Roopa Panesar - ATMA - CD

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Roopa Panesar’s New Album ATMA (The Soul) Offers
Peace + Love for a Troubled World

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.”

ATMA features Roopa Panesar on sitar accompanied by leading Indian classical and jazz musicians, bringing the full panoply of Indian music.

Track Listing

01 Journey Home - Based on Raag Kaunsi Kanada

02 Atma (The Soul) - An inward journey to recognise the soul

03 Hey Shyam - Devotional song based on hey shyam

04 Awakening - Based on raga basant

05 Immersed - Based on raag jhinjhoti

06 In Another Life - Folk melody echoing separation

07 Farewell My Love - Based on raga bhairavi


Roopa Panesar: Sitar (All Tracks), Shahbaz Hussain: Tabla (1,2,4,5), Pirashanna Thevarajah: Mirdangam (double-headed barrel drum), ghatam, moorsing (Indian mouth harp) and kanjira (frame drum) (1,2,3,5,7), Camilo Tirado: Electronic production (All), Ben Hazleton: Double Bass (2,3,5,6), Giuliano Modarelli: Guitar (3,7), Kaviraj Singh Dhadyalla: Santoor and Tanpura (3,4,5,6,7)