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15th Century Saint Kabir’s Timeless Poetry now inspires Rock Music, Mumbai-based Band Kabir Café gives his Verses a Modern Twist

The band also annually perform in villages during Kabir Yatra

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A Music Band (Representational Image), Pixabay

Varanasi, November 8, 2016: Poetry of Kabir has inspired many classical songs, but now a Mumbai-based band Kabir Café is interpreting his verses through rock music and is giving a modern twist to his mysticism.

The inspiration of the band is the 15th century poet, fronted by rhythm guitarist Neeraj Arya, and the other members in the band include Raman Iyer (mandolin), violinist Mukund Ramaswamy, and percussionist Viren Solanki.

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The band, which has pioneered the genre Kabir Rock, fuses Carnatic elements with Kabir’s popular verses such as ‘Chadariya jheeni re bini…’, ‘Moko kahan dhoondhe re bande’, ‘mann lago mero yaar fakiri mein’.

According to PTI, Ramaswamy told, “We don’t change the basic tune and keep the lyrics same. We simply play around it. We follow Prahlad (Singh Tipanya) ji’s music, whatever he sings we sing the same, it is just that we try and make it peppy for the younger generation.”

Classical music is undoubtedly ageless but it’s important that the poetry of Kabir reaches the youth, says the violinist.

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“A lot of people have questioned the way we sing and try to experiment with Kabir. But with change, any form of music is prone to comparison. There were people who didn’t like it and felt offended but we have reached the people we want to,” he says to PTI.

After concerts in Mumbai, Kolkata, Pune, and Chennai, the band has gained popularity. They also annually perform in villages during Kabir Yatra.

“We go to Kabir Yatra and perform in villages every year.

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In those places, people might not know what a sound track is but they enjoy music. It is a different experience playing there. There is a sense of collaboration as people simply cherish the music,” he says.

The musician further says, what Kabir spoke centuries ago is still relevant today.

“He spoke about humanity and gender equality and we do not see that. Caste system is still prevalent. The message from Kabir was unity and oneness, to forget all this and form a bond with human beings simply as a human.”

– prepared by Pinaz Kazi of NewsGram. Twitter: @PinazKazi

  • Ruchika Kumari

    Sounds interesting…I would love to hear them live

Next Story

Like Food, One Constantly Craves New Flavours in Music

"What you put in your mouth has to taste good that’s all. What you put in your ears has to sound good — it’s that simple,” he signed off

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Music has long helped people express their emotions and connect with one another. Over the years, medical studies have proved that music has many health benefits. They range from facilitating regular breathing and lifting mood to improving emotional function and motor control. VOA

By Siddhi Jain

Sitar player Purbayan Chatterjee, known for his fusion work with Western and Indian classical music, feels that the art form is very much like food and the Indian classical music is not as rigid as it is thought to be.

For Purbayan, 43, whose sitar playing is rooted in the Senia Maihar gharana’s blend of dhrupad and khayal, Indian classical music is ever-evolving.

“Indian classical music can be compared to a Rubik’s cube made of a gelatinous matrix. There’s a complex structure which sits in the midst of infinite elasticity. Hindustani classical music itself is an amalgam of ancient dhrupad and Persian elements,” Chatterjee told IANS in an email interview.

A disciple of his father Parthapratim Chatterjee, the musician has performed as part of the groups Shastriya Syndicate and Stringstruck.

He also calls himself “truly privileged and humbled” because the instrument of sitar — that has been in the hands of legendary artistes like Pt. Ravishankar, Pt. Nikhil Banerjee and Ustad Vilayat Khan — has chosen him.

“The sitar is my voice. It is an extension of my limbs.”

Asked about the World Music Day that fell on June 21, the young musician said that he’d love to have it pronounced “World-Music Day” since the music of the entire world has only three elements — melody, rhythm and harmony.

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Thai foods are naturally an excellent source of a multitude of health beneficial sources of food, primarily due to the vast utilization of different vegetables and herbs in almost all their dishes. Pixabay

“The more we respect and recognise that, the more the boundaries will disappear,” he explained.

As far as his future projects are concerned, Purbayan said: “I am currently working on expanding my classical repertoire to include lesser-heard ragas in instrumental music like Lalita-Gauri. I am also recording and shooting in 4K compositions of great masters like Ustad Ali Akbar Khansahib and Pt Nikhil Banerjee.

“Also being put up on my YouTube channel are some collaborations with whiz-kids of today, like Rhythm Shaw, Shikharnaad Qureshi, Jazim Sharma, Sumedha karmahe, Pratibha Singh Baghel, Rickraj and also with Gayathri — my wife who’s a very versatile artist”.

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The Kolkata-based instrumentalist, who is also a vocalist and has performed in duet with music director Shankar Mahadevan, was set to perform in an HCL Concert here on Friday, alongside musical artistes Rakesh Chaurasia, Fazal Qureshi and Gino Banks.

Answering a question about his taste in fusion music, Purbayan likened music to food. “As a citizen of a rapidly shrinking global village, one constantly craves new flavours and aromas.

“What you put in your mouth has to taste good that’s all. What you put in your ears has to sound good — it’s that simple,” he signed off. (IANS)