Agam, the multiple-award winning contemporary Carnatic Rock group from Bangalore needs no introduction to lovers of fusion music as their music combines the myriad hues of melodic scales and intricate rhythm structures offered by Carnatic music with the aesthetic principles and tonal elegance from western world.
Agam comprises a group of techies who are charged up for their performances whether in or outside their hometown Bengaluru. So when the Bengaluru-based band was in Hyderabad for a performance they were totally stress free and eager to rock the crowd here. “The crowd’s response to the music we play in Hyderabad is mind blowing. They know how to keep the band charged on stage,” says Vignesh Laxminarayanan, the bass guitarist and a big enthusiast of jazz-style of playing. Also a composer, Vignesh wishes to take Indian classical music to a western paradigm by using ragas to produce complex musical schemes.
Their music also reflects the soulfulness in Sufi music and the power of rock. What was the idea behind such musical variations? “All the members of the band are alumni from BITS Pilani and as students we would all jam. The common bond being music we would often play but we never consciously decided on forming a band to play music professionally,” adds Vignesh. Since work stationed everyone in one city, their jamming sessions very naturally culminated into a band.
Lead vocalist Vignesh is trained in Carnatic music and his interests span across the myriad musical genres ranging from Carnatic and Hindustani to ghazals, Sufiyana to Asian underground, his compositions are an amalgamation of Carnatic ragas with complex rhythm structures and time signatures — which in turn goes a long way in defining the character of Agam’s music. This three-year old band hasplayed across the country is also known for their music ensemble; the band members say, “nothing was pre planned about what instruments we want.”
That could be the reason why the band has a poet amongst them in Swamy Seetharaman who plays the keys. Musician, poet, keyboard artiste and also the band manager, Swamy dons multiple hats with unparalleled panache. An avid music lover with a fascination for ragas and scales, this talented poetpens the lyrics for all the compositions of Agam.