Masterful Alchemists

Mrigya

The Composition of World Harmony (EMI Music India/Virgin Records India 50999 627426 2 7, 2010)

Mrigya is an exciting new Indian group based in Delhi. On their debut album, titled The Composition of World Harmony, Mrigya mixes captivating Indian classical and folk music as well as Hindustani and Sufi vocals with rock guitar hero virtuosity and even some funk.

The group’s leading instruments are the violin, the electric guitar and passionate vocals. Band members include Sharat Chandra Srivastava on violin; Gyan Singh on tabla, dholak and mridangam; Rajat Kakkar on drums and percussion; Indraneel Hariharan on bass guitar; Sachin Kapoor on keyboards; Karan Sharma on guitars; Qadir Niyazi on Sufi vocals; and Sukriti Sen on Hindustani vocals.

Even though the band has been around for nearly ten years, The Composition of World Harmony came out this year (2010). The best cuts are ones where the violin solos and the vocals plays a leading role. The Indian essence is palpable in pieces like the opening cut ‘Ganga,’ which was the bands first composition and reflects the band’s philosophy. It is based on the raga ‘Jog.’

‘Procession’ begins with mesmerizing Hindustani Vedic chants and later drifts into Sufi devotional vocals. The piece was inspired by regrettable events that took place in India, such as the riots in Gujarat in 2002. It is a prayer for peace, fusing chants form the sacred Rig-Veda with a muezzins’s azaan (call to prayer).

Other standout cuts are the love song “Mitwa” based on the viraha rasa and the stunning “Deccan’, which is dedicated to the Deccan Queen Train, which connects Mumbai with Pune. This pieces combines Raga Yaman with Mrigya’s spectaculasr fusion work.

The Composition of World Harmony is Indian fusion of the highest caliber.

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