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On a quick visit to the city, Bickram Ghosh promises a night of tabla, experimentalist music and a North-South connect

bickramWhen noted tabla player Bickram Ghosh started his band Rhythmscape in 2000, all he wanted to do was explore different sounds that were not mainstream. After nearly 13 years and a string of successful concerts across the globe, Ghosh still hasn’t given up. “I am now looking at music with an electric feel,” he says with a grin. “It makes the music edgier.” Ghosh, who will be bringing his six-member band Rhythmscape to the city after a gap of over 10 years, says the band’s sounds have changed greatly since their 2003 concert here.
Changing times
You can expect their signature fusion—of Hindustani, Carnatic, rock and pop—but Ghosh’s exploration of electric music brings us fresh sounds.  “These days, you have electric versions of Indian instruments which open you up to a host of new sounds. Back then, we didn’t have the electric sitar. Stuff like that makes a lot of difference,” he says. In the last decade, the band’s camaraderie has grown, allowing for easy segues in music. “We’re so comfortable now that everyone is jamming on stage, including our vocalist! I think we’re like wine, where ageing is a good thing,” he says with a laugh.
Experimenting
On playing to the audience here, he says, “Chennai has a knowledgeable crowd when it comes to classical music, be it North Indian or South Indian. I want to show them you can get a lot more out of classical music if you can combine both forms.” He adds, “I want to show the youngsters, in particular, that Indian music is cool.”
New ventures
Although he has a wide range of collaborations under his belt, Ghosh marks his favourite ones as those with Pandit Ravi Shankar, including the Grammy award-winning album Full Circle, and with singer-composer Sonu Nigam. “But with Ravi Shankar, I was more like a student. He gave me the world exposure I needed,” he explains. Nigam, on the other hand, is the artist he’s exploring Bollywood with. “We just finished the music for (the movie) Happy Anniversary and our album Music Room is out next month,” says the maestro. With plans of leaving the city right after the concert, “I have a gig in Mumbai on the 14th. Life is spinning like a top right now,” rues Ghosh. “But if I could, I’d come back here and do the Carnatic circuit,” he concludes.
RS.200 to Rs.600. At the Music Academy, on November 13, at 7.30 pm. Details: in.bookmyshow.com

—Janane Venkatraman

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