Different ways of listening to music

New Formats

Different ways of listening to music

As is the case with everything else that is consumed by the masses, live music too must find new ways to innovate and present itself. And over the last few months, such experiments are finding their way into the mainstream, with month-long music festivals spread over five weekends and genre-specific showcases of multiple bands taking place under one roof.

‘Indie March’, a concept by CounterCulture, is one such example. As a means of presenting the new sound of India, it offers bands like ‘Slow Down Clown’, ‘Sky Rabbit’, ‘Bombay Bassment’, ‘Blek’ and others a stage to perform.

“In the last few years, there’s been an explosion of bands that have gone away from the granddaddy style of long guitar solos and screechy vocals. The glamour quotient is being replaced by regular kids making music in their bedrooms. ‘Indie March’ is a celebration of that fresh sound coming out of the country, with bands that are contemporary and have distinct sounds, like other bands from the West,” shares Guru Somayaji, the programme
director.

“It’s good if people come for the festival because it will expose them to diverse facets within music. For instance, nobody from Bangalore has heard of the Tetseo Sisters, who are performing at the festival. But in Nagaland, they’re making some great music. The internet has made people evolve new listening habits and we want to give them interesting contexts that are fun to watch — from rock and the blues to Carnatic!” he adds.

In the multiple-band format, two names come to mind — ‘The Pit’ and ‘Spindle Galaxy’. The latter, for example, saw eight bands spanning alternate, post and hard rock playing on the same stage. ‘In Bangalore, the rock scene hasn’t been getting as much impetus as the metal scene and so, we wanted to have a show dedicated purely to the genre,” says Sachin Vijayapuram, who organised the event with ‘A 91’ Productions. He adds, “Most of these organisers tend to mix the two genres together, which is a horrible thing to do because a metal-head may not like rock and vice versa.”

Asked about the profitability of such a venture, Sachin notes, “We are not looking to make a living out of this because the profit margins are pretty small. In the future, once we have enough capital, we intend on paying budding artistes ourselves.”

‘The Pit’, which has seen three editions already, has a similar approach — get ten metal bands to perform one after the other and give metal-heads a chance to just let down their hair and enjoy, through mosh pits or headbanging. “My company, Ancient Mosquito, started the event with the idea of promoting the local music scene. We’ve had a pretty good response with 200-plus people attending each edition, which shows that the fan base is growing. I know it’s an expensive investment. But when the crowd confirms that they’re attending, it’s worth that risk,” concludes Rishabh Ambasta, who conceptualised the event.

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