A twist to the original

A twist to the original

Politicians can take a leaf out of the copy-book of collaborations that seasoned musicians bring to a City. The recent entanglement of Carnatic and jazz was rooted in ‘Amithias Project’s quintessential traditions, well-grounded in essence, experimental in melody and exemplary in style.

Their German solo, ‘Am SchnakkarBeichl’ was a concoction of harmonies, an ‘impov’ in ‘Raga Mand’; transposing of flutes every eight bars with diatonic tunes on a monotonic instrument. The cosmopolitan Bengaluru audience were treated to tunes from the Alps to South Indian Carnatic compositions in South American style. This seamless alloy was well-received and the line-up comprised Matthias on trumpet and flugelhorn, Tamara on the vocals and piano, Aman on the keyboard, Muthu Kumar on the drums and Amith on bansuri. Matthias’s third time in Bengaluru, he is enjoying the spicy savouries such as ‘masala puri’, ‘aloo gobi’ and ‘onion dosa’.

 It’s not only their hardcore training but attitude and positive approach to music that makes them stand apart. Their collaborations speak of their broad mindset. For them, humans are the same everywhere and Eastern and Western systems pierce people musically, emotionally and psychologically in different levels.

    Matthias, the trumpeter and jazz element of the collaboration says, “Both cultures have an intellectual elite which push borders of possibilities. Both systems also have a conservative front who think that music should always stays the same, like it was 30 years ago. The funny thing is that music has always developed overtime. It’s like an organism.

Jazz too can be only dead, if it doesn’t develop. Collaborations keep various systems alive.”

 In music theory, he cites common grounds such as the 12 tones and the similarity in scales.

     Amith, the flautist adds, “There are more meeting points across genres than one might think. Each of these are highly developed and it is nothing less than a privilege to have the opportunity to understand music that is not native. One also has to apply what they have learned into a system of music that they are just beginning to appreciate. It gives a whole new dimension.”
As Matthias and Amith play instruments that are far away from the mainstream space, the duo feel that learning trumpet and flute is not just getting inclined to a different tone but also a way of leading a healthier way of life. Amith says, “Unfortunately, the flute world is not promising in the Carnatic scene because of dearth of opportunities. It is changing but slowly. It’s like trying to change the direction of a big ship. This lack of opportunities is a blessing in disguise as it allows a musician to get out of his comfort zone and explore something that he has never done before. The future is bright if you have the mindset to learn, unlearn some concepts that you have grown with and re-learn them in a way which suits your playing so that you cater to a wider international audience.”

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