Music review

Connoisseurs' choice

Autumn Ballet is experimental music or World Music (as opposed to fusion), and is the result of a collaboration between pianist Stephen Devassy, who has composed the album, and Nivedita Dutt, the lead singer, trained in Hindustani classical along with co-vocalist Aniruddha.

The seven tracks are a blend of Hindustani classical bandishes and contemporary western music. A bandish is a fixed, melodic composition in Hindustani vocal or instrumental music tied together and set in a specific raga. In the album, every bandish has an English title and although not an exact translation, it does reflects the essence.

The first track Gaheri Gaheri Nadiya (Dark River) is a sombre but serene song, embellished with the subtle strains of the acoustic guitar and the piano. The song is composed in Bageshri raga, a late night raga, which is meant to depict the emotion of a woman waiting for her reunion with her lover. Piya ki Najariya (Without You) has a variety of percussion sound, mainly mridangam, on a foundation of Western score.

It is composed in Yaman raga, an early evening raga, and an equivalent of Raga Kalyani in Carnatic. Van van bolata koeliya (Autumn Ballet), the title song, is upbeat with expressing violin interludes, creating an ambience which is celebratory. Phul Rahi Belariya (Wings of Spring) has a distinct electronic touch with down-tempo drum and bass beat accompanied by a violin.

Baaja Jhanana (Trance) is meditative, beginning at a slow pace, accompanied by the drone of the tanpura. Gaawa ho Guni (Yin and Yang) is a complex composition, but brilliantly melodious. The last song, Onitore Boiragir Laau (Bairagi), is a Bengali folk song and even if you do not understand the words, it is still pleasing to the ears.

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