Tag Archives: Indian classical

‘Pay attention to your inner music’ – interview with saxophonist-composer Sundar Viswanathan

 Sundar Viswanathan (Avataar)
Sundar Viswanathan (Avataar)

Canada-based saxophonist-composer Sundar Viswanathan has recently released the album Avataar. It is a brilliant blend of Indian classical music and jazz, reflecting his own journey in an immigrant backdrop in the West. He teaches at York University in Toronto, and has played with musicians ranging from Wynton Marsalis to Vijay Iyer. Sundar joins us in this interview on his musical experiences and messages.

Q: From jazz to Indian classical music and fusion, that’s quite a journey! What is about music that inspired you so much to devote your life to it?

A: The cliche is: “You don’t choose music, it chooses you”. While that’s very much true in my case, at some level I just stumbled into it. I was involved in music with my family from a very young age, and later, in high school, it was the one subject area for which I had a natural talent.

I also think being an introvert led me deeply along this path; music was an outlet for me and a way in which I could express my creativity most effectively. My interests in different genres were in good part due to the influences of different people in my life: primarily music teachers and musicians that I knew and respected.

Q: What are the challenges you face as a musician and composer?

A: I would say, overall, music is a low-stress occupation! 🙂

However, there is a great deal of pressure to maintain a high level as a performer, especially in the times when other things are going on in your life and you really don’t feel like being on stage in front of all those people (luckily this feeling most commonly passes after a tune or two.)

Along with that are the dual pressures of what I call “the weight of tradition” and “the curse of innovation.” These two pressures are polarities; the first references the vast influence of musics that came before, and that beg to be attended to (even when there is not enough in a lifetime to do so); and the second has to do with the need to sound fresh, to create new material. Again, when one tries to do so, it seems to slip away more quickly! Both can sit like heavy weights on your shoulders when you give too much attention to them.

With regard to composition, there’s the challenge of accessing the creative spaces that lead you to works that you are willing to add to your portfolio. In other words, the challenge of being able to write something you are willing to keep! It’s not so easy to do.
And then again, there are the economic challenges.

Avataar
Avataar

Q: Who would you say are the leading influences in your musical career, from the jazz, Indian and fusion sides?

A: The range of my influences is broad, going beyond jazz and Indian classical, to Western classical, Brazilian, Indonesian gamelan, groove, ambient and ‘New-Age’-type music.

More specifically, my influences include; Jan Garbarek and Keith Jarrett, Mahavishnu Orchestra (John McLaughlin), John Coltrane, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Ornette Coleman, Shakti, Zakhir Hussain, Paul Motian trio with Bill Frisell and Joe Lovano, Scriabin, Alban Berg, Trilok Gurtu, Nitin Sawhney, and artists like DJ Shadow, Enya, Bliss, and Loreena McKennitt.

There are many others that have influenced me in my compositional path, but I think these have had a more direct impact on this album.

Q: Who are some of the musicians you collaborate with the most, and how did these relationships get formed?

A: I’ve been very fortunate to have played with a lot of great musicians from jazz and world music, including Rez Abassi, Dave Holland, Charles Tolliver, Kiran Ahluwalia, Vijay Iyer, Wynton Marsalis, Yair Dalal, and more.

I wish I could say these are recurring collaborations, but given my proximity (living in Toronto) and focus these days, most of my collaborations are with (equally excellent) local musicians, like those on my recordings and with other bands I play with, like world music band Jaffa Road.

A lot of the musicians I meet and play with come through a mutual awareness of our interests, or through word of mouth. Also, musicians of like-mind tend to radiate toward one another, and cross paths a lot on the festival circuit and in clubs.

Q: How are you able to do ‘fusion’ of different styles and instruments without ‘confusion’?

A: Good question. Firstly, I never liked the term ‘fusion’, because the picture I get is of two parts fused or slapped together, without integration of either part. I see my music as more of a hybrid, a ‘new form’ created by the many styles (and instruments) coming together in a natural, assimilative fashion. I think the key here is that I don’t think about the genres when I write the music.

