Sivamani talks to A.P.S. Malhotra about his kind of music
Anandam Sivamani - 'Siva' to his fans can 'generate' melody from virtually anything - from cymbals and timbale to Batajon and shells. Also from what may seem utterly bizarre - the biryani kadai.
"While on stage, I practice a form of sound-based yoga known as 'Naad Yoga.' With it, I transcend to an altogether different mental plane," he says, when asked about the phenomenal vigour he manages to infuse into his performances. "Through a meditative technique, this state of mind is then passed on to the audience, to enable them to experience an out-of-the-world feeling," adds the mercurial drummer, who believes "audiences are the same all over the world, whether it is Delhi or New York."On being quizzed about the secret of his mastery over a medium, which, to the uninitiated, might seem an unrelated and haphazard collection of instruments, Sivamani says, "Before any performance, I create a basic framework in my mind, but when I am actually on stage it is more or less extempore, when I instinctively decide on the sound that will match the overall symphony, and then decide on the instrument to be used." Sivamani, who learnt the basics of music at a tender age from his father, S.M. Anandan, an accomