Saturday, 13 April 2013

Mesmerising Karsh Kale

On a clear humid December evening in Mumbai a few months ago, I headed to the IITBombay  campus to attend one of the pronites (musical nights) of their cultural fest MoodI 2012. I had attended the concert of the previous night and was treated to a brilliant piece of classical music by Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt. I had listened to some of Parndit Vishwa Mothan before, so I knew what was in store for me. This evening, however, was a totally unknown entity - Karsh Kale.

The name rang a bell somewhere and then I realized, oh yes that s one of  the default sounds in Windows Media player. I usually delete such audio files, thus I did not get a chance to listen to any of his music before.

The long and enduring wait began as a local band 'Desh Rag' did the opening act for the evening. They were quite good, with one of them covering and improvising the song 'Roja' on violin. After their performance was complete, the presenters announced the start of the Karsh Kale concert and I was in for a nice suprise,  since Karsh Kale was going to be performing with a Coke Studio set. I was thinking - Wow.! This is going to be one memorable concert, watching a Coke Studio performance live ...

The magic started soon after, with a hypnotic, almost mesmerizing tabla introduction by none other than Karsh Kale himself. The next two hours I was rooted to my position in the audience, watching the adept composer fuse different genres of music. The highlight of the performance was a mashup between Kajar Bin Kare, and Adele s Skyfall. There was a huge star cast of accompanying artists, from the popular Bollywood music composer Salim Merchant, and the well known signer Shilpa Rao, to less known guitar acts like Warren Mendonsa, and flutist Ajay Prasanna. The genre of rap was also given a due share with Benny Dayal rapping a few pieces in some compositions.

Two songs that blew my mind away was 'Shedding Skin' and 'Glorious' , these were the best memories of the evening. You can check out the Coke Studio versions of these songs , which is the original recording of the song.

Shedding Skin


The drumming by Jai Row Kavi is just exceptional in 'Glorious'. He has nailed it to perfection .. !

The scintillating performance was wrapped up with U2's 'City of Blinding Lights'. As I walked back from the open air auditorium towards the gate, though I was feeling tired, it was worth it. I had an amazing evening, and this surely would go down as one of the best concerts that I have ever attended. An evening really well spent !!

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