The British Council in India has brought in renowned UK music producer John Leckie to collaborate with four Indian bands as part of its newly launched project, Soundpad.
Four bands – Medusa (Mumbai), Swarathma (Bangalore), Advaita and Indigo Children (formerly Superfuzz, Delhi) – have collaborated with Leckie and Dan Austin, recording new material and spending time in the studio in October this year. An album will be released in early 2009 on the Counter Culture Records label.
Soundpad explores the art of studio production in music, providing upcoming artists an opportunity to craft and chisel their music, while also giving them a platform to showcase their output.
Leckie, one of Britain's prolific music producers, worked with Pink Floyd and all of the Beatles individually. He has also produced such high-profile albums as The Bends by Radiohead, George Harrison's All Things Must Pass, the eponymous debut album of The Stone Roses and The Verve's A Storm in Heaven.
With the Soundpad project, Leckie hopes to give Indian bands an experience of how record production is done in the UK at the highest level and encourage cross pollination. The model also allows the musicians to work across platforms. RadioVerve, the British Council’s online partner for Soundpad, will promote the bands.
The site will enable music downloads, watch videos of band performances and documentaries of the recording process, sell music tracks and will also encourage conversation through recording sessions will be followed by an album deal with Counter Culture Records and a three-city tour,with performances at well known venues in each of those cities.
In Mumbai, for instance, each band will perform on select dates at the Blue Frog, the British Council's venue partner for the Soundpad. After taking the bands across the country, the British Council will take the bands on a brief UK tour early next year. Another focus of the project is to encourage dialogue amongst Indian musicians and UK collaborators about the issues faced by the growing alternative music scene in India.
A film crew will document the series, capturing the creative/studio process and the conversations that emerge from the collaboration. This exciting new project is a sure sign that the British Council's hand is firmly on the pulse of the contemporary, young and rising image of India and that Soundpad will be the beginning of a long and successful series of partnerships and collaborations.