The latest incarnation of award winning Indo-Western ensemble Simon Thacker's-Svara-Kanti sees Scotland's visionary guitarist/composer reimagine the mystical Bengali Baul folk tradition, one of India’s spiritually and musically richest forms, in an astonishingly powerful acoustic trio with Raju das Baul, a mesmerising exponent from the Baul heartland of Santiniketan, and Sarvar Sabri, one of the world's most versatile and innovative tabla players.
The trio debuted in India to standing ovations in 2014, with the full programme premiering to exceptional acclaim at the 2015 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, as part of the prestigious Made in Scotland showcase. The performed in November 2016 to 60 000 people at the Dhaka International Folk Fest (report). They have also appeared on BBC Radio 3's In Tune, BBC Asian Network and STV.
Baul culture, famously championed by Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore, is familiar to fans of global music as one of the longest surviving examples of wandering minstrelsy, imbued with mysticism and universal messages of love and truth. Raju das Baul possesses one of the most soulful voices on the world stage and is a virtuoso of the khamak, a characteristic Baul string instrument.
Svara-Kanti is one of Simon Thacker's principal musical identities, and he is rightly acclaimed for his creation of unique "soundworlds" that seamlessly meld culture and tradition with innovation and imagination. Experience some of the most liberated, free-spirited new music that the East and West can offer.
"Simon Thacker’s musical experiments are joyously unconventional....Unlike fusing several genres, what Thacker and his team have done is create their own musical tradition."
"The Scottish classical guitarist with a deep interest in the music of Bangladesh's folk bards was a refreshing element...There was no attempt at 'fusion' -- something that urbanite and westerners often try with our folk music -- but just a seamless amalgamation, and the khamak and nylon-string Spanish guitar sounded beautiful."
“An extraordinary trio full of power and raw energy... Thacker’s latest Svara Kanti incarnation was built to boldly go out into the unknown, but it’s on a journey to create new forms, not simply seek them out.”