Beyond the Ragasphere

Subhashish Bhattacharya, Pandit Debasish Bhattacharya, Anandi Bhattacharya

Kolkata, Jan 16, 2013 (Washington Bangla Radio) On the eve of the 150th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda, Rooh Music in collaboration with Pandit Debasish Bhattacharya presented a live concert by The Calcutta Chronicles titled “Beyond the Ragasphere” on 12th January at Palladian Lounge of the Bengal Chamber of Commerce. This was the debut concert of The Calcutta Chronicles in the city they draw their name from. The gorgeous Sushmita Bhattacharya emceed the event.

Suven Chatterjee and Sushmita Bhattacharya

Internationally renowned Indian slide guitar maestro Pandit Debasish Bhattacharya has been connected with Indian Classical Music for over thirty years. Boosted by the success of his album “Madeira”, his artistic capabilities now transcend traditional raga styles and help in exploration of new collaborations with other music forms. The album has five compositions: “Madeira”, “Morning gait”, “Jhoom”, “Colours of Love” and “O my beloved”.

Mainak Nag Chowdhury, Pandit Debasish Bhattacharya, Anandi Bhattacharya

The compositions appeal to traditionalists as well as modernists, combining slow-paced ragas with upbeat riffs and semi-classical pieces. The album is captivating and holds the attention of the listener.

The live concert Beyond the Ragasphere was actually a tribute to two world figures from Bengal - Swami Vivekananda and Rabindranath Tagore.

Pandit Debasish Bhattacharya was accompanied by his daughter Anandi Bhattacharya, Subasis Bhattacharya, Mainak “Bumpy” Nag Chowdhury of Kendraka, Nishad Pandey, Jivraj Singh and Aviraj Sen.

The first composition “A mystical morning” went well with the weather conditions in Kolkata for the past couple of days.

Next the group performed the raga-based “Banmali” - a blend of Indian Classical and Western music forms much applauded by the audience.

Suven Chatterjee was the guest of honor at the program. He highlighted many unknown facts about Pandit Debasish Bhattacharya. He called Debasish Bhattacharya the Jesus Christ of Indian Classical Guitar for designing a record nineteen guitars so far, including the famous Chaturangi, Gandharvi and Anandi Guitars.

Calcutta Chronicles with Tomojyoti Mukherjee

Suven Chatterjee said rehearsing together is very important for a group of musicians in any band. This improves understanding of the timing of the others resulting in better music. Suven Chatterjee also called Pandit Bhattacharya the Swamiji of the Indian music as he shared his birthday with Swami Vivekananda and is a fellow torch-bearer of Indian Classical music tradition in the West.

Pandit Debasish Bhattacharya

Pandit Bhattacharya has performed with eminent musicians like Zakir Hussain and Jerry Douglas has opened his music school “Bhattacharya’s school of universal music” in 2002 where students and musicians across the world interact.

- Priyanka Dutta (newsdesk.kolkata@washingtonbanglaradio.com)