Avra Banerjee's Ragamorphism
Ragamorphism has always had a uniqueness to their music. Let's discover the beauty of their music with Avra Banerjee.
1. Your band has an interesting name, what’s the story behind this name?
Even at the time I was composing the signature track, we were not able to zero on the band’s name. Incidentally, that particular composition had a unique flavor of gradual change from one raga to other and this process of transformation or I should say “Morphing” of multiple “ragas” was very much evident. Hence, the name of “Ragamorphism” suddenly came into my mind and we all froze it. This composition is called “Desert Storm”.
2. Your music is as unique as your band’s name, what made you come out with a unique fusion of jazz and classical music?
I have grown up listening to Indian classical music and infused my interest in listening to Jazz much later but I found it so interesting, certainly two of the greatest musical idioms of the world in the realm of pure music, and the connection has deeper conceptual roots which had to do with concepts of solo expression and the links between composition and improvisation. Apart from Jazz, I have tried blending Indian classical music with Persian, Latin and Oriental flavor along with Indian ethnic instrument like ‘Sarod’.
3. You’re working on your new album currently, what has been the most exciting part about it so far?
I am currently working on 2 different projects, a Ghazal album and World Music album. With respect to the Ghazal album, I am ensuring that the musical arrangement expresses the essence of “Ragamorphism” and it is certainly exciting that this concept is shaping up quite well. Apart from this, the biggest excitement is off-course having the current Ghazal maestro- ‘Hariharan’ agreeing to sing 2 to 3 tracks in this album.
4. You have collaborated with some of the big names of music industry, Hariharan ji has rendered a single for your debut album. How do you feel about it?
Hariharanji, Ustad Rashid Khan and George Brooks, all these maestros who have participated and worked on my compositions, I am indebted to all of them. These artists are of highest caliber, I have grown up listening to these maestros and certainly feel blessed to share any platform with these legends.
5. Who has been your biggest influence so far?
I cannot single out any one that way. I treat ‘Ustad Ali Akbar Khan’ and ‘Pt. Ravi Shankar’ as my gods. Maestro ‘Hariharan’ whom I have always idolized, I consider myself lucky enough to have his advices all the time.
‘Pt. Swapan Chaudhuri’ who has been an encouragement throughout my musical journey; maestro George Brooks, an association with him in last 4 years has had a huge impact on the nuances of my skills and his suggestions on technical nitti-gritty in context to the kind of fusion I do.
My guruji ‘Ustad Aashish Khan’ who has pioneered the Indo-US band “Shanti” is another inspiration for venturing in this genre.
6. What would be the one thing that you would want your fans to know?
I am not sure how many fans I have, but frankly I do my music to please myself first and then if anybody likes it, it is indeed an accomplishment. I do my music for my love and passion and for my fans, I would certainly acknowledge that I can’t do my music without my wife, who supports me a lot despite of hectic professional engagements although she thinks music is my first love. I am also lucky to have certain people around who have been my inspiration.