Soumik Datta, who plays the unique electric sarod, says that this variant of the acoustic instrument brings about a complete change in its temperament. “Unlike the acoustic version which is more meditative and classical, the electric one is celebratory in its sound.”
As part of his fusion duo, Circle of Sound, the British musician will be teaming up with Austrian drummer Bernhard Schimpelsberger (who has devised his own customised kit) for a performance in the city tonight.
“This is the first time we’re performing in India and I’m curious to see what it is going to be like,” says Datta, who along with Schimpelsberger, has collaborated with Jay-Z, Beyoncé and Anoushka Shankar in the past.
Datta promises that the gig, organised by British Council, will be high on innovation, as it features two distinctive instruments. “Both Bernhard and I share the spirit of inventiveness,” he says. Their music mixes Indian classical with other eclectic styles such as punk, drum and bass.
Circle Of Sound released their debut album last year and are preparing for their second offering. “It will feature singer Björk’s choir from Iceland. There’s also a collaboration with Nitin Sawhney in it,” says Datta. Ask him if there’s any Indian artiste he’d like to team up with and he says, “I had the opportunity to perform as a guest artiste with Shankar Mahadevan once. I’d love to play with him again.”