjad Ali Khan, DJ
Rekha, Malkit Singh, Niladri Kumar, Gurdass Mann, The Dhol Foundation, Jazzy B, Susheela
Raman, Transglobal Underground and Zakir Hussain.
ATMA features Roopa Panesar on sitar accompanied by leading Indian classical and jazz
musicians, bringing the full panoply of Indian music. ATMA was showcased at London’s
iconic Barbican Centre on the 18th February. ATMA follows Roopa Panesar’s critically
appraised 2022 album of morning ragas, SUBHA and releases through the Asian Arts Agency
on 24th March, 2023.

Total playing time 58: 25
01 Journey Home – Based on Raag Kaunsi Kanada 16:34
02 Atma (The Soul) – An inward journey to recognise the soul 07:06
03 Hey Shyam – Devotional song based on hey shyam 06:08
04 Awakening – Based on raga basant 07:22
05 Immersed – Based on raag jhinjhoti 06:37
06 In Another Life – Folk melody echoing separation 06:12
07 Farewell My Love – Based on raga bhairavi 08:16

ATMA Musicians
Musicians on ATMA Roopa Panesar: Sitar (All Tracks)
Shahbaz Hussain: Tabla (1, 2, 4, 5)
Pirashanna Thevarajah: Mirdangam, ghatam, moorsing and kanjira (frame drum) (1, 2, 3, 5, 7)
Camilo Tirado: Electronic Production (All Tracks) Ben Hazleton: Double Bass (2, 3, 5, 6)
Giuliano Modarelli: Guitar (3, 7)
Kaviraj Singh Dhadyalla: Santoor and Tanpura (3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
Surdarshan Singh Chana: Jori (4)

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