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Learning Indian classical will add to my music

World Jazz musician Alex Stuart Quartet, on his Indi tour, plays songs inspired by Hindustanti classical, Latin- American and African musics.

music Updated: Dec 01, 2010 14:39 IST
Sharin Bhatti
Sharin Bhatti
Hindustan Times

In 2009, Alex Stuart, ‘wandering musician,’ spent two months in Kolkata learning the syntax of Hindustani classical music. "I entered the tutelage of sarodist Anindya Banerjee. I don’t think I spent enough time learning Indian music, but it helped me expand my knowledge of world music."

My quartet travels and learns folk and classical music of different cultures to add to our repertoire,” describes Stuart, who is on a multi-city tour courtesy the Australian Consulate General.

The quartet is less than five years old and released their first album in October this year called Around. The songs are a heady concoction of Australian, African, Latin American and Hindustani classical music woven to strict Jazz melodies played simply on a basic arrangement of guitars, saxophone (Guillame Perret), drums (Yoann Serra) and bass (Munir Hossn).

“We like to improvise folk and classical traditions of world music. Learning different cultures allows me to experiment with sounds and scales,” explains Stuart, who doesn’t add many instruments to his song arrangement to avoid clutter and chaos.

Interestingly, Australian-born Stuart started out as a rocker before he moved to Paris in 2005 to explore French Jazz. Since his move, the artiste says he’s been “attacked by so many new things. Paris is alive with so many cultures from across the world. It inspired me to form a quartet,” says Stuart.

“I want to continue travelling and learning native music. But first, I want to spend more time in India learning Hindustani classical. The notes and scales will do wonders to my quartet,” says Stuart.

Starting with his Indian exploration, Stuart expressed interest in touring the nation with his first album to get an idea of the Indian audience. “After Mumbai, I am travelling to New Delhi, Goa, Chennai, Bangalore and Pune,” says the artiste.

First Published: Dec 01, 2010 12:56 IST