Audio Remixer: Derek Roberts.
Personnel: Purbayan Chatterjee (sitar); Rakesh Chaurasia (flute, bamboo flute); Subhankar Banerjee (tabla).
Recording information: Audio Centre, Kolkata.
Photographer: Derek Roberts.
If you want to experience a great collaboration of Indian creativity steeped in a rich heritage which is emotionally expressive, vibrant and delightfully exciting look no further than the Shastriya Syndicate.
Sense World Music has always been at the forefront when it comes to the development of new musical projects and the crossing of boundaries, so when Purbayan brought his Shastriya Syndicate to us we felt it was a project that could excite and move listeners and concert goers worldwide.
The Syndicate compositions draw on the rich cultural heritage which has helped produce fantastic music from both the North and South of the Indian subcontinent; the music keeps the purity of its heritage but also sometimes fuses both traditions in a fresh and inspiring way.
The musicians involved in the Syndicate are some of the greatest masters of their generation and the combinations of musicians and instruments are extremely well matched with respect to their personal chemistry and tonality. All this lends itself to great recordings, fantastic concerts and a healthy future for the group.
This inspired band is set to win the hearts of established listeners and a new world music audience with its heady mix of absolutely authentic Indian classical music presented in an exciting format.
Purbayan Chatterjee- Sitar
Purbayan has come to prominence internationally through his excellent recordings with Sense World Music. Many of the CDs have received ‘Top of the World’ 5 star reviews in Songlines magazine and have encouraged plaudits from around the globe. Purbayan is a master sitar player for a new generation.
Rakesh Chaurasia- Bamboo Flute
Nobody can doubt the pedigree of Rakesh with the great flute player Hariprasad Chaurasia as his father but Rakesh is a musician who stands very much on his own merits and capabilities and is a considered to be one of the best Bansuri (bamboo flute) players in India.
Veenai Jayanthi- Veena
The veena is an ancient instrument receiving a resurgence in the hands of Jayanthi who is also one of its greatest exponents. She has fantastic musicality and the rich tone of her instrument is a lovely contrast and tonal bed for the higher frequencies of Purbayan’s sitar. If you want to hear more of this exquisite combination, also check out their new Mandala recording which is a beautiful duet with percussion from North and South India.
Murad Ali- Sarangi
The sound of sarangi in many ways captures the soul of India with it’s deeply soulful sound closely mirroring the human voice. Murad is one of a very small number of young musicians playing this instrument and it’s true essence can be heard in his playing. He is a musician who has the quality to carry the ancient lineage of sarangi to the next generation.
Subhankar Banerjee- Tabla
The tabla is the percussion instrument which has captured the hearts of an incredibly wide variety of listeners worldwide and the instrument crops up in all sorts of places these days! Subhankar is a well established and highly regarded player who is able to adapt to the changing needs of the music he is working with. His fantastic repertoire as a soloist and his wealth of experience are a great asset to this project.
Pramath Kiran- Percussion
No ensemble would be complete without all the additional rhythm necessary for driving a band of this type and Pramath does a great job here supplying these elements. He plays traditional South Indian instruments such as tharvil, ghatam and morsing, but also African djembe and western percussion.
Satish Patri Kumar – Mridangam
Satish is one of the leading exponents of the Mridangam, a South Indian double headed barrel shaped drum.
Satish plays with incredible precision and musicality and is now a regular fixture in the group line up on Shastriya Syndicate concert tours.
Additional percussion was played by Jaya Chandra Rao on the forthcoming CD (Mridangam).