The Golden Symphony Tour comes to India after its success at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles
60-year-old celebrated cellist, two 20-something musician-siblings, and music inspired from as far as Bach and as close as the trio’s common denominator, the late Pandit Ravi Shankar—the Golden Symphony Tour by the sitar-sarod-cello trio seems like a lesson in collaboration.
The upcoming jugalbandhi in the garden city will bring together Barry Philips—a high-powered cellist with an 18-year association with Ravi Shankar—and the grand disciples of the ace sitarist, sitar- sarod duo, Lakshay and Aayush Mohan. This is part of a three-city tour, bringing to India the trio’s concert which they had performed last April at the prestigious Grammy Museum, LA, as part of a special exhibit celebrating the music of Ravi Shankar. It kicks off in the capital on July 23. “At the concert, we played Ravi Shankar’s Raag palas kafi,” explains Lakshay. It also marked their first performance with Phillips, who worked as a composition assistant with the legend. “I started training with Ravi Shankar as a cello student. He was in need of someone to write down his compositions in western music for the string instrument parts and I filled in there. We’ve worked on several projects together since,” explains the California-based artiste, who, interestingly, received the Best World Music Grammy as producer and engineer of Ravi Shankar’s The Living Room Sessions, Part I, in 2013..
Grabbing the spotlight
His young collaborators from Delhi trained under Balwant Rai Verma—considered the senior-most disciple of Ravi Shankar. “We’re planning a few duets of the sarod and the sitar, and revisiting some of the old compositions of the maestro,” explains Lakshay, the older of the two siblings, while Aayush adds, “There will also be a new composition—a blend of the classical styles of both Indian and Western music. The western components are inspired by Bach’s Cello Suites, while the Indian part is based on the South Indian ragam, Keeravani,” he says. This was a raag that Ravi Shankar had adapted to the Hindustani school of music, he explains. “We’re calling this not-so-happy piece, which is based on illusions, Meandering Shadows,” Phillips chips in. The cellist sensation, whose only other performance in India was in 2009, with Anoushka Shankar, says he will also present at the concert a folksy Swedish tune, Gycklarpolskan, that featured in his 2000 album, Cello. After Bengaluru, the trio is headed to Mumbai.
On July 29, Chowdiah Memorial Hall, Bengaluru, From 7 pm. Rs 325 to Rs 863. Details: bookmyshow.com
— Sharadha Narayanan