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Indian music industry is both traditional and modern: Swiss composer

IANS 09 Nov 2014, 16:57:06 PM IST

New Delhi: Swiss composer and pianist innovator Dominique Barthassat, who recently displayed his keyboard skills at a concert inspired by Indian musical heritage and architecture, is a huge fan of Bollywood films and says that the country's music industry is a mix of traditionalism and the contemporary.

"(I followed) the music from 'Saawariya'. The Bollywood film is something I appreciate as it is music inspired by Western themes. For me it would be a great challenge to compose a specific Sound Architecture for Bollywood films," he told IANS during a visit here.

As a pianist, Barthassat attended the Geneva Music Conservatory followed by studying computer composition techniques in Paris with the famous Greek composer Iannis Xenakis.

As a young composer, he developed his innovative concept of spatial sound and music application called the Sound Architecture. The Sound Architecture is a computer-generated sound sphere, which surrounds the spectator and the entire location of the concert.

As the creator of the Sound Architecture concept, he was invited to several forums globally. And since then, he has developed and widened his novel and creative techniques into the field of arts, culture, education, communication, environment and tourism.

Talking about Indian music, Barthassat is hugely inspired by the many phases of it and some includes emotions, rhythm and the endless possibilities of the variation of the different scales of Raga, as well as the variety of sounds of the tabla and the sarangi.

His recent performance at the India Habitat Centre was also inspired by some ragas such as Bhairav, Vibhasa, and Saranga.

Barthassat believes that the Indian music industry is an amalgamation of tradition and contemporary music and this is what attracts him a lot.

"There is a huge variety of offering between the tradition and contemporary music in India. We follow classical masters such as sarod maestro Amjad Ali Khan, flautist Hari Prasad Chaurasia, tabla maestro Zakir Hussain, santoor exponent Shiv Kumar Sharma and, of course, Anoushka Shankar on the sitar. I like Talvin Singh among the contemporary artistes," said the musician who last performed in India in March at the closing ceremony of the Jaipur Art Festival.

Not only performances, he has other plans too for the Indian music industry.

"In 2015, I plan to publish CDs and DVDs, even of this programme in Delhi. It can be released on a large-scale thanks to a sound device called the 'Cosmic Clock - Sonic Mandala', also designed by me. They will be played on a hybrid grand piano, specially configured for the outdoors with the participation of internationally renowned Indian soloists," he said.