As I mentioned before, I’ve studied a lot of different styles, hopefully deeply enough that their essences have seeped into my musical psyche, and so will come together seamlessly when I compose. The challenge created here, however, is that it can become harder to ‘categorize’ the music into a specific genre. This sometimes throws off industry types and festival ADs. But some of my favorite music is music that goes beyond genre, so that’s ok.

Q: How long were you working on the album Petal? What is your next album about?

A: Petal took over a year to record, edit and produce. We could have spent a lot more time nuancing the album, but I didn’t have that luxury! And, I really haven’t given much though to the next album – my focus now is to get the band playing and touring as much as I can.

Avataar - Petal
Avataar – Petal

Q: The tracks Agra, Monsoon and Annapoorna are fabulous ­ please tell us how you composed them!

A: My compositional process is typical – I usually get the initial melodic ideas or a bass line and sing them into my phone and work with them later. Then I write my music alone, in my basement, with or without piano. It ends up being a very intuitive process; I was also inspired by the narrative theme, and the title of the songs. I might also work with specific ragas or scales I create that have a sound that I like, and want to develop.

Sometimes I also map out the phrase rhythms that I want, that follow a shape that feels good to me, and fill in melodic material from there. These processes apply to all three pieces you mention here.

Most of the time I don’t go back and edit my writing in great detail; sometimes there are small things that I change/add/remove. With this music, there was some editing and revision during rehearsals – some of my bandmates suggested things that we liked, and then incorporated into the tunes.

Ultimately, if I don’t feel moved myself by the narrative (the story behind the song), it’s very difficult for me to put out interesting material – by the way, most composers will tell you that you should be able to write whether you’re inspired or not (I guess I’m not a natural! 😉

Q: How would you describe your musical journey? Where do you see yourself headed in the next 10-15 years?

A: How much time do you have? Seriously, though, I suppose my musical journey parallels my life journey. I could quote Charles Dickens “it was the best of times, it was the worst of times”.

Certainly, my musical journey was not without bumps – I worked very hard over the years and sacrificed a lot to develop my musicianship, but there were great rewards, like meeting and playing with fascinating people and traveling all over the world and getting paid for it. And those moments on stage when I feel most connected to the music, musicians and to myself, in turn, make all the work worth it.

The next 10-15 years? Hopefully there will be more records and a lot more touring and good times. And money, oh yes, LOTS of money! 🙂

Avataar
Avataar

Q: What have been some of your collaborations with other musicians from India, and other parts of Asia?

A: I’ve played with some very good jazz musicians in Japan – interestingly (and this speaks to the universality of music) none of them spoke English well enough for us to communicate. But the musical experience was great.

I’ve done some jamming in India with Louiz Banks, and others like Shivamani and Adrian DeSouza, but my musical experiences in India have been limited, so far. I hope to do more there and with other Indian-based artists. I have played with several NRIs (non-resident Indians) in Canada and the USA (I mentioned Vijay Iyer, Rez Abbasi (who is of Pakistani heritage) and Kiran Ahluwalia).

There are a lot of very good musicians of Indian origin (and others who play ‘Indian music’) in the Toronto area, such as Ravi Naimpally, Suba Sankaran, Rakesh Tewari, Ed Hanley, Neeraj Prem, Azalea Ray, Ernie Tollar, George Koller, and others.

Q: Which are your favorite musical festivals, and what makes them so special?

A: I’ve played a lot of jazz and folk festivals in Canada, USA, and Europe. I like the folk festivals for their relaxed atmosphere (read: hippies!) and the collaborative nature (there are frequent ‘jam sessions’ with featured bands).

Worldfest in Grass Valley, California was a trip – so much fun and interesting people. I’ll never forget the experience of playing in full sunlight at 2AM at The Rocking Walrus Festival in Igloolik, right near the Arctic Circle. The Vancouver Jazz fest was excellent – so organized and the intensity of performances was impressive.

