[Info on trio lineup exploring the mystical Bengali Baul tradition here]
One of Scotland’s most distinctive musical voices, guitarist/composer Simon Thacker, and extraordinary performers from both Indian and Western music tap into the Indian subcontinent’s folk, classical and spiritual traditions to create gloriously unpredictable, rhythmically thrilling programmes of original compositions and radical reimaginings, simultaneously contemporary and ancient. Simon’s iconoclastic music and reimaginings have developed new genres exploring the meeting and expansion of Indian and Western traditions. Svara-Kanti have toured widely, including in India, Pakistan and to 60 000 people inBangladesh.
Their debut album Rakshasaset a new benchmark for Indian/Western music. Featuring world premieres by Simon and seminal composers including US Minimalism legend Terry Riley, Rakshasa was hailed as the most important contemporary Indian/Western releases by over 50 major publications and journalists around the world, gained awards in several “albums of the year” lists and airplay on over 200 US radio stations alone. A new (double) album will be released in 2017.
An astonishingly powerful acoustic lineup of musicians who passionately embrace intercultural collaboration, innovation and the joy of creating, Svara-Kanti is a collective that changes lineup depending on the focus of the programme. The members inlcude: singer Japjit Kaur (who has also won worldwide recognition in the title role of the Amnesty International Award winning play Nirbhaya), Britten Sinfonia leader Jackie Shave on violin, acclaimed Polish cellist Justyna Jablonska, tabla master Sukhvinder Singh “Pinky”, whose many notable achievements including performing on the Grammy Award winning Ry Cooder album “A Meeting By The River", tabla luminary and longtime collaborator Sarvar Sabri andRaju das Baul, a spectacular young exponent of one of Bengal’s spiritually and philosophically richest folk forms. 2016 saw the group's Bangladesh debut and singer Farida Yasmin as special guest.
Hear their BBC Radio 3 "World on 3" session here. Full reviews list here. Videos on YouTubehere.
"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 Hindu, India
"A formidable exploration of Asian and Western sounds that bends the traditions as much as it does one's preconceptions" All About Jazz (USA)
"It is expansive, inclusive and thrillingly inventive, often unpredictable music which is grounded in many traditions" Elsewhere (New Zealand)
"Strikes an exquisite balance between traditional Indian music and modern composition while exploring the former's relationship with other genres." The Australian
"The Scottish classical guitarist 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." The Dhaka Daily Star (Bangladesh)
“Thacker has more than shown us exactly how good an intercultural collaboration can be.” TV Bomb
“Simon forges and explores new genres by combining his knowledge and love of music from every corner of the globe.” Dawn (Pakistan)
“Thacker’s own compositions here reflect his own far-ranging musical journey: witness the echoes of flamenco” The Scotsman