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Mesmerising Sarangi play mark launch of Kamal Sabri's new album

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, Sep 10: The melody created by a five-sarangi ensemble, juxtaposed against a canvas of ambient world music, left an audience of music lovers mesmerised with its spellbinding new sound at a function in the capital here this weekend.

The occasion- the launch of 'Dance of the Desert', the new music album by sarangi maestro Kamal Sabri which features five-sarangis, in multiple layers interlacing with an ambient world music canvas, to create a spellbinding new sound.

Preceding the launch of the album, by noted film and television personality Sushma Seth and senior member of the Congress working committee Oscar Fernandes, was a melodious display of the five sarangi ensemble by the sarangi maestro Kamal Sabri and his troupe which soothed the senses and tickled the sensibilities of the audience with its "conventional yet avant garde" feel.

The album 'Dance of the Desert', brought out by the Music Today and Alliance Nirman in association with the Qutub Hotel, makes history with its unique thematic foundation as it is for the first time ever in the history of recorded music that an album is based on a five-sarangi ensemble.

Speaking on the occasion, Kamal Sabri said,''I have always wanted to compose different music with the sarangi. Traditionally, sarangi has been used as an accompanying instrument. However, my aim is to show, through this album, that sarangi is also suitable for solo performances.'' In this context, he pointed out that nowadays, sarangi was also being used in jazz music.

''The album is also an effort to show that sarangi, hitherto played only on sad and solemn occasions, can also bring colour to our lives,''Sabri said.

The launch of the album is another in the series of attempts by Music Today to introduce trend-setting concepts and path-breaking innovations in sound of music.

''Dance of the Desert is yet another attempt towards bringing new music music to music lovers. It has been a sheer pleasure to see the transformation of sound with a five-sarangi ensemble coming together with world music. It has been done for the first time ever in the history of recorded music and Music Today constantly strives to raise the bar of quality in sound to produce innovative and beautiful music,''Music Today business director Gurmeet Singh said.

Mr Singh said about an year ago, he happened to witness a concert of Kamal Sabri and was amazed at the musical melody created by the combination of five sarangis. On the occasion, he informed that Music Today had submitted the album for the internationall-renowned Grammy awards. ''I am extremely hopeful that the album with its mesmerising play of five sarangis will win a Grammy for India,''he said.

'Dance of The Desert' features five sarangis in multiple layers interlacing with an ambient music canvas. The instrument, which symbolises the desert more than any other, takes the viewer through the various mysteries, the daunting vastness, the beautiful colours and the dunes of the desert through a canvas of World music.

In the album, the sarangi maestro merges his traditional training with contemporary ambient textures creating an all-new sound with his multiple-sarangi ensemble.

The album has eight tracks.

While the title track belts out a peppy melody on five sarangis, which are juxtaposed against an ambient canvas, symbolising the dance of life in the desert landscape, in another track 'Nimbuda' the multi-sarangi ensemble adds a unique charm to the instrumental version of the famous song from 'Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam'.

In 'Mand-The Desert Ballad', the melody flowing from the sarangi epitomises the essence of the desert, the ensemble making it poignant and sweet at the same time while in 'Caravan's Cruise', the ambient sound lays the background of the stark desert, as the five sarangi ensemble showcases both the realities of solace and celebration through a slow-paced melody flowing into a glorious peppy one.

Son of sarangi maestro Ustad Sabri Khan, Kamal Sabri is carrying forward the rich legacy of the senia gharana. Kamal, who is the seventh generation of a distinguished family of traditional musicians, has demonstrated profound versatility in playing the sarangi.

While honing his skills in the traditional style of music, he has also adapted to the changing musical scenario and is constantly trying to set new trends and strandards within the tradition.

'Dance of the Desert' is an attempt in this direction.


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