Following the success of their collaborative CD, Carnatic Connection (2016), Jyotsna Srikanth & Bollywood Brass Band (BBB) have produced an EP of new material based on South Indian raags and taals. Themes and grooves for Carnatic Suite: A Day In Bangalore were composed by Jyotsna whilst in Bangalore, and WhatsApp’d to Kay and Sarha in London! BBB’s arrangers then skilfully joined the dots, combining the subtleties of Indian violin with the eclectic palette of BBB’s brass and percussion, and the South Indian percussion and beatbox wizardry of RN Prakash.
The Suite is released as an EP by Bollywood Brass Band, on their own label, with online distribution by Sterns/The Orchard and physical distribution via Bandcamp.
Carnatic Suite: a Day in Bangalore was premiered live on stage at the Norfolk & Norwich Festival 2018 and will be performed on the Siam stage at WOMAD UK, 2018 on Saturday 28 July.
Supported by PRS Foundation’s Women Make Music.
Reviews for Carnatic Connection (2016):
One of Songlines Magazine’s 10 Albums of the Year for 2016; performed as a live session on World on 3 (Radio 3)
‘Rousing and exuberant… exquisite” Robin Denselow (Guardian)
‘Yet another outstanding tour de force’ Songlines
‘The passion and sheer sense of fun were irresistible…a backdrop of extravagant film clips…the ensemble playing throughout pulled off the awkward trick of being simultaneously intricate yet relaxed’ Clive Davis (Times).
‘A rare and thrilling mix.’ ***** 5 stars Simon Broughton (Evening Standard).
Brass meet strings with the sonic wonders of violin gamakas (decorations), mridangam (double-headed hand drum) and morsing (jaws harp).
We present a fusion of Bollywood and Carnatic filmi sounds; from the legendary composer Ilaiyaraaja’s Rakkamma to the ubiquitous AR Rahman, whose classics Jiya Jale, Kehta Hai Mera Dil and Kehna Hi Kya feature Jyotsna Srikanth’s mellifluous violin playing, while the Oscar-winning Jai Ho is given the dance-floor treatment.
Deva Deva Kalayami grounds us squarely in the Carnatic tradition with a classical melody in raga mayamalava gowla, where Jyotsna leads BBB on a virtuosic, improvisatory journey incorporating the interplay of jugalbandi (duets).
‘Chandralekha’ (1948), the ground-breaking, black-and-white Tamil movie, has inspired Sarha Moore and Kay Charlton to compose a new soundtrack for the finale of the film. Drum Dance accompanies the epic scene where 400 dancers perform on top of enormous drums; suddenly the drums open up to reveal armies of soldiers who attack the stronghold (think Trojan Horse). Once inside the castle, the two leading men undertake a heroic sword fight, including, of course, a grand staircase and a chandelier, as they fight over the leading lady. Drum Dance is an original combination of west African rhythms and riffs with South Indian tihais, while Sword Fight showcases Jyotsna’s improvisatory flair with gamakas galore, underpinning the action on screen. Watch the scene, with this brand new accompaniment, on our YouTube channel – as Bollywood Brass Band Chandralekha film.