Coming from the centuries old Indian folk culture, Sarita McHarg brings a unique classical and contemporary experience to the world of music. A true devotional Sitarist and Vocalist: Sarita has earned several prestigious recognitions including All India Radio Artist, Talent Award from the University of Vikram (India) and State Government – Madhya Pradesh for contribution to the Malwa (folk) music to name but a few.
During her thirty-five years of musical journey, Sarita is well known for her spiritual and heart-rending playing style, strong grip on classical ragas, staggering instrumentation, and bringing audience as they are part of the compositions, both in India and Australia. Whether it’s International Jazz Festival in Melbourne or Fringe Festival in Sydney, Kathmandu Jazz Conservatory in Nepal or the famous Mahakal Temple in India, Sarita is equally at ease presenting the classical Indian ragas with other music accompaniments such as Bouzouki, Oud, Violin and Harp blending the beautiful traditional and modern music. With an aim to promote the spiritual folk music among newcomers, Sarita has performed and taught both in Australian and Indian educational institutes like University of Melbourne, Monash University, and University of Indore.
Sarita was born in an ancient city situated on the eastern bank of the Kshipra River – Ujjain, India, to folk singers Pandit Hira Singh Borliya and Srimati Anusuya Borliya. As a child growing up in a family of professional musicians and singers, Sarita learned various forms of Indian traditional music and continued to get the inspirations from the likes of India’s First Lady of Sitar, Srimati Joyas Biswas of Kolkata, Srimati Girija Devi, Pandit Ramakant Dubey and Srimati Ragini Trivedi of Indore. By sixteen, she had already performed in front of hundreds of people at College of Music in Ujjain in 1993.
After studying the Master of Arts (Music) at the Monash University in Australia, Sarita conducted a research work and published a book (as part of her Doctorate in Music) on the origins and formative life experiences of the Great Master of Indian classical music Baba Allaudin Khan and his influence on Indian Classical music. As a full-time musician, she has worked on a project to capture the essence of traditional Indian music leading to her published work “Traditional Folk Songs of Malwa” which contains 75 folk songs dedicated to her father and guru Pandit Hira Singh Borliya.
Representing the Indian traditional folk music in Australia, Sarita has produced and released a number of songs under her name such as Rasiya, Sanja Geet Mala and Jheeni Jheeni. With a deep desire to promote traditional music in the Western world, Sarita has collaborated with numerous artists under some projects such as:
- Saffron Connection – A blend of Greek traditional songs with Indian folk music.
- Om Trayambakam – Middle Eastern melodies in Indian classical ragas
- Harmony – Turkish cultural music with Sitar notes
- Spawn of Earth – Chinese and Australian music with classical ragas
- Amplified Strings – Modern instruments blended with Sitar tunes
Beginning of the year 2020, Sarita has started a new project “Journey of a Musician” – a monthly Baithak (social gathering) in Melbourne (More information) by bringing various artists from different cultural backgrounds to share their personal journey with the audience.