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The City - Sliced, Diced And Served With A Dash Of Sauce

Posted on 15/02/2018 in mid-day.com

  • When hybrid music goes West
    In a conversation this diarist had last week with the legendary guitarist John McLaughlin and master drummer Ranjit Barot, they had both dismissed the term "fusion music" with disdain as simply a marketing ploy that record companies had created to boost profits.

    So, we will not use that nomenclature for an upcoming gig that combines Hindustani classical with elements of jazz even if we are tempted to. Instead, we will just employ the phrase "hybrid music" to describe the concert that legendary Carnatic vocalist Aruna Sairam will travel to London for. She is set to collaborate with UK-based sarod star Soumik Datta, percussionists Pirashanna Thevarajah and Cormac Byrne, and pianist Al MacSween.

    The Padma Shri recipient will perform with this eclectic bunch of musicians at St John's Smith Square for an event called Back to the Blues. Of them, Datta, especially, has been making waves around the world recently with his album King of Ghosts, which is his take on the soundtrack of Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne, Satyajit Ray's classic film.

    Datta is also in the process of writing an opera for the Royal Opera House in London. We remember watching him perform with Talvin Singh in Kolkata back in 2005, when he was still a prodigy. Clearly, he has come a long way since, having collaborated with the likes of Beyonce and Jay Z, and now with Sairam in March.


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