Posts Tagged ‘Agam’

But I almost didn’t. The hills, cool weather, 3 days of what promised to be great music. A temptation that I nearly desisted biting into. The thought of going alone and that this was right before a vacation break that I was taking with family kept me on the fence despite having booked the festival and travel tickets. Perversely, a raging fever that I picked up the evening before decided it for me. 5:30 the morning of Oct. 25th found me at the bus station. Don’t ask – it’s the way I am. With the exception of maybe 3 or 4 people, the bus to Ooty was filled with people headed to this year’s edition of the M.A.D. festival of music, art and dance (actually lots of the first, much less of the rest) otherwise called goMAD. Quite a few of them would be staying in the tents organised at the beautiful Fern Hills Palace grounds, the venue of the fest. (more…)

I had intended this post to be about the music of another artiste but seemingly endless listenings of Agam’s debut album made me strike a different note. “Fusion” was a much used – abused is more like it – word in the world of music in the years of my childhood and adolescence.  Such has been my general experience with music that carries “fusion” as its predominant adjective that a wall built entirely of cynicism rises up automatically around me when I hear that term. The problem, of course, is never with music. It’s always the musicians. To be able to meld two or more dramatically different forms of music requires not just technical proficiency but also cartloads of imagination. And usually, such experiments fail due to a deficiency of the latter. Fortunately, Agam has managed to get that balancing act mostly right on their debut even if the incredibly tacky album title “The Inner Self Awakens”  indicates otherwise. I have mentioned elsewhere that my maternal grandfather was a practitioner of Indian classical music of the Carnatic variety and I’m quite used to the community that dotes on it. It says a lot for Agam’s blend of progressive rock (with just that bit of metallic heft to it) and Carnatic classical music that one elder who had previously been unwavering in her loyalty to the “pure” form wanted the CD after I played it to her. I gave her my copy and bought myself another. (more…)