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Classically yours!

Sitarist Purbayan Chatterjee’s new Indo-Western fusion album is a confluence of diverse international genres.

music Updated: Mar 07, 2010 18:35 IST
Zeba Siddiqui

Sitarist Purbayan Chatterjee’s new album, Stringstruck, that releases tomorrow in the city, offers a mix of jazz, waltz and Indian classical music with a hint of Bollywood. The album contains a song called Peace of mind that has a feel of jazz and blues together. “I actually invented an instrument to be played in the song by taking the electric guitar and making it sound like a sitar. The music, to my surprise, turned out sounding wonderful.”

Another track on the album, called Shadow of Light, mixes waltz and flamenco styles of music. Reality Potion, sounds like a lounge and trance combo. “I conceived this song, when I was sitting at a lounge bar. The album features a soft, romantic, Bollywood-style number too, meant to just complete the bouquet. The nomenclature is one of my favourite aspects of making music. So, I’ve ensured that I personally name all my tracks,” gushes Chatterjee.

The sitarist has been performing with his group comprising flutist Rakesh Chaurasia, percussionist Satyajit Talwalkar, keyboardist Atul Raninga, drum-player Mukul Dongre and bassist Sheldon D’silva, at cities across the country for several months now. One of the high points, he says, has been performing at city colleges.

“The young teenaged crowd is one of the best to perform for, because they are so full of energy and enthusiasm,” he says, adding that he intends to perform in the city during his album launch as well. Purbayan Chatterjee, who’s belongs to a family of patrons of classical music, says that he learnt to play the sitar when he was very young.

“However, I explored international music genres for 15 years in my life, whilst collaborating with various leading global artistes, including Talvin Singh, who has been credited for discovering the Asian underground music genre,” he says. Chatterjee admits that despite travelling extensively and working with diverse talents, he is extremely in love with the sitar, because playing it gives him the greatest high.

Stringstruck has taken over six years to materialise. The reason: “I wanted to have the finest names across the board on my album. I roped in Shankar and Taufiq, because they are both excellent musicians and also my friends. And they’re both busy people. I relied on their inputs.”