The Sound Of The Soul

Debashish Bhattacharya

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Format: CD

Cat No: ABLX067

Release Date:  10 February 2023

Label:  Abstract Logix

Packaging Type:  Digipak

No of Units:  1

Barcode:  700261491974

Genres:  World Music  India & Pakistan  

  • Description

    Blossoming at the nexus of tradition and innovation, where soul and technique feed into one another in pursuit of an ecstatic oneness, the music of Debashish Bhattacharya has astonished and moved listeners since he first unveiled his unprecedented concept of Hindustani slide guitar in the late 1970s.

    As a young man, Bhattacharya fused his love of Hawaiian steel guitar with his family's deep roots in traditional Indian music, discovering that slide guitar techniques are ideally suited to the microtonal inflections and disarmingly vocal-like melodic cadences of Hindustani forms. In the process, he created an entirely new instrumental tradition - leading the way with such virtuosity, sensitivity, and imagination that global music pioneer John McLaughlin proclaimed that "Debashish is the master of the slide guitar. He has no equal."

    'The Sound of the Soul' is a tribute to another pioneer of Hindustani music, sarod virtuoso Ustad Ali Akbar Khan - whose 100th birthday was marked in April of 2022. Built around the powerfully focused and absorbing "To His Lotus Feet," which encompasses a vast range of textures over nearly 40 minutes, The Sound of Soul features Bhattacharya on his self-designed chaturangui in duet with percussionists Padmashree Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri (tabla) or Pandit Akhilesh Gundechha (pakhawaj). The Chaturangui is a six-string hollow-neck lapsteel with the addition of three sets of strings: two drone strings on the bass side of the 6 main melody strings, two rhythm strings on the treble side, and 12-14 resonating strings on the bass side.

    With this configuration, the Chaturangui traverses the traditions of East to West and East to West; a journey emanating directly from Hawaiian to Western music, ultimately forging a bond between Indian traditional raga music and contemporary traditions in Europe and North America. The sparse setting of just guitar and percussion allows for careful examination of Bhattacharya's awe-inspiring technique, whether essaying gracefully static alap-like stillness or surging through thrilling uptempo passages that showcase the jaw-dropping clarity and precision of his playing.

  • Tracklisting

      Disc 1

      Side 1

      • 1. Ever the Flame Burns
      • 2. To His Lotus Feet
      • 3. The Sound of the Soul
      • 4. Colors of Joy