Bhubaneswar: The 24th OMC Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra Award Festival featured the much awaited performance of Bangalore-based Agam, a contemporary Carnatic progressive rock band. Agam in Tamil means “inner-self” and this band truly presented a beautiful reconstitution of the southern classical music form in a new style that kept the audience enthralled for two hours.
With Nikhil V. Pai as their sound engineer, the bank performed with vocalist and violin player Harish Sivaramakrishnan, lyricist and keyboard player Swamy Seetharaman, lead guitarist T Praveen Kumar, bass guitarist Aditya Kashyap, ethnic percussionist Sivakumar Nagarajan, rhythm guitarist Jagadish Natarajan and drummer Yadhunandan.
Rabindra Mandap resounded with the booming sounds of the percussion that seamlessly blended with the other instruments. Sivaramakrishnan, the front man of Agam stated, “Agam’s music is more progressive metal in nature than rock, with Carnatic music played over it. We do not attempt to present a fusion of styles as this would mean adapting an aesthetic blend of both the idioms. We try to stay true to the identity of both genres and are extremely happy to present our repertoire to the Bhubaneswar audience for the very first time.”
The band presented tracks from both their albums, ‘The Inner Self Awakens’, and ‘A Dream to Remember’, with numbers such as Brahma’s Dance, Kooth ‘Koothu’ Over Coffee, Onwards and Upwards and Rangapura Vihaara striking a special chord with the audiences. The interplay of percussion, keyboard, violin and guitars in their track Brahma’s Dance was truly exceptional. Their second album, ‘A Dream to Remember’, which was released in November 2017 comprised a unique mix of eight songs, four of which were Carnatic Kritis and the others, songs in Malayalam, Tamil and Sanskrit.
For the last two years, Agam’s work has been based on traditional Indian compositions with a unique style that has enabled us to make a mark in the field of Independent music. Their efforts have brought out a combination of the semantics and grammar of both the musical genres with a distinctive style that is a pleasantly surprising yet familiar to audiences, at the same time.
The additional chief secretary home Asit Kumar Tripathy, tourism director Dr. Nitin Bhanudas Jawale, chief general manager of SBI Praveena Kala, Mayfair hotels & Resorts Ltd executive director Soubhagya Mohapatra graced the third evening of the Festival. Tomorrow, the fourth day of the Award Festival features Kathak Maestro, Pt. Rajendra Gangani and a solo recital by the immensely talented new-age Violinist Ambi Subramaniam.