Once a month on a Saturday afternoon, Birmingham’s Symphony Hall is home to Mid-day Mantra. An initiative setup by SAMPAD, an arts organization dedicated in bringing the finest sounds of Asian musicians and artists from the UK and India in a series of chilled out and informal sessions.
Last Saturday saw the highly acclaimed musicians from Banglore. S.V. Balakrishna on Mridangam and R. Raghunandan on Flute. They were joined by my incredibly talented friend on vocals – Ambika Jois, a singer songwriter with unique sound of Indioul blending Jazz, classical Carnatic music and soul.
R. Raghunandan kicked off the performance with an invocation to Lord Ganesha – a beautiful solo on the Flute. Serving as frontline ammunition for the classical piece, it carried the melody and provided harmonies to the music. The eloquent switch between large and small flutes really gave it a moments of sweet playful gestures interjected with deep poignant sounds. Soon to be joined by are the rustic sounds of the Mridangam, a barrel-like hand-drum supplied us with notable improvisation sets dancing amicably with the flute ragas and providing delicate yet strong impressive sounds.
Ambika injected some powerful graceful vocals are a force to be reckoned with, which enhanced the depth and soul of the music. I’ve seen Ambika perform live with Shammi Pithia when she sings more western stuff, however seeing the classical side of her talent really hit home as to how talented this lady is. The sheer supremacy and might of her voice is remarkable. If you ever get an opportunity to see perform seize it as you will not be disappointed.
Ambika will be performing at Mid-day Mantra on Dec 10th …