Breaking barriers in a woman’s world

By Manju Subhash Chandran

First Published in The Asian Age on March 30, 2015.

The love-struck nayika asks the lord how he can be so indifferent. As she bathes in the moonlight and the breezy cool winds caress her, it reminds her of her lord’s touch. The singing of the cuckoos and the mangroves that rent the air with their fragrance makes her pain all the more intolerable.

Read More

Alex Machacek Concert

By Kevin Lobo

First Published in The Indian Express on October 30, 2014 .

On the track Indian Girl, jazz guitarist Alex Machacek shows off his producing chops. Released in 2004, the song deftly combines pop with jazz as the vocalist sings against racism. The tune is indicative of a couple of things about the Austrian. Firstly, the track shows off his Indian connection — it has been sung by his wife Sumitra. Of Indian-origin, she has lived in Vienna most of her life. Secondly, it is an insight into the range of styles that Machacek works with. His fingers glide along the guitar when he is playing progressive-jazz rock fusion as part of the famous jazz band BPM. Even when he is part of straight up jazz trios, the riffs are played with equal panache.

Read More

Choreography with a question

By Shanta Gokhale

First Published in Mumbai Mirror on October 02, 2014.

Sharmila Biswas

It has to be admitted that, in the case of some artists and their work, we find the process of creation as fascinating as its product. You watch an Odissi performance; you are impressed by its technical perfection, and you go home thinking of the unlimited possibilities of the human body. You watch another Odissi performance which, besides being technically perfect, also touches you deeply; and you go home with a song in your heart. Then you watch an Odissi performance which, besides being technically perfect and touching your heart, also excites your mind, and you go home with questions buzzing in your head. Sharmila Biswas is one such dancer, whose choreographies stimulate questions.

Read More

Palestine Shakti: John McLaughlin opens up on politics, music and life

The great improvisational guitarist, who has worked with a number of prominent Indian musicians, believes music is the sum of our life story.
By Naresh Fernandes

First Published in on 18th July 2014.

John McLaughlin

A few weeks ago, just before Israel started bombing Gaza, British-born guitar virtuoso John McLaughlin played a concert in Ramallah. This was the second time that he’d performed in Palestine since 2012, reiterating his commitment to bringing the world’s attention to the oppressions of the people of the Occupied Territories. “The situation must change,” he has said, calling for the demolition of “the wall that divides Israel from the West Bank, and Palestinian families from each other ”.

Read More