Local festivals like Sunfest and the Ottawa Jazz Festival were also great experiences. I also have to acknowledge some of the jazz festivals in Europe that I’ve played at: Viennes, Pescara, Umbria, Blue Note, North Sea — they really made us feel like royalty and the music experiences were incredible. Rubbing shoulders with people like McCoy Tyner, Joe Lovano, Joshua Redman and others didn’t hurt either.

Q: What are some unusual reactions you have got during your live performances?

A: One comes to mind: I was presenting a CD release of my album Hope and Infinity with Sundar’s Induswest Project. The great pianist, Dave Restivo, was in the middle of an intense solo – the rest of the rhythm section had dropped out, and Dave was traveling into outer space.

Somewhere along his solo excursion, a lady in the audience passed out. People flocked to her, to help. Meanwhile, Dave was still going, his eyes closed. Eventually I had to put my hand on his shoulder and break him out of his meditation. The lady was ok, but I don’t think Dave ever recovered from being so rudely interrupted… 😉

Q: Do you also teach workshops for students and musicians?

A: Yes! As you probably know, I am a University professor (I teach at York University in Toronto), so I have a lot of different ideas/concepts worked out. And as you can also see from my long answers, I like to talk!

Q: What kinds of social and political messages have been conveyed in your recent albums?

A: There are many ways that the music on Petal can be interpreted. I wanted to let the listeners draw her/his own conclusions – this is why I didn’t include extensive liner notes about the meanings of the songs. The two songs with lyrics and the last track, though, give some insight into the meanings of the CD as a whole. The main themes are impermanence, universal consciousness and the idea of no-mind.

Having two little children, I’ve often watched them and been struck by how small and fragile they are, how they are like flower petals. Through them, I’ve also observed the reality of my own mortality, and of the fact that nothing lasts forever. Interestingly, during my research around these themes (and for the record) I also found that a lot of spiritual thinkers see flower petals in this way, as a metaphor for humanity.

With regard to the idea of no-mind, I’d been reading some great dialogues by the Indian mystic Osho – he talks about the idea of there being no ‘mind’, just a series of photographs that we put together in our brain that creates our past and projects our present. I directed the singer, Felicity Williams, toward some of these ideas and she wrote lyrics around them for the record.

And I’ve always believed that there’s an invisible connection, a vibration, between all humanity, and really, all life. In our day, and more than ever, this is something we all need to pay attention to. If we do, maybe we can transcend our differences and move toward empathy for each other, With regard to the record, at the end of the day, I also hope that I can move my listeners to a place of some emotional depth.

Q: What is your message to the musicians and artistes of the world in this age of globalization and also conflict?

A: Keep doing what you do, with honesty and love. Pay attention to your inner music – be authentic to your voice. Write and play/sing what you are; don’t try to be anyone else. Our world would be a richer place if more artists and musicians did this.

Finally, there is a lot of suffering and conflict in the world – if we all direct our artistic vision toward healing, maybe the masses will hear our collective message of peace and move into that space…

Headline photo: Sundar Viswanathan (Avataar)

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Artist Profiles: Sabrang

Sabrang
Sabrang

Sabrang is a Scandinavian band that combines jazz and Indian ragas. Sabrang is the Sanskrit word for rainbow. The trio includes Sudeshna Bhattacharya, Graig Earle and Jonas Johansen.

Sudeshna Bhattacharya is a master of North Indian classical music. Her instrument is the sarod which she studied under one of the greatest sarod maestros, Ustad Amjad Ali Khan.

Sudeshna had her first European tour in 1999 through Belgium, Switzerland, France, Sweden and Norway. This introduction to the public in Europe led to a ten-year contract with the Ministry of Culture in France. Sudeshna now lives in Norway. She is a University lecturer for master students at the Norwegian Academy of Music, and she continues touring the world.

Graig Earle is a Canadian bassist and composer. He studied music under the tutelage of jazz legend Oscar Peterson and John Gittins at York University in Toronto, and his private studies included bass lessons with Ray Brown, Dave Holland and John Tait, and composition studies with James Tenney, Robert Morris and Anthony Braxton.

