The one thing that musician Bhrigu Sahni’s performance can guarantee without fail is the element of surprise. For the uninitiated, it would be the sheer manner in which he plays his instrument — fingerstyle, a technique in which the notes are played by hitting or plucking the string directly on the fretboard — that can cause amazement. For others, the wonder could lie in Sahni’s on-stage collaboration with percussionist Agneya Chikte and the way the duo mixes intense note-picking with the latter’s drum ‘n’ bass grooves. We caught up with Sahni, a Brooklyn-based Berklee graduate who is originally from Pune, ahead of his gig tonight. Excerpts:
Guitarist Bhrigu Sahni
Q. Tell us about your early years and how you decided to pursue fingerstyle guitar.
A. My father is an astrophysicist and my mother an economist. I remember how they would throw these parties at home where my mother would sing a beautiful ghazal followed by my father who would play the guitar and sing Suzanne by Leonard Cohen. I was entranced by what was going on. I later started playing the guitar when I was in college, while studying for a Bachelors in Zoology in Pune. I also wanted to grow up to be an actor, acting in various street plays. I made my choice with music…No regrets so far.
Q. What can the audience expect at your upcoming gig?
A. It will focus on the way I play the acoustic guitar, creating soundscapes by using different techniques on the instrument. Agneya always brings an amazing energy to the set. Together, we blend virtuosic fingerstyle music with drum ‘n’ bass rhythms. We’ve also got some singer-songwriter material that we club with reggae and dub rhythms.
Q. Do you plan to move base to Pune/Mumbai anytime soon?
A. Brooklyn is a great place to work in and perfect my music. It’s a great opportunity to have such a critical audience that has heard and been around a lot of really good music. That being said, I love the idea of being based in Mumbai. Being back home, in the motherland, is always such an amazing feeling.
Q. Your music has influences from the style of Michael Hedges. Which other artistes have inspired you?
A. I’m inspired by the raw passion of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s singing, Jazz pianist Keith Jarrett’s solo piano improvisations, Pandit Nikhil Banerjee’s subtle and sublime sitar playing, Bob Marley’s powerful songwriting and Leonard Cohen’s poetry.
Q. What is the biggest challenge in being an Indie artiste who performs music that is niche?
Q. Are you working on any recording projects?
A. I’m working on my first album now. I’m working with a dear friend and colleague of mine, Karan Kulkarni, who will be producing it with me.
On: Today, 9 pm
At: Bandra Base, Baitush Saraf Building, 29th off Waterfield Road, TPS 3, Bandra (W).
Entry: Rs 300