Shruthi Rajasekar and Reylon Yount began their journeys as award-winning practitioners of traditional Chinese and Indian music. They each made a formative transition into creating original music that unpacks their Asian-American experiences. Reylon is a Chinese American yangqin (hammered dulcimer) player breathing new life into his instrument through performance, songwriting, and improvisation. In her composing and singing, Shruthi draws from her Carnatic (South Indian classical) and Western classical training to unite her “two” voices into one. Through their Snape Residency, Shruthi and Reylon will facilitate a unique convergence of Indian, Chinese, Western classical and singer-songwriter influences to tell their shared story of the diasporic self-in-process.
This Residency feels like a beautiful blueprint for how I want my creative life to continue.
Watch a short film made during the artists' Residency at Snape Maltings.
The Creative Team
Shruthi Rajasekar | Composer & Vocalist
Hailed by The Guardian UK as a musician “who will enrich your life”, Shruthi Rajasekar is an Indian-American composer and vocalist exploring identity, community, and joy. Shruthi’s music draws from her training in the Carnatic (South Indian classical) and Western classical idioms. She was honored with the Global Women in Music Award from the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. In 2020, Shruthi was named a “Rising Star” by BBC Music Magazine. Her music has appeared on Spotify’s Official Classical Releases, BBC Radio 3, and broadcast stations throughout the USA.
Reylon Yount | Yangqin Performer & Songwriter
Reylon is an inventive yangqin performer and songwriter creating an intersection between Chinese and American cultures.
As a biracial Chinese American growing up in San Francisco, Reylon began learning yangqin (Chinese hammered dulcimer) as a way to stay connected to his heritage. He trained locally and at the Central Conservatory in Beijing. In 2014, he became the first person from North America to compete professionally in China, where he won a silver prize at the prestigious Baotou International Yangqin Arts Competition. The 26-year-old Silkroad artist and City Music Foundation artist has performed internationally on stages such as TED 2016, Lincoln Center and Xinghai Concert Hall. He was featured alongside Yo-Yo Ma on the 2016 GRAMMY Award-winning record, SING ME HOME. His EP SUN 陽, served as the soundtrack of 2019 Sundance Award-winning short film, RENEEPOPTOSIS. Based in London, Reylon co-directs Tangram – an artist collective creating new music to transcend the China-West divide. Reylon hopes to inspire audiences to embrace multiplicity and discover their own nomadic paths by listening within.
Watch a filmed discussion between the artists
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