Earle has performed and composed music for 2 Danish Music Award-winning albums and toured with a “who’s who” of the Scandinavian jazz scene, including Marius Neset, Niels Lan Doky, Sinne Eeg, Simon Toldam, Jonas Johansen, Stefan Pasborg and Doug Rainey, among many others.

Graig was the Artistic director of the jazz education/performance platform “JazzNord” from 2012-2015. In Canada and the USA, Graig is best known for his long-standing collaborations with Richard Underhill, as well as other jazz luminaries such as Pat Labarbera, David Braid, Lina Allemano and Mike Murley. Recent collaborations have included tours with Gilad Hekselman, Victor Lewis, Nancy Harms, Grant Stewart, Alvin Queen and Chris Speed, while past performances have included concerts with Dave Douglas, Bob Mover, Matt Stevens and Ben Monder.

Jonas Johansen isI a Danish drummer, composer and bandleader. Crazy about music and rhythms from all over the world, i.e. the three Americas, Spain, India, Africa, Turkey, the Balkan and Scandinavia.

Johansen played with Danish Radio Big Band 1990 – 1999, NHØP trio with Ulf Wakenius 1996 – 2005, and stars like Enrico Pieranunzi, Eliane Elias, Marc Johnson, Steve Swallow, Mike Stern, Renee Rosnes, Egberto Gismonti, Toninho Horta, Airto Moreira, John Taylor, McCoy Tyner, John Scofield, Joe Henderson, Vince Mendoza, Tom Harrell, Jon Balke, Niels Lan Doky and Chris Minh Doky.

Johansen is a frequently used big band drummer with experience from a.o. Aarhus Jazz Orchestra, Norbotten Big Band, WDR Big Band (Köln) and HR Big Band (Frankfurt). Jonas is also an active bandleader in groups like MOVE (modern jazz), Blanco y Negro (Cuban jazz), Tin Pan Aliens with Steve Swallow, Divisions Trio feat. Lars Møller and Ronan Guilfoyle, new group CharmCatcher, and a duo with tuba player Kristian Tangvik. He’s played on more than 170 albums, 12 of these under his own name.

More about the ensemble: artistecard.com/sabrang

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Exquisite Sarod-Violin Collaboration

Amjad Ali Khan, Amaan Ali Khan and Ayaan Ali Khan, Elmira Darvarova – Amalgam (Affetto Records, 2016)

Amalgam is a beautiful collaboration between the world of Indian classical and folk, western classical music and Bulgarian folk music. It’s the continuation of the much-admired “Soul Strings album in which siblings Amaan Ali Bangash (Amaan Ali Khan) and Ayaan Ali Bangash (Ayaan Ali Khan) collaborated with violinist Elmira Darvarova.

This time, on amalgam, Aman and Ayaan have also brought in their father, renowned sarod maestro and composer Amjad Ali Khan. Most of the album features raga compositions by Amjad Ali Khan. Elmira Darvarova adds one of her own compositions inspired by Bulgarian folk songs to the mix.

The two great classical music traditions meet and interact wonderfully. Throughout the album there are moments of calm along with segments of dazzling virtuosity. The quartet is joined on some pieces by tabla master Anubrata Chatterjee.

The lineup on the album includes: Amjad Ali Khan on sarod, Amaan Ali Bangash on sarod, Ayaan Ali Bangash on sarod, Elmira Darvarova on violin and Anubrata Chatterjee on tabla.

Amalgam presents masterful performances by open minded, superb instrumentalists, exquisitely bridging South Asian and western traditions.

Buy Amalgam

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Mara by Aditya Prakash Ensemble

Aditya Prakash Ensemble – Mara (2016)

Mara is an excellent album and the soundtrack to a multimedia show. The artists behind the project are sibling collaborators Aditya (vocals) and Mythili (Bharata Natyam dance) Prakash.

