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Indian Ocean’s guitarist goes solo

Veteran fusion band’s Susmit Sen launches album in city, features track by late member Asheem Chakravarty and rendition of National Anthem.

music Updated: Jan 18, 2012 18:15 IST
Serena Menon

Susmit Sen, founding member and lead guitarist of veteran Delhi folk band Indian Ocean, has been a musician for more than two decades.

On Tuesday, he launched his first solo album produced by EMI music in the city. Called Depths Of The Ocean, it features seven tracks and an eclectic mix of artistes, including Shubha Mudgal and Papon. But the most interesting name on that list is of late band member Asheem Chakravarty.

“I recorded that piece four years ago and his voice is as it is. I re-recorded the guitar and drums though,” says Sen, talking about Rejuvenation….

Denying any connection between Asheem’s demise and him going solo for this album, he adds, “I’ve been planning it for almost a decade. In fact, when Asheem fell sick, we were on our way back from a tour in Russia and US. We wanted to get into the studio then, but couldn’t.”

When asked what really urged him to branch out, he says, “Because I have never experienced performing with anyone else. And secondly, there are two kinds of expressions, which need different collaborations and should not be limited to just three people.”

The album also has a track called Six string salute…, a rendition of the National Anthem.

“Five or six years ago, I happened to play it on the guitar and it sounded beautiful. I haven’t changed the original notes at all,” clarifies the artiste, whose album launch at Landmark bookstore in a mall in Andheri was accompanied by a brief live performance. The one constant in the album, however, will be the distinct sound of his guitar strumming. “That can’t change. I’ve had it for 22 years, I can’t run away from myself,” he says.

Indian Ocean meanwhile, will soon launch the CDs of their last album, 16/330 Khajoor Road. Usually, the band readies one album in three years. But this time, Sen hints, that music buffs may just not have to wait that long.

“There is time still, but probably it’ll happen before three years. There are plans to come up with an album with different artistes from all over the world.”