"My objective is not to fuse Indian and Western music"
1. Your collaborations and experience spread across boundaries including Iraq and Ukraine, and now, India. Is this because of a personal musical taste or do you find working with artistes from different parts of the world more liberating or perhaps challenging?
I find it inspiring to incorporate all kinds of influences into my music, be it European or American Jazz, Western Classical music or Folk music from around the world. But this does not always work.
2. What motivated you to join hands with Indian artistes for Javi:Sync? Did you have any experience of performing along with Indian instruments in the past?
When I came to India in March, I was open in terms of the kind of instruments I would choose for collaboration. So, it could have been mridangam, sarod, sarangi or whatever. My motivation to work with the three musicians I chose -- Sanjeev Chimmalgi (on vocals) Vinayak Netke (on tabla) and Hindol Deb (on sitar) came from the fact that they are willing to open up; they are curious to go beyond musical boundaries, and have the necessary intellect to form something organic from diverse influences.
Besides, they are sensitive musicians and also on a personal level the collaboration works very well. I play Indian harmonium, which can be heard in my current trio Eastern Flowers’ CD Mineralle. In the trio, I work with the South Indian percussionist Ramesh Shotham in Eastern Flowers.
3. Any collaboration between Western and Indian sounds is instantly labelled as Fusion music, a tag that was just for nomenclature, but lately it has also been attracting some criticism…
I do not at all like to label music, and the term Fusion is especially problematic for myself, for two reasons: Firstly, my objective is not to “fuse” Indian and Western music, instead my objective is to create something new from different musical influences. I wish that what my fellow musicians and myself will create, will hopefully be perceived as music. Secondly, in the West, the term Fusion is used for a kind of Jazz-Rock, which was popular in the 1980s --so it has absolutely nothing to do with our music.
On August 2, 7 pm onwards
At Mini Theatre, Ravindra Natya Mandir, Sayani Marg, Prabhadevi.