Transcendence of two musical worlds
A 24-minute delayed commencement to an Indian concert is not only a pleasant surprise, but also becomes the potential precursor for a memorable concert, and so it was on June 8, 2109 at Mumbai’s St. Andrew’s auditorium, the setting for ‘Transcendence 2.0’, a sequel of sorts to last year’s inaugural event.
Opening the disparate and, yet, dual tributes to jazz pianist Oscar Peterson and to Carnatic violinist T. Chowdiah, was keyboardist Louiz Banks, backed by Gino Banks on drums and Gianluca Liberatore on acoustic bass. The trio ran through select tracks from the Canadian pianist’s career, including a rendition of George Gershwin’s “Summertime”, from the 1935 opera ‘Porgy And Bess’, and “When I Fall In Love”, among other songs. The performance reiterated that Banks’ talent remains elegant, effortless, and exquisite. The 45-minute set not only provided the other band members an opportunity of showcasing their respective talent too, but the coordination between father and son was nothing short of remarkable.
After a 25-minute interval, it was time for the next part of the concert, the tribute to Chowdiah, as Dr. Mysore Manjunath on violin, accompanied by Pt. Yogesh Samsi on tabla and Bangalore Amrit (kanjira), strode onto the stage. While the competency of the each of the musicians was notable, the best moment of the half hour set was reserved when all three performed in unison.
The concert ended with the expected finale that had all the musicians present on the stage together, with Louiz Banks leading them into a song called “Reunion”, which was loosely based on Raga Chandrakauns. The skills of the percussionists was comprehensively displayed then – in the order of tabla, drums, and kanjira – with violinist Manjunath recognising their talents with an intermittent “aahaa”. Finally, the sextet played for enhanced audience appreciation as they entered the not entirely unexpected jugalbandi sweepstakes.
While the event was organised by Gigue Entertainment, with media relations handled by Pradeep “CP” Joseph of Raga To Rock and supported by sponsors Aditya Birla Sun Life Capital Mutual Funds, Indian Oil Corporation, and Bombay Dyeing, ‘Transcendence 2.0’ appropriately unified the rules of melody and rhythm.