In Chennai I became acquainted with Southindian Carnatic Music, Anjana’s commune and a boiling hot Indian metropolis.
I logded in a room in a house managed by Anjana. Anjana works with music and theatre and thus, her place would be a good start in Chennai as a connection the musical environment in the city. I got in contact with her through an Indian guy, who I met in Kathmandu.
Anjana introduced me to a number of exciting musicians. One of them was Vedanth Bharadwaj. He recently finished an album project with interpretations of 700-800 old poems. We met to record his song improvisations over a drone and after that some improvisations over a vamp, which I recorded priorly.
In Anjana’s house people often stopped by to hang out. One of them was the poet Sharanya Manivannan. For a while she had considered collaborating with some musicians, where poetry recital should be combined sound/music. We met one afternoon, where she wrote a short text about Chennai, while I tried to comtemplate the possibilities of the musical part. The result was a poem with pictures from Chennai and beats created from the sounds of writing and paper.
At the end of my stay in Chennai, I met a young flute player named Sruthi Sagar. We created a piano-flute duo and recorded a theme along with some improvisations. We chose a raga consisting of the notes: D, Eb, F#, G#, A, A# and C#. The concept was to only play the notes included in the raga. We borrowed one of the only grand pianos in Chennai one forenoon, but unfortunately I am not certain that the recordings are any good, since a drummer was practising next door..
One of the last days in Chennai I met with Praveen Kumar and hans Mridangam-drum. He played a few grooves with som impressively fast subdivisions. As a contrast I chose to play a slow theme largely consisting of semibreves. For this session I used a two-octaves usb-keyboard with organ plugin from Logic. I’m planning on switching the midi-track with a real organ once I get back home.
Next stop Thorshavn.