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Exclusive Premiere: Visita’s Evocative Piano Piece ‘Moments of Profundity’

The Hyderabad-based guitarist and composer has worked with pianists Mitali Saraf and Shantanu Patel

Anurag Tagat Jun 14, 2019

Pianist Shantanu Patel and Vivek Venugopal aka Visita. Photo: Prem Jyothi

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Even though Hyderabad-based Vivek Venugopal aka Visita has been presenting guitar-centric material since 2015’s Musings, his latest EP Chronicles: Consolation sees him in the role of a composer more than anything else. He chalks it down to the processes involved in making his previous album The Ascent of Mount Purpose (2018), which led him to compose for other instruments.

He says about calling on pianists Mitali Saraf and Shantanu Patel for his new EP, “The ideas and textures I was thinking of could no longer find a home in a solitary guitar. I am now exploring the depths of as many instruments as I can, and I am composing with no constraints, purely for the art form.”

Visita with pianist Mitali Saraf. Photo: Prem Jyothi

While Saraf features on the grand piano on three tracks, Patel – faculty at the K.M. Conservatory in Chennai – performed on the remaining four. Saraf was introduced to Venugopal through a common friend and calls it “totally different” from what she’s done before. Patel adds that he and Venugopal exchanged ideas over social media and calls before finally meeting to record.

For the song “Moments of Profundity,” it arrives at a point in the record’s journey that covers coming to terms with a significant past occurrence. Moving at a shimmering pace thanks to Patel, the song conveys the time of meaning and understanding. Venugopal says it’s one of his favorite pieces on the EP. He explains, “I wanted to compose a piece that ebbed and flowed between ambiguity and energy, as though one were being struck by occasional epiphanies, between periods of rumination.”

Tracklist for ‘Chronicles: Consolation.’

While initially apprehensive, there’s total ease heard in the flow of “Moments of Profundity.” Patel adds, “I feel contemplation is important in our practical lives as well and it’s simple yet so difficult! I had to put my best senses to interpret it and make it sound interesting and hence it proved to be a contemplation on my imaginative side of playing.”

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Patel is working on a piano trio record next with Visita, who in turn is also working with Saraf on an instrumental record. Venugopal adds, “I’ve come a long way from Musings, and my next release Chronicles: Resolution features piano, cello, upright bass, drums, flute, trumpet and an Armenian woodwind instrument called Duduk.”

Stream “Moments of Profundity” below. Buy the album here.

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