A flute soiree for your afternoon

A flute soiree for your afternoon

A Carnatic fusion album that's music to tired ears.

Flautist H S Venugopal

We may be in the midst of a ‘new normal’, but Carnatic classical is having its own version of ‘new normal’ nowadays. And this new normal is experimentation (read fusion). Of course, just like the pandemic-induced novel normality of our lives, even in Carnatic music, many such experimentations turn out to be neither new nor normal.

A happy recent exception is the classical fusion album ‘Venu’, a collaborative effort by composer Sandeep Chowta and renowned flautist H S Venugopal. The album was released last week on several online platforms, including YouTube and Spotify and can be listened for free. Featuring five compositions in ‘popular’ raagas, the compositions are springy, while being soothing at the same time. It is evident that efforts have been taken to keep the classical touch light and one can vaguely sense a jazz influence, whether intended or otherwise.

The album opens with a composition in the ever-reliable Raaga Hamsadhvani and sets the tone for a mellow afternoon siesta. However, our favourite is certainly the title track ‘Venu’, which is perhaps the composition with the strongest elements of jazz. The track also features Shashank Jodidhar on the second flute and reminds one of green meadows and grasslands with the music just mild and floating in the air around you. Quite the Sunday afternoon listen this. However, apologies if it reminds you of all the open spaces you are not allowed to visit at present. Let’s just say, this is the next best thing you can do. 

Play By Ear showcases a potential earworm every week for you, the discerning listener, who is on the hunt for some musical serendipity.

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox

Check out all newsletters

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox