By Sukant Deepak
New Delhi- He was four years old when he started learning tabla with Pt. Amar Bose, before switching to sitar at the age of seven. However, Abhisek Mallick points out that his percussion training helped shape him as a musician.
Adding that to be a successful artist, it is essential to have a deep understanding of taal or rhythm cycles, he adds: “Melody and rhythm go hand in hand. The tabla training laid the foundations of my musical journey and helped decode the subtleties of Indian layakari, the mathematical aspect of our music. And let’s not forget, in classical Hindustani, the only companion of any instrumentalist or singer during the performance is the Tabla. So knowing it is like knowing your mate, ”said the recipient of the President’s Gold Medal from All India Radio.
But it’s not just the classic that moves Mallick. Talk to this youngest member of India’s best-known band, “Rhythmscape”, and he remembers that when the band’s debut album came out in 2003, he was still in college. “My first concert with Rhythmscape was in 2012 after meeting and playing Bickram Ghosh before him. My journey has started since then and I have had the chance to play, learn and travel with the band all over the world until now.
“In fact, as part of his Drums of India project, I have had the chance to perform at some of the most coveted music festivals in the United States, Europe and South Africa. The Cape Town Jazz Fest is part of.”
Tell him about his electric sitar that he designed himself, and the musician says that with the advent of fusion music, as sitar players started playing in fusion bands, a necessity is Born to make the Sitar sound stand out among instruments like keyboards, electric guitars, bass guitars and drums which all sound very loud and powerful, which would not have been possible with an acoustic sitar.
“Fortunately, I haven’t experienced any criticism from the purists, probably because my Electric Sitar sounds like a Sitar and not like a distorted electric guitar like it used to in most cases before. I have also successfully experimented with its performance in selective fusion gigs to attract Generation X. I have done a lot of research to select the right combination of mic and processor for my electric sitar so that the originality of the sound is kept. My goal has always been to magnify and embellish the original sound by electrifying the instrument.
Realizing that the audiences for classical and fusion are distinct, Mallick prefers to keep his two “avatars” distinct. He says, “This way I can continue to experiment with different genres of music while keeping my roots in Hindustani classical music intact.”
Mallick, who was part of the recently organized HCL “Baithak”, believes more corporate houses should come forward to sponsor and promote musicians and artists. “Mandatory CSR activities of corporate houses should also focus on the well-being of musicians and artists. HCL does a tremendous job in terms of creating opportunities, promoting and disseminating artists and their work.
Currently working on a digital concert series where performances by other artists from across the country will be presented on an international platform, Mallick, along with other musicians, has formed the group “VEDA”. “I play Sitar, Ratul Shankar plays Cajon and Mainak Bumpy Chowdhury is on bass. This is basically an instrumental setup although sometimes we have singers of different genres. At the moment, we are working on our next album which we plan to release in October, ”he concludes. (IANS)