The world needs to get ready, cause this September poet Smita James is releasing her debut EP!
It has been highly anticipated for a while now, but soon, under the wings of the Amsterdam based platform Imperceptible Art, Smita will deliver us her poetry on her EP ‘Soundcheck’.
‘This EP is a journey back to the beginning, followed by a comeback as a stronger, wiser and more confident artist’, Smita explains.
‘It is about development, knowing what you can, knowing what you want and all insecurities in between. The reason I didn’t release anything at an earlier stage was because of the lack of confidence, lack of getting connected with people at the same energy level. You know, not connecting the way I personally like to work with people. But that’s all in the past now.’
It is an understatement to say Smita is very happy she worked on this EP with Imperceptible Art.
This artistic platform is centered around the Sarod, an Indian classical instrument, which will also be heard on the EP.
‘I wanted to make an EP or Album for years now’, Smita explains. ‘But connecting with everyone involved is so important! I could approach a producer and ask for beats, but it would not be the same. I reckon things would go more according to his or her perspective. With Imperceptible Art I found people who are open for fusion and wanted to create an spoken word related project with me, people who I connected with on a personal, artistic and energetic level.
What I want is to grow together, develop together. We did and we do. We make use of everyone’s strength this way, performing at the same horizontal level, moving towards the same goal.’
Smita started as a singer, making music with her brother Farris. Eventually this led her to choose her artistic path more geared towards poetry and spoken word. She always heard music with the things she wrote. ‘It took a while, but I always knew I would connect with the right people to accomplish what I had in mind. The thing is, I want the collaborating artists to feel it is their EP as well.
And with ‘Soundcheck’ that is the case.
Now most beats are provided by Tommy Vamoz, but I’m happy with all the features! Satyakam Mohkamsing on the violin, Tibor Dieter on the trumpet, vocals from people like JNM The Naked MC and Angelique Hop and of course Avi of Imperceptible Art, with beats and the sounds of the Sarod.’
As the finishing touches are being made, this fall we will be able to hear beautiful poetry, a beautiful sound of ambient fusion hiphop (but not exclusively).
It’s a Smita James’ EP…‘Soundcheck’ is coming!
So now we wait…
Interviewed & Written by
This of MEHFIL was a burning example of the fact that Music knows no boundaries as it connects people from different religions and places.
Music is thus universal…
As we entered the concert venue, it was immediately evident to have entered an oasis in the middle of Amsterdam city on a Friday summers’ evening.
Incense burning, and everything serenely quiet. It was a cozy and well lit typically Old Dutch room – a humble venue to all musicians. The floor cushions, the beautiful rugs, the stage decoration, the lovely hosts and the Chai (Indian tea) added up to the ambiance. The teamwork of Imperceptible Art in creating such a pleasant spirit was vividly visible.
It was a typically intimate event, as it goes by the name Mehfil. It brought a small group of audience to share the obvious delight in the spontaneous music-making of the three non-Indian musicians with their Indian instruments.
The amalgamation of different backgrounds was all set to mesmerize the audience.
Bansuri, the bamboo flute of India is considered to be an ancient Indian musical instrument associated with the pastoral tradition. It is also revered as Lord Krishna’s divine instrument. Aura Rascon , a Mexican by birth says that she feels strongly bonded with India and its culture. She is a nomad flutist, composer, interdisciplinary artist. She is one of the Dutch based disciples of the Bansuri guru Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia.
She has travelled the world with her Guru and gained a lot of stage experience too. The sweetness and the breathy tone of “Maru Bihag” were ideally heard in the intimacy of Mehfil. The honest attempt taken by Aura to execute this raga left the audience enthralling.
The accompaniment of tabla was also spellbinding. The flavor of rupak tala (7 beats cycle) in Benaras gharana style was revealed.
Rupak Pandit, is a notable tabla player who is born to a Dutch mother and an Indian father. Trained under Pandit Chote Lal Mishra in the Benaras gharana he sincerely aims to carry forward the Benares gharana in his peruse to become an accomplished Tabla player in the Netherlands. During the Bansuri recital, he had several opportunities to take wing with Tabla solos and made the audience familiar with the rich repertoires of the Pakhawaj.
The contribution of the Tanpura player Sofia Tsairidou, a native Greek, is also noteworthy.
From the divine sound of Bansuri the audience was taken to the world of introspective sound of the mystic Sarod by Martijn Baaijens. By the glimpse of the Sarodiya (sarod player), his passion for Sarod and his love for India, none would doubt that Martijn is a native Dutch.
Having grown up learning Guitar, he was introduced to Sarod by his guitar teacher Robby Faverey. He learned to master Sarod under the guidance of his gurus Shri Koustuv Ray and Pandit Bhuddhadev Dasgupta. The evening was illuminated by the raga named “Jhinjhoti”. As the raga developed, the audience was engrossed into its melody. The strength and beauty of the music was intensified again by the Tabla accompaniment by Rupak Pandit. The innate lilt of the Raga “Jhinjhoti” was enriched by Martijn’s mellifluous rendition on the Sarod. It was an invigorating spiritual experience.
At the end of the wonderful concert every one conceded with the fact that the music has various virtues and cannot be expressed in mere words.
All the Dutch based musicians practicing and developing skills in Indian classical music were very gifted and talented musicians who masterfully brought out the voices and souls of their instruments.
Hats off to them!
We are looking forward to be sharing the sounds of the next MEHFIL - The Fall Edition.
- Review by
The Mehfil Team
- Photo’s by