FIGURA Ensemble featering Prakash Sontakke, Adarsh Shenoy and Helene Gjerris

27 November 2012

'Tha Ka Dhi Mi Tha Ka Tha Ki Ta' at the Royal Library, the Queen's Hall

A unique reunion between East and West! In an unprecedented cultural exchange Indian musician and singer Prakash Sontakke met the Danish FIGURA Ensemble and Danish singer Helene Gjerris.

Historically and culturally, Indian 'classical' music is a highly developed music tradition that has left a strong imprint on American and European music especially in the last half century - from Beatles to Stockhausen.

The concert was a joint project among the Indian and Danish musicians who, together, had composed the music that was performed. The participation by the FIGURA Ensemble in India Today/Copenhagen Tomorrow was rooted in the Ensemble's interest in a fusion of modern Indian music with our own Western traditions. For many years the FIGURA Ensemble has been working with both improvisation and music based on secular traditions, such as Arabic and Chinese music, so this concert was just their thing.

The music for 'Tha Ka Dhi Mi Tha Ka Tha Ki Ta' had been composed by Prakash Sontakke, Anders Brødsgaard and Peter Bruun from FIGURA. Peter Bruun is a member of FIGURA, and Anders Brødsgaard had already written music for the Ensemble. Anders has already been using principles from Indian music in his compositions, and he has a particular interest in the Indian drum techniques and patters that are extremely complicated and highly fascinating to Western ears. Along with the Danish works, also new works by Prakash Sontakke were performed.
Prakash Sontakke had previously worked with the Norwegian musician Thomas Strønen, who had also been invited to join the ensemble for the concert in the Queen's Hall. Table player Adarsh Shenoy K from Prakash's fusions band The Prakash Sontakke Group also joined; he is a great capacity within music innovation. He is founder and member of the classical instrumental fusion band Vidyouth, which consists of young musicians rooted in different Hindustani, Carnatic and Western music traditions. Thomas Strønen is a Norwegian percussionist with great experience in building bridges between Eastern and Western music traditions.

Prakash Sontakke - vocals, Indian slide guitar
Helene Gjerris - vocals
Anna Klett - clarinets
Torben Snekkestad - saxophone
Peter Fuglsang - saxophone and clarinet
Jesper Egelund - double bass
Thomas Strønen - percussion
Adarsh Shenoy K - tabla
Frans Hansen - percussion