The album features a thrilling mix of South Indian classical music, jazz and other elements. The vocals featured include Indian classical and the vocal percussion known as konnakol. Throughout the album you’ll find masterful performances by percussion, Indian flute and violin masters from India plus a jazz horn and piano section. The fusion performances feel like a 21st century Shakti.

The lineup on the Mara albums includes Aditya Prakash on vocals; Julian Le on piano and keyboards; Hitomi Oba on tenor saxophone; Mark Einhorn on alto saxophone; Jonah Levine on trombone; Shejith Krishna on vocal percussion; Shiva Ramamurthi on violin and vocals; Mashesh Swamy on flute, vocals and konnakol; Fabiano do Nascimento on guitar; Owen Clapp on bass; Jake Jamieson on drums and percussion; S. Ganapathi on tabla and mridangam; Ligaraju on mridangam and kanjira; and Adam Berg on keyboards and percussion.

Mara is a spectacular production, featuring exceptionally expressive Indian vocals and dazzling Carnatic and fusion jazz instrumental virtuosity.

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British-Indian composer and musician, Baluji Shrivastav Receives OBE Award

Baluji Shrivastav - Photo by Simon Richardson
Baluji Shrivastav – Photo by Simon Richardson

Musician Dhanonday Shrivastav, also known as Baluji Shrivastav, has been awarded the Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2016 Birthday Honors List as “Musician, Instrumentalist and Founder, Inner Vision Orchestra. For services to Music.”

Baluji Shrivastav is a British-Indian multi-instrumentalist who overcame blindness from 8 months old to become one of the world’s leading sitar players. As a classical Indian multi-instrumentalist, Baluji Shrivastav has performed and recorded with some of the greatest tabla accompanists such as Anindo Chatterji and Ustad Fayaz Khan. Baluji has performed throughout the world recording albums with Stevie Wonder, Massive Attack, Annie Lennox, Noel Gallagher and Madness. In 2012 Baluji performed at the Closing Ceremony of the Paralympic Games alongside the British Paraorchestra and Coldplay.

Born in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh in 1959, Baluji undertook his first musical training at Ajmer’s Blind School on traditional instruments including the sitar, dilruba, surbahar, pakhavaj and tabla. From there, Baluji went on to graduate from University of Lucknow with a B.A. in Vocal Studies and Sitar. This was shortly followed by a further BA in Tabla and an MA in Sitar from Alahabad University.

Baluji moved to London in 1982 where he signed to world and folk music record label ARC Music and went on to release 8 albums including: ‘Classical Indian Sitar & Surbahar Ragas’, ‘Classical Indian Ragas – Shadow of the Lotus’ and ‘Baluji Shrivastav’s Re-Orient – Indian World Music Fusion – featuring Hossam Ramzy’.

Baluji Shrivastav - Photo by Simon Richardson
Baluji Shrivastav – Photo by Simon Richardson

Baluji Shrivastav’s compositions appear in a wide range of films, theatre and television, including a series of commissioned works such as ‘Portraits of the Dark’, ‘Sitar-Guitar Suites’, ‘Indian in London’ and the world’s only Urdu oration ‘Sohini and Mahival’ which he composed together with Oscar Winner Dario Marianelli. Baluji’s music has featured in Disney’s 2014 ‘Million Dollar Arm”, 20th Century Fox’s ‘New Girl’ as well as multiple episodes of NBC’s ‘Outsourced’.

By 2008, Baluji established the Baluji Music Foundation, a London based charity which, as stated on their website, aims to promote “the understanding and enjoyment of music and performing arts from the Indian Sub-Continent in all its traditional and evolving forms”. The Charity particularly welcomes the participation of disabled people in music, and has thus founded the Inner Vision Orchestra of blind and visually impaired musicians.

The Queen’s Birthday Honours List for 2016 recognizes the outstanding contributions of individuals across the UK’s many communities.

www.baluji.com

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Hypnotically Captivating Infinite Hope

Amjad Ali Khan, Rahim AlHaj, Amaan Ali Khan and Ayaan Ali Khan – Infinite Hope (Ur Music, 2016)

Swimming in a plumy lushness, Infinite Hope, out on the Ur Music label, revisits the collaborative efforts of Indian sarod master and composer Amjad Ali Khan with Iraqi oud virtuoso and composer Rahim AlHaj. Following up on their Grammy-nominated 2010 recording Ancient Sounds, Mr. Khan and Mr. AlHaj are joined by Mr. Khan’s sons, also sarod players and composers in their own right, Amaan Ali Khan and Ayaan Ali Khan. Sharing composition duties, this quartet dazzles listeners on this potently expressive musical collaboration.

Conjuring up a finely worked musical space crafted out of Middle Eastern and Indian musical traditions, Infinite Hope is masterful and elegantly sumptuous. Filling out Infinite Hope’s sound are tabla player Prashant Trivedi, percussionist Rakesh Bhardwaj, Chanda and djembe player Bubbi Negi, rhythm arranger and percussionist Parveen Sethi and rhythmic recitation singers Praveen Sethi and Rakesh Bhardwaj.

Opening with building percussion and rhythms and adding the lavish lines of sarod and oud, opening track “Virgin Earth” is a treat to the senses where the boundaries between Middle Eastern and Indian music wend together seamlessly as rhythmic recitation rounds out the track. Equally delicious is “Innocent River” composed by Ayaan Ali Khan and Rahim AlHaj as sarod and oud lines intertwine and break away.

The tracks of Infinite Hope offer up stringed mental maze where stringed oud and sarod of both musical traditions fashion a deeply hypnotic space. Equally delicious is the soothing track and one of the shortest at a mere four minutes and twenty-eight seconds, called “The Loving Mother.”

Infinite Hope takes off on a percussively rich journey on “Mystic Eternity” before gently coaxing listeners onto the meandering path of “Singing Soul.” Elegant lines and musical vocals that will raise the hairs on the back of your neck make up “Forgiving Planet” composed by Mr. AlHaj before Infinite Hope closes with the deeply luxuriant “Laughing Child.”

Infinite Hope is hypnotically captivating. It sets up a musical space by way of lengthy, lush tracks where time has no hope of interfering, because these masterful composers and musicians will take you where they want you to go in their own sweet time.

Buy Infinite Hope

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Artist Profiles: Aditya Narayan Banerjee

Aditya Narayan Banerjee
Aditya Narayan Banerjee

Aditya Narayan Banerjee is an M.A. in Instrumental Music (percussion) from Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata. He was born in 1970 in a musical family. His father and sister both are sarod players. His uncle Sri B.B. Banerjee was a senior most disciple of Pandit Ravishankarji and A graded musician of AIR, New Delhi.

Aditya turned to tabla an early age of five when he started his training under guidance of Sri Shivshankar Karmakar, a prominent disciple of Late Ustad Karamatullah Khan of Farukhabad Gharana.

Since 1990 he has been under able guidance of the great tabla maestro Pandit Swapan Choudhuri, a great Exponent of Lucknow Gharana.

Aditya is Sangeet Prabhakar from Proyag Sangeet Samity, Allahabad and M. Mus from Troilokya Sangeet Parishad, Kolkata. He also completed a music appreciation course from West Bengal State Academy & is also a computer hardware and software engineer.

He was the faculty member of Pandit Jasraj school of Music Foundation, Tampa (Florida), USA. He also has to his credit execution of a joint workshop under the able guidance of Padmavibhusan Pandit Jasrajji.

Aditya led a Tabla Workshop for visually Impaired children at LaVoy Exceptional Center in Tampa, Florida, USA. He did a lecture demonstration at Renaissance Center For the non Indian audience organized by Project Ahimsha, Patel Foundation for Global Understanding & Renaissance Center for the Arts in Tampa.

www.adityabanerjee.com

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Artist Profiles: Aditya Kalyanpur

Aditya Kalyanpur
Aditya Kalyanpur

Indian tabla player Aditya Kalyanpur was born July 21, 1978 in Mumbai, India. A student of the legendary late Ustad Alla Rakha and today of Ustad Zakir Hussain with whom he has collaborated and performed for many years now. Aditya Kalyanpur is well known in the west for his solo performance during the Rolling Stones concert held in Bombay and for the recording collaboration with their saxophonist Tim Ries. He has participated in some important festivals in India and abroad.

He’s recorded with John Beasley (“American Idol” music director), performed with GRAMMY-winner John Popper at the prestigious Carnegie Hall NYC, and Founded the New England School of Music in Boston, MA, as well as established the Shyamal Music Foundation in Mumbai, India – a non-profit created to promote, preserve and propagate Indian classical music by giving a platform to the next generation of talented musicians.

Aditya Kalyanpur is currently a member of the fusion group Tihai.

http://www.adityakalyanpur.com

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Artist Profiles: Abhishek Basu

Abhishek Basu gave his first professional concert with santur maestro Tarun Bhattacharya. He was but a boy of eight when he first stepped into his guru’s home, where music reigned, in every possible form.

While Bikram Ghosh was away on long tours with Ravi Shankar, Abhishek had the privilege of taking lessons from the former’s father, the great tabla wizard Shankar Ghosh.

For the past years, Abhishek has intensely engaged himself with the study of rhythm. Presently, he is enriching his musical horizons with guidance from mridangam maestro Vidwan S. Sekhar. Though his technical underpinning derive from the Farrukhabad Gharana, Abhishek believes in the individual beauty of every gharana (school).

Abhishek’s individuality rests primarily on his modulations of the baya (the left hand bass drum). What distinguishes him most from his contemporaries is his ability to strike a perfect balance between power, clarity, and rhythmic sophistication. Bikram Ghosh says, “Abhishek is an extremely diligent and hard working tabla player. He is exceptionally talented, as is evident from the standard of performance he has achieved at such a young age. I can confidently say that he has a very bright future in professional tabla playing. He is sure to shine as one of the finest tabla players in our country in the near future.”

Awarded the First Prize at the annual music competition of the West Bengal State music Academy in 1996, Abhishek is also the recipient of the Pandit Jyan Prakash Ghosh Award (2001).

Abhishek has appeared in concert both as a soloist and accompanist in many. He has toured and performed with Tarun Bhattacharya, the celebrated santur virtuoso. Abhishek contributed significantly to Bhattacharya’s album Dance of the Gods, released by Bricklane, UK.

Abhishek released his first World music album Acrostic, with his world fusion band, ISM. Abhishek’s band has performed in the top venues of Kolkata.

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Artist Profiles: Abhisek Lahiri

Abhisek Lahiri
Abhisek Lahiri

At a young age Abhisek Lahiri rose to prominence as a sarod player in India. Abhisek has won the hearts of discerning audiences worldwide with his maturity, depth & perfection with enchanting tonal quality.

Abhisek was initiated in sarod and trained under the tutelage of his eminent father as well as Guru Pt. Alok Lahiri.

Abhisek is a proud recipient of the coveted National Scholarship for outstanding performance in Sarod, from the Ministry of Human Resource & Development and Tourism and Culture, Govt.of. India in 1996-97 and 2003.

Abhisek took part in the World Kinder Festival in Holland and enthralled the audiences as a Wonder Child Sarod Player in 1997. The Dutch Television network telecasts his recitals countrywide, repeatedly even now.

Abhisek won the coveted Anun Lund Rej Award worth Rs. 50,000- from the Norwegian Consulate in 1998 and has been honored by the Rotary International Club with Certificate Of Appreciation for his excellence in sarod in 2000. Abhisek has been honored with the prestigious Telegraph School Award as an outstanding talent.

Abhisek won the President Award in Sarod through All India Radio Music competition in the year 2000 and is at present a Graded regular artist of All India Radio and Doordarshan Kendra (Television).

http://sarodabhisek.com

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