SIMON THACKER'S SVARA-KANTI

Simon Thacker's Svara-Kanti is the Scottish virtuoso composer's Indo-Western community devoted to creating new sound worlds through his immersion in the classical, folk and spiritual traditions of the Indian subcontinent.

After beginning as a quartet in 2011, the group has metamorphosed into a collective of different lineups  which each focus on innovating on four different aspects of the vast musical macrocosm that exists on the Indian subcontinent: Hindustani classical (north), Carnatic classical (south), Punjabi folk (west) and the Bengali mystical folk Baul tradition of both India and Bangladesh (east). Joining forces with Simon on this journey are some of the greatest performers from their respective traditions.  Each has a unique, compelling approach to their art, and the rare ability to go beyond the extremities of what has been done.

THE LINEUPS:

GUITAR/VIOLIN/TABLA TRIO (UK BASED): music full of synergy and telepathy that is beyond labels of Indian and Western genres, but which could not exist without the antecedents of both. Featuring violinist Jacqueline Shave, leader of Britten Sinfonia and one of the UK's most in demand orchestral leaders, and Sukhvinder Singh "Pinky", one of India’s most dynamic percussionists whose many achievements include performing on the Grammy Award winning album A Meeting by the River by Ry Cooder and V.W. Bhatt. Transcendent composition, telepathic improvisation, Thacker's "supra-raga" approach,  and a highly personal rhythmic language sees three great performers straining at their limits together in total synchronicity.

Beyond Mara (part 1): Simon Thacker's Svara-Kanti (Trikala album series #1)

Beyond Mara (part 1): Simon Thacker's Svara-Kanti (Trikala album series #1)

Play Video

BAUL (TRIO): this formidable trio sees Thacker’s innate gift for reinvention and expansion unite with one of India’s spiritually and musically richest forms, the spiritual folk Baul tradition of Bengal. It also features Raju das Baul, a mesmerising exponent from the Baul heartland of Santiniketan, and Kolkata based Hindustani tabla player Sunayana Ghosh, who also has deep love of folk music. In Baul culture Simon found a tradition with the same freedom of spirit and depth of expression that has defined his own individualist path. Baul culture is one of the longest surviving examples of wandering minstrelsy, imbued with mysticism and universal messages of love and truth. The trio has played at the Sacred Pushkar in Rajasthan, one of India's major sacred music festivals, Dhaka International FolkFest for an audience of 60 000 and at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe as part of the prestigious Made in Scotland showcase.

Tomra Kunjo Sajao Go: Simon Thacker's Svara-Kanti (Trikala album series #5)

Tomra Kunjo Sajao Go: Simon Thacker's Svara-Kanti (Trikala album series #5)

Play Video

BAUL (QUARTET): Simon also expands the Bengal based Baul trio with the outstanding singer Farida Yesmin, from Kushtia, Bangladesh, who first joined Svara-Kanti in their debut at the Dhaka international Folk Fest in 2016, before featuring in their latest album Trikala. Farida is one of the very greatest singers from the East Bengal tradition, and in adding her to his vision for the form, Simon unties Bengal again in one remarkable ensemble. The quartet made its UK tour debut in March 2020, taking it's unique take on the Baul tradition to many new audiences across the country.