Contemporary Indian Classical-Western Fusion Music

If you love the classically inclined music with some modern instruments like me, I am sure you love Dance Festivals.

The recent one at Technopark Trivandrum had some amazing performances and a decent number of good ones. But one thing to be noticed is that the Vedic Chants based songs are hit with all the teams ( No Gangam Style not counted, thank you).

Thanks to the Super amazing app called SoundHound (go download it right now. Yeah RIGHT NOW! Oh! You have it already, nevermind) I could get all of them recognized!

All you have to do is let the app hear a bit of the song. It will search its database and find out which song is that. There are options to see Lyrics for many songs. And unlike the similar App Shazam (Which was my favourite before this one) this one recognizes Indian Songs!

Some of the songs I got from the fest are the following:
1) Water down the Ganges, Prem Joshua | Full Album
2) Namaskara Manthra, Divine chants of Shiva, Uma Mohan
3) Sacral Nirvana, Best of Oliver Shanti & Friends : Circle of Life, Oliver Shanti
4) Liquid Dance, Slumdog Millionaire, A. R Rahman
5) Shankara, Live in India, Highlight Tribe

This Uma Mohan lady has brought out some very cool albums. I am listening to Chants to feel fresh, Morning and Evening Manthras and so many more for so many days now. So is the Kosmic Music Albums and Ravi Shankar’s Chants of India!

I think I am seeing everything in bright Indian colours and patterns with rich ornamental designs! I love “suffering” from a minor case of visual hallucinations!

Music Notes

P:S: When I posted this in the company internal blog, a discussion with a fellow blogger ensued and the result is a good collection of fusion music playlist in case you are interested. Hence posting the comment thread as well.

  • sreeram: Gosh! you missed the wonderful New Age/World Beat/Fusion time frame few years ago. James Asher, Shivmani, Prem Joshua, Karunesh, Rahul Sharma and even old hands were trying something different through Times Music. You MUST buy “Water Down the Ganges” by Prem Joshua, “Kashmir” by Rahul Sharma, Blazing Drums by Shivmani and James Asher and most importantly “Mystic India -1” by various artist. Those were the best buys I made 5-6 years ago. I am sort of out of touch since I moved to US but now I am back and I cannot wait to try them all.Few songs to listen to get an idea of what I am talking about

    “Saawari” – Water Down the Ganges – Prem Joshua
    “Pari Mahal” – Kashmir – Rahul Sharma
    “Maya” – Best of Rahul Sharma – Rahul Sharma
    “Further East” – Mystic India – James Asher
    “Hamsadhwani” – Mystic India – Ustad Usman Khan
    “Mango Rain” – Mystic India – Prem Joshua

    Best of luck with the addiction. Once you start this path, there is no turning back to silly music. 🙂

    • abhilash daniel: Master!
    • jithin mohan: I do have Water Down the Ganges with me and have listened to it since 2002-03.I love the Sound Scapes series too. Music of the Mountains, Music of the Seas and Music of the Valleys.

      The rest by Shivkumar Sharma is amazing too. The Elements Series- Fire, Earth, Water and Air is what tuned all of my Engineering Days. It was the collection that was always played at my all time favorite restaurant in Munnar- Bamboo Hut. Listening to this music in the tiny place drenched in candle light with a small book shelf and ethnic instruments and bows and arrows in view, sipping Hot Water with ginger, lime and honey was how many nights were spent.

      And thanks for the recommendation! Where were you all these years!! I should have posted this ages ago!

      • sreeram: Looks like you are quite a hand at this thing. The image you mentioned is like a dream come true. Now I GOT to come to Munnar and go to Bamboo Hut.I do have the sound scapes and the elements series too. Got to listen to them in a better setup lately and was blown away by it.

        Ever since I moved out of India, I fell out of touch with the latest in Fusion Music and that was my only regret. Now since I am back I got to start listening to them again.

        • jithin mohan: No No. I am not quite a hand at this. Just that when I was a kid, I grew up listening to Colours Golden Kritis collection on an audio cassette and got hooked ever since.What a collection that is! Zakir Hussain on Tabla, Kunnakudi on Violin and ARR (as Dileep) on Keyboard. Whoa! Fusion in every sense of the word! Western, Hindusthani and Carnatic! Bliss!

          All those years I wished U Sreenivas was also in the mix with his Mandolin Magic.

          • sreeram: EGO ruins good collaborations. There are great talents in India but each more egoistic than the next hence they do not collaborate to create magical musical worlds for us mortals. I am not sure if you have heard Ilayaraja’s “Nothing but the Wind” and “How to name it”. Both of them define fusion with their amazing blend of Carnatic with Western Classical Music and Jazz. It takes a while to get used to them if you are not familiar with both idioms of music but they are awesome.
            Good to talk to a fellow enthusiast of fusion music.
  • anand tambey: Coool, I’d used a similar app “Track-ID” on my Sony Ericsson(symbian) and now on android by Sony, which recognize songs and gives link to download,share or youtube search…but might not be wide collection like these…Great info…wd chk it out for sure!
  • lekshmi: You two have got me hooked now ! I definitely have to check these out … From all the names mentioned here, my exposure is limited to some solo pieces by Karunesh , Prem Joshua and classical pieces by Kunnamkudi , Zakir Hussain and some other maestros . All I know of fusion music is what comes on Dewarists and Coke Studio .
    Your descriptions of this genre sounds like my kinda thing 😉 Thanks for sharing !

One thought on “Contemporary Indian Classical-Western Fusion Music

  1. It might be signs as you might put it 🙂 I was reading about Punyakoti, the animated movie in Sanskrit a fellow infoscion is trying to do and was reading about the “benefits” of spoken sanskrit to the mind and body. Also was reading the novel “Eat, Pray, Love” – even though I thought it was over the top when it comes to the Pray segment in India, was reading about chants and Sanskrit again. I am totally new to everything you all mentioned above, listened to Uma Mohan a few times now, those chants are very interesting. Will explore more on the others. Thanks.


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