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Premiere: Anirudh Varma Collective’s Rousing Live Performance of ‘Shankara’

The New Delhi pianist-composer brought together 60 musicians for his debut full-length ‘Perspectives’, which released in March

Anurag Tagat May 24, 2018

Anirudh Varma and his collective bring the music to life with incredible energy at his live sets. Photo: Shiv Ahuja

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At the India Habitat Center’s amphitheater in March, classically trained pianist and composer Anirudh Varma assembled a fairly crowded stage – over 50 musicians who had contributed to his debut full-length album Perspectives were gathered from across the country to perform at the launch gig.

Varma, who has trained in both Hindustani classical keyboard as well as Western classical piano and been on stage since the age of six, is currently associated with fusion act The Hansraj Projekt. He says of collaborations, “The one thing that I look at while approaching a collaboration is how the different artists involved are able to understand each other, and the space that they’re able to give each other within that collaboration.”

And when it comes to performing live with a guest, Varma mentions “they are often compelled to move away from their comfort zone.” On Perspectives, there’s a world/fusion approach that also incorporates jazz, rock and blues. At the launch, Varma and his collective bring the music to life with incredible energy, like on the electric closing performance of “Shankara.” Behind the scenes, of course, Varma was handling the schedules and rehearsals for nearly 60 musicians. “I’ve been fortunate enough to have an extremely trustworthy and efficient production team, very supportive parents and dedicated fellow musicians who went out of their way to support the project and make the launch concert happen in the first place,” he says.

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With this scaled up production level unlocked, Varma says he’s now looking to collaborate with more musicians as he plots a nationwide tour to promote Perspectives. He adds, “I’m also planning and curating a few exciting shows in collaboration with dancers and theater practitioners. We’ll be releasing the fourth music video from the album sometime in early July.”

Watch the video for “Shankara” below:

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