By Siddhi Jain
New Delhi– Sitar maestro Purbayan Chatterjee released the lead single ‘Shanmukhapriya — The Mystic’ from his new album, ‘Unbounded — Abaad’, last week. With collaboration at the heart of the global music album — and the single — Chatterjee and various co-collaborators take the listener on an inspiring auditory journey.
Out now, the track features long-time Pat Metheny Group drummer and ‘Birdman’ composer Antonio Sanchez, Snarky Puppy bassist and founder Michael League and mandolin master U. Rajesh, singer Shankar Mahadevan among others. It was released on the UK-based, South Asian-focused music platform and label Sufiscore.
The album reflects not only Chatterjee’s mastery of Indian classical music but also what he calls “his love story with jazz” and his inquisitive approach to music of all kinds, blending a wealth of colours from master musicians around the world.
“I’m trying to create a sound that appeals to the greater diaspora, incorporating the nuances of Western harmony along with the embellishments and ornaments of Indian music in terms of my playing, my phrasing, my thinking,” Chatterjee says.
The artwork — created by graphic designer and Studio Bigfat founder Aniruddh Mehta — also pays homage to the global and collaborative nature of the album. Inspired by the idea of a sacred room covered in beautiful intricate detailing, the mosaic-style artwork is a metaphorical representation of multiple artists from various parts of the world coming together to lend their talent into crafting this album, and thus creating this beautiful sonic composition.
In ‘Shanmukhapriya — The Mystic’, one hears an exploration of the devotional element of Carnatic music in a post-modern Latin jazz soundscape. Based on a Carnatic ragam (56th Melakarta ragam) of the same name, and considered to have that special power to evoke divinity, Chatterjee chose the single for the same reason to open the seven-track album.
“This piece has a chant-like quality to it and many of its language-less chorus lines are like sacred chants. I wanted to start this album on this note,” he explains, adding, “It’s like the entire universe was created out of the hum of the ‘music of the spheres’. This album is a quest for a common musical consciousness which strings together many musical sensibilities into one pulse.” (IANS)