American sitarist David Pontbriand began his journey with the sitar in 1973. His story is an exception to the rule, in that he is entirely self-taught. Pontbriand's Music of Sitar is driven by an intuitive and emotive approach that is deeply personal, and yet displays elements of classical form and style.
His original and primarily spontaneous compositions for sitar are freely interpretive, while rooted in the classical ragas of north India. Pontbriand explains "While I have great respect for the Indian classical traditions, I do not necessarily adhere to any of them. I allow free reign to my own musical invention.”
A synthesis of eastern and western influences, his compositions unfold in a series of contrasting episodes, exploring themes of joy, sadness, awe, and mystery, “from the dust of the earth to the blue of the sky”.
In addition to his solo appearances, Pontbriand has performed in duos, trios, and ensembles including Om Rasa, Raga Trio, and Sitar Rhythmia and is currently collaborating with drummers/percussionists in a new project entitled RagaFission
Pontbriand performs on an all-new carbon fiber sitar, crafted in North Carolina, by luthier Harry Shaffer, a pioneer in creating a unique 21st century iteration of the sitar.