BORDERLAND is the name of a spectacular show commissioned by the DSC South Asian Literature festival. Inspired by the poem of the great Nobel Laureate, Rabindranath Tagore, ‘Borderland’ is an exploration and interpretation of the many ‘borders’ present in our lives.
The show has been orchestrated by the Sarod maestro, Soumik Datta, who brings together not just poetry and music, but film, lighting and the art of storytelling to the stage. Last Thursday, Embrace Arts, Leicester hosted an intimate performance of ‘Borderland’ which served up a fiery audio-visual encounter.
Borderland begins with Soumik on the demanding fretless Sarod, narrating a story throughTagore’s words. As the performance evolves, he is joined by other musicians; by Rahel on vocals,Guiliano Modarelli on electro-acoustic Guitar and on Tabla, Souvid Datta. Laced into the mix are vivid, uniquely crafted visuals that give the spoken words more depth and dimension.
The four musicians, led by Soumik, really brought Tagore’s poetry to life in a truly classical-meets-contemporary manner. Different genres of music ranging from Indian classical, flamenco, Indo-Jazz, blues and folk combined subtly to create a musically opulent atmosphere with contemporary soundscapes. All was married impeccably with electronica, culminating in a chic and elegant display of intelligent cutting-edge music.
I am totally loving this collaboration by Bill Bailey with the Indian band from London called Bollywood Pandits – as featured on his DVD Tinselworm 
Deliverance Banjo Duel – featuring Soumik Datta
Keeping with the Nitin Sawhney theme, here is a three part interview conducted by Nikki Bedi for BBC Radio London on his upcoming ninth studio album, “Last Days of Meaning.”
You can purchase the album from here
Last night, I was at Nitin Sawhney‘s ‘Last Days of Meaning’ album launch concert at the Royal Albert hall. As always, he out did himself AGAIN! Sawhney performed a couple of tracks from the new album, along with some well known classics, with the help of a string quintet and key members of his band including Martyn Kaine on drums, Aref Durvesh on Tabla and Dholak, Ashwin Srinivasan on flute and vocals, Ian Burdge on cello, Tina Grace, Nicki Wells, Natty and Lucita Jules on vocals. With a special guest performance by Soumik Datta!
There was another special performance included. The one I was waiting for … A 15 minute organ piece performed on the 140 year old 9,999 pipe Willis Organ commissioned by The Royal Albert Hall and played by Nitin Sawhney‘s childhood friend prominent Hammond organist, James Taylor of the James Taylor Quartet.
For this untitled piece, Sawhney was accompanied by a String Quintet, Engine-Earz front man Prashant Mistry on keys, Ashwin Srinivasan on the Flute and Martyn Kaine on drums.
There’s only one word to describe this performance … EPIC!
Organ Composition // Nitin Sawhney // Royal Albert Hall // 2011 (1 of 2)
Organ Composition // Nitin Sawhney // Royal Albert Hall // 2011 (2 of 2)