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Exclusive Premiere: Anirudh Varma Collective’s Saxophone Soaked Performance of ‘Megh’

The New Delhi pianist and composer has released the third video from his ‘Classical Re-Imagined’ series

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Anurag Tagat Jun 28, 2019

Anirudh Varma (left) and the collective at their show in New Delhi in April. Photo: Shiv Ahuja

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As the arrival of the monsoon becomes an oft-romanticized affair, New Delhi-based pianist, composer and producer Anirudh Varma adds his bit with his latest live video, “Megh.” Taken from fusion act The Anirudh Varma Collective’s most recent live production in April at the Sri Sathya Sai International Centre, “Megh” was part of the artist’s Classical Re-Imagined concert.

Celebrating the first year of action for Varma’s diverse ensemble of musicians, Varma called on fusion pioneers Indian Ocean’s percussionist-singer Himanshu Joshi and guitarist Nikhil Rao, Indore-based classical musician Pandit Bhuvanesh Komkali, classical guitarist Theophilus Benjamin and more to perform on different compositions. Varma says, “I think with every production we’re trying to reach out to more people from different parts of the country.” In March last year, Varma had released his debut album Perspectives and its launch show involved over 50 musicians, but for this show, the showrunner tells us there were at least 70 musicians involved.

On the enchanting, high-energy “Megh,” there’s go-to saxophonist Abhay Sharma (from jam band The Revisit Project) soaring, alongside flautist Ritesh Prasanna and vocalist Prateek Narsimha. Based on raag Megh, Varma acknowledges that this is the collective performing at its most frenetic pace. “Due to the way the arrangement has turned out, it has a hybrid influence of an amalgamation of R&B, funk and pop.”

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The third live video released from the Classical Re-Imagined series – following “Naino Waaleya” (with fusion duo Shadow and Light‘s Pavithra Chari) and “Chayanat” (which featured Komkali) – Varma says the idea was to release new material. Now, a second album is in the works, with the finish line set for September. There’s also Varma’s workshop series that will resume. He says, “Like always, we hope to meet and invite new artists to collaborate and bring more music to the plate.”

Watch the video for “Megh” below. 

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