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    Sofar Sounds gives us the scoop on their underground musical leanings

    IT HAS been a busy last couple of days for Sofar Sounds Chennai and there seems to be a secret weighing them down. Despite repeated offers to lighten the load, programme coordinator Aditi Anna Kuriakose refuses to let us in on the who, where and how of Sofar’s confidential Thiruvanmiyur music session this weekend. “You need to RSVP on our Facebook page to be invited, and you’ll get to know details of the venue a day before the show,” she says. Whether it is in a backyard, a living room or a rooftop, Sofar Sounds has been hosting intimate music shows that tread a fine line between the organised and organic concerts.

    Through the filter
    While this DIY-format may seem rather laidback, Sofar’s sessions are far from being clandestine gatherings. Though hosted at non-traditional venues, each show is well-curated with musicians undergoing a rigorous selection process. The team reviews the music that the artist sends and if we like what we hear, then they get a chance to share their music with an audience,” explains Aditi. With names like Sid Sriram, Anil Srinivasan, Sharanya Manivannan, Yohan Chacko and others on the list of Sofar Alumini, they continue to live up to the standard of their global parent initiative.

    Mixing it up
    With the element of intrigue in place, Aditi hopes that the Thiruvanmiyur session will be the city’s biggest yet. “We’ve had about 40 people for our previous shows; this time around, the response has been better. However, we don’t plan on going beyond an audience of 60 people, since then you will lose out on the intimacy that this space offers.” Each of the three acts for the evening are given a run time of 25 minutes, with most acts differing in terms of genre, and tempo. “Most artists are encouraged to perform their own pieces. If there are covers, then the team tries to balance it out with a mix of originals in the other acts,” says the 22-year-old. A pro-bono enterprise, Sofar Sounds always keeps an eye out for new talent and volunteers to organise shows. “After all, we are all about the music. Everything else is just extra,” she enthuses.

    Thiruvanmiyur session on January 29. Details: facebook.com/SofarSoundsChennai

    —Rebecca Vargese

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