I’ll spare 20 minutes,” Baiju Dharmajan finally gives in after multiple phone calls. The Kochi-based guitar virtuoso is a busy man after all! “I’ve been working on different projects for the past six to eight months,” says Dharmajan.
There’s a Malayalam film for which is he composing the background score, and his second album is two songs away from completion. He is also working on another electronic music album, and his workshop “Guitar Heaven” is going places, as is he with his band — Baiju Dharmajan Syndicate. Ahead of his gig at blueFROG, Dharmajan connects the past, present and future of his illustrious career, best remembered for his Carnatic rock fusion.
“I have been busy with the Malayalam movie. It’s just me and my laptop. I am supposed to be a rock guy, but believe me, there’s no Carnatic guitar in the film. It is mostly synths, keyboard and electronic drums,” he tells us.
But Dharmajan hates categorising music into genres, and calls it a “crime”. He does admit, though, that his body of work has diversified since his exit from the band Motherjane in 2010 as its lead guitarist. “Working in a band (full-time) is like working in a closed room. But when you are out of that, you can think of doing different kind of music,” says Dharmajan, referring to it as the watershed moment of his career. He then worked with bands such as The Down Troddence, Midival Punditz and Antariskh.
At this gig, his band of four will perform songs from his second album-in-the-making. These compositions are built upon the characters from the Mahabharata.
“I think it’s a different phase of Baiju Dharmajan. I want to release my film and albums, and let people decide, if I have evolved as an artist or not,” signs off the 47-year-old musician.
October 15. 9 pm. Cover charge (`500). At Church Street.
— Barkha Kumari