Italian duo excelling in Indian Classical Music

Igino Giovanni Brunori and Virginia Nicoli of Samvad are an innovative musical duo crafting new sounds from ancient materials. Their performances are meditative journeys through a rich landscape of melody and rhythm, using bansuri (Indian bamboo flute), silver flute and saxophone.  Abhijit Ganguly spoke to them.

What attracted you to Indian music in the first place and how did you get involved?

We both studied western classical music since childhood. At one point, we felt the necessity to compose our own music and to learn how to improvise. In Indian music, we found the deepness we were looking for. We found that it is spiritual way through music. We first heard Hariprasad Chaurasia's bansuri playing and fell in love with it and afterwards had the honour to have some workshops with him in Italy. Soon, we met our Gurujis Gundecha Brothers and started studying with them. In Dhrupad, we finally found the sound path that we were looking for.

How was Samvad conceived?

We met in the year 2006 and started our musical journey in Indian classical music together. From the very beginning, we continued to practice, study and perform together. We have been in a natural jugalbandi from the very beginning, not only performing together but practicing and creating together.We chose the name Samvad for our duo only a few years ago,which means 'dialogue', to speak together, as well as being the Indian term for consonance. This is what we give a lot of importance to: the dialogue between us and also the samvad that is created between the notes of the raga.

You have been collaborating with many Indian musicians. Could you share some of your memorable moments?

We mostly had the honor to perform with our Gurujis, the Gundecha Brothers, on many occasions in India and Europe. From the Saptak festival in Ahmadabad to the Bengaluru Habba in Bangalore to Sawai Gandharva in Pune and many other occasions, it has been the most amazing teaching for us. To share the stage with them is always a great blessing. The Saptak festival and recently the Sawai Gandhrava were definitely the best moments. The musical mood was amazing and the audience was very enthusiastic. When you are on stage and you would like it to go on forever, that is the best. The music takes you, and there is only the present. We had the honour performed some concerts with Akhilesh Gundecha and his student Dnyaneshwar Deshmukh. In Europe, we performed with other Indian musicians such as Rishab Prasanna and Sougata Roy Chowdhury from Kolkata.

What are your views on the guru-shishya parampara in today’s world?

Many Indian traditions in the past were passed from one generation to the next by the guru-shishya-parampara system. We feel that it is a very special way of teaching-learning process, necessary to reach a deep understanding of Indian Classical Music.

It is like a river bed, bringing the river on the right way, always the same and also changing every moment, allowing the changes within the tradition and in this way keeping it alive.

Do you feel learning classical music helped you gain a better perspective of life?

We think that whenever you find your way, whatever it is, you automatically gain a better perspective of life. So, the answer is yes. It is a never ending way but we feel complete by studying this music. In the modern world, we tend to forget that art is as necessary to human life as water and food. Classical traditions are the basics of all art forms. It is fundamental to any artistic development. Dhrupad music is known to be a Margi sangeet, the music that shows you the way. It is one of the most refined and subtle musical approaches on earth. We wish that the same attention that is given to perfection in these art forms could be applied to other things in India to preserve the incredible beauty, tradition and richness of this country. If only humanity could try to preserve the most amazing art ever that is nature. Maybe we can achieve the sensibility by studying art and in this way create a better life perspective for all living beings.


  1. I love to hear indian music because they are nice to the ears.

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