Game for some interesting music?

Jan 03, 2013, 07:04 IST | Kartiki Nitin Lawate

International A Cappella group, Penn Masala is all set to enthrall Punekars with their unique instrument-less performance

No jarring synthesizers or loud drums — enjoy an evening of music with international group Penn Masala in pure A Cappella style, a musical technique that comprises solo or group singing without instrumental sounds. Penn Masala, world’s first Hindi A Cappella group is known for their unique blend of the best of Hindi music with the latest from global music.

A Cappella group, Penn Masala

“We are excited to perform live for our fans in Pune for the first time ever. We always strive to expand our audience and coming to a new city provides us with a chance to do so. We’ve heard great things about the energy and enthusiasm of people in this city and can’t wait to get on stage,” says Sam Levenson, a member of the group.

Levenson adds that the set list for the show includes new tracks such as Fix You by Coldplay mixed with Ishq Bina from Taal and many more. Along with that they will also perform some of their most popular numbers. Penn Masala was born with the desire to create music that traversed traditional cultural boundaries. As the first group in the world to bring the sounds of the Indian subcontinent to A Cappella, they’ve consistently been at the forefront of South Asian-Western fusion ever since.

“We are always excited by the prospect of sharing our music with audiences in India, especially given that our members and our music have roots here. A Cappella is a young genre in India. In the US, we have successfully spread South Asian A Cappella; in fact, many large US Universities now have groups trying to do what we do. We hope to similarly pioneer South Asian A Cappella in India where there is huge potential for the genre to flourish.

It’s important for us as a band to return to India frequently in order to stay in touch with the rapidly growing and changing music in the country,” expresses Levenson, adding that musical tastes are becoming more diverse and there seems to be a growing independent music scene in India.  The band will be touring to other cities as well including Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad and Bengaluru.

Talking about the band’s inspirations, Levenson was unable to narrow down the list to a single song or musician, but he revealed that Indian artistes like AR Rahman and Sonu Nigam are their biggest inspirations. “We have also started liking Coke Studio, some Pakistani artistes and many other independent musicians. In addition to that, we are proud to finally start including regional music in our repertoire with influences from Bengali Rock and languages such as Malayalam and Sanskrit. Speaking for myself, I’m a big Bollywood fan and I love Kaise Mujhe from Ghajini,”  he avers.

The group will be releasing their eighth album this year. “We agonise over all the details from song selection to track order, album design, and theme. Each new CD reflects the musical tastes of all our members. We are excited about how the new album is sounding. We continue to increase the complexity of our arrangements. Come to our shows and you’ll get some sneak peaks,” assures Levenson.

On January 6 At Hard Rock Café, Koregaon Park. Call 67258888 

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