From Kolkata album cover
Rickety, wooden stairs, creaking ominously under footfalls, led to the roof of the grand Park Mansions. A massive space lay stretched out in front and back of the doors, with domed, majestic towers looming at the corners. Chairs had been set in rows in front of a small erected stage. In this open sky setting, Abhind launched their album From Kolkata with a wonderful concert on 7th December, 2017.
Consisting of Pierre Antoine Lasnier on bass, Aniruddh Saha on drums and Arunava Chatterjee on keyboards, Abhind – meaning Abstract Hindustani – is a jazz trio whose music can be described as contemporary avant garde jazz. The trio formation allows enough space for all three to express themselves openly and freely through the traditional role of each instrument, while being complete in terms of sound spectrum through melody, harmony and rhythm.
Pierre Antoine Lasnier
Pierre, who is originally from Paris, France, had arrived in Kolkata a few years ago through pursuit of studies. He composed the tracks within a span of 2-3 months in early 2016, but could only give life to them after meeting the other two. They tried different things and ideas before working and arranging all the tracks together as a team to produce the final product which is heard on the album. But the best part about such music is that one track can never be played the exact same way. “The live versions are different than what is heard on the album. It is actually during the concert that the music is created as it is different every time we play,” said Pierre, “We want the audience to come and experience the music with us live, at concerts.”
The reason that the album has been named From Kolkata is because everything related to it – composing, recording, mastering, mixing, printing – has been done in Kolkata. “The soul of the album is from Kolkata and its streets. The album describes life here from a particular point of view. It is the transcription in music of a life journey from one place to another, while sitting in Kolkata and looking at what has been achieved and what is at the moment. Maybe it is a gift to the city as well,” said Pierre, “Since the music is instrumental, everyone can have their own perspective while listening, and find their own truth within it.”
Made independently, From Kolkata was recorded within one and a half days by Tirthankar Ray at Blue Monk Studio. Except for ‘Pauvre à Vie’, for which one take was required, every track was recorded two times and the better one was kept. Beyond some tiny corrections and minor overdubs, the whole album was recorded live. Consisting of 9 tracks, the physical copies, priced at INR 400, are available only at their concerts. The digital format is available for free listening on YouTube as well.
The launch took place in collaboration with Alliance Française du Bengale, Apeejay Surrendra Group and Jamsteady. “It was great that we were able to do it on the rooftop of Park Mansions. I don’t remember how many people were there but it was a good crowd for the kind of music we are doing in India,” said Pierre.
Photo credits: Meghna Kar