Techie with artistic inclinations

Techie with artistic inclinations

Blending music

Actively pursuing his many interests in the creative and performing arts in addition to a demanding career as an engineer with Infosys, Vishwesh Bhat has found a way to balance his artistic inclinations with his professional and personal life with enviable ease and success. While he loves art and cartooning, music – especially classical and traditional Indian with a Western touch – is his true passion and calling.

 “I would like to bridge the gap between popular and devotional music blending elements of Western musical techniques into traditional Carnatic and Hindustani styles. I especially want young people to attend and enjoy devotional concerts in large numbers. Unfortunately, they have turned into the preserves of a more mature crowd, with youngsters staying away,” he says.

Now relocated in Bangalore from Memphis, Tennessee, the home of a different sort of musical legend, Elvis Presley, Vishwesh finds time to get his groups together to practice and perform as often as possible. “Oh yes I like Elvis and his music too and we frequently took guests across to see Graceland whenever they visited us in America,” he laughs.
“My wife Ashwini, an engineer by profession is a gifted veena player and a prize-winning vocalist too. We developed our own style of fusion music called Kan-fusion an experiment we successfully carried out in the United States by blending Western music with Kannada poetry in our first album Ghama Ghama. Resurgence, a multi- lingual album that came later re-visits the roots of devotional music,” he explains.

When he is not working Vishwesh composes music in his unique style for his 30 strong Infosys based group of music aficionados. They perform at concerts and venues for all kinds of audiences creating a sound that is different and unique. “Often there are 33 of us on stage performing together and it is quite a challenge organising the  practices as they are all busy professionals. We once performed Vande Mataram using our fusion technique and style and received a standing ovation from Narayan Murthy himself. We also performed Vaishnavo Janatho that popular Mahatma Gandhi song for a television show recently which was very well received,” adds Vishwesh.

 His techie group of musicians is fairly large and diverse and plays all sorts of secular fusion and experimental music. They call themselves Xprescions and have been together for almost a year now. His core group of seven members however focuses on popularising devotional music which has lost its appeal for the young. Vishwesh is also very proud of the fact that the Kannada Sangha he started in Memphis in 2001 is still going strong and the American andfor which he had specially arranged music is also very popular at the INDIA-FEST programmes held there.