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Ahead of her performance at the Echoes of Earth festival, Susheela Raman talks about her music and new album

Her voice tugs the strings of the heart and leaves your mind in a trance. Her music, a combination of South Indian Carnatic, funk, rock and roll, with an added layer of blues and jazz, truly defines the term ‘global music’. Susheela Raman, the British Indian musician, composes music that is like a mellifluous brew, blended for the global village. Raman performs this weekend in Bengaluru at the Echoes of Earth music festival that is bringing over 40 international and Indian artistes for the two-day musical extravaganza.

Raman is back in India after a gap of two years. “We will be presenting songs from my last album, Queen Between and some new compositions,” reveals Raman, adding, “As an artiste, I don’t think we should do what is expected of us. We need to keep moving in a creative way.” This explains why composing music is a subconscious and spiritual pursuit for Raman. Even her performances — live, unplugged shows or recorded pieces evoke a certain unearthliness. “The composing process happens subconsciously. It takes about two years to ready a song. Even after that, we play with lyrics, arrangements and it keeps changing,” she explains.
Raman has just released an EP that celebrates 50 years of The Beatles’ album Revolver. She has worked on different versions of two songs — Tomorrow Never Knows and Love You To, both of which are available online. Along with her solo work, she has also been working with Indonesian musicians on a new album that uses the sound of the Gamelan— instruments made of metal. But right now, Raman is looking forward to performing in Bengaluru. “It’s great to be at a music event that is ecologically connected with the place and is not just a superimposed corporate event. Additionally, performing for an audience who come to see you because they like your work is a special feeling,” she says. Not boxed into any genre, Raman is happy to compose music that transcends borders and connects with people. “Borders and boundaries are made from our imaginary identities that society imposes, but the earth under your feet has no name, no owner, is real and needs love,” she says.
November 26-27. At Embassy International Riding School, Devanahalli. Tickets (`2,000 upward) on bookmyshow.com

Watch out other highlights: 

Submotion Orchestra (UK), Beardyman with Leen and Serocee (UK), Jordan Rakei (NZ), The Ska Vengers (IND), Thaalavattam (IND), and Kanchan Daniel & the Beards (IND), among others. Vadya Vithika, a museum of lost  folk and tribal ethno-musical  instruments will be set up. Workshops on composting and urban farming by Vani Murthy,  as well as bamboo didgeridoo  and cajon-making. Screenings of the  Spanish film Nomadak TX and the French film Planet Glace.

— Ayesha Tabassum

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