Hitting the right keys

Irish flavour

The concert titled Ragas to Reels brought together a unique Indo-Irish cultural collaboration with Irish flautist Sam Comerford.

Sam and Utsav were accompanied by Suryaksha Deshpande, who played the tabla with equal panache. The event was presented by Royal Orchid, in association with Yes Bank.

Utsav Lal, only 18 years of age, is known for his soulful rendition of the Indian classical ragas on the piano and has earned the title of the Raga Pianist. At the concert, one saw the confluence of the haunting sounds of Indian ragas with the peppy Irish reels to generate brilliantly original tunes.

The compositions had a magnetic lure that transcended the audience to a fantasy world.  About the collaboration, Utsav said, “We are both jazz students and first started playing together as we wanted to learn about each other’s music. We found a surprising amount of similarity between Irish and Indian music. Then we thought we should try creating something that involves both. When we first tried it, it worked really well and led to the genesis of Ragas to Reels.”

Sam Comerford, who was equally excited about learning Indian classical music, said, “Indian classical music is wonderful and I am so happy that I am part of a concert showcasing the exploration of traditional Irish and Indian music.”

Suryaksha Deshpande, the jovial tabla player with an ever smiling face could not hide his excitement and said, “I think Utsav is doing a very good job and has a bright future ahead of him. A foreigner playing Indian music makes the concert all the more exciting.’’

The concert began with a traditional rendition of the raga desh. Raga desh is widely known because of the fact that Vande Mataram was composed based on the same raga. It was purely a piano and tabla piece that was very well received by the audience. What followed was a beautiful rendition of raga Hamsadhwani. Sam equally enthralled audiences with his interpretation of the raga.

The mixing and merging of the three instruments created compositions that remained etched in the mind and filled one with immense joy. Utsav Lal’s music finds an appeal among people of all age groups.

Abhay Bharghav, a youngster in the audience, said, “I had an amazing time at the concert, he truly is a genius with the piano. All in all, the concert was an experience to remember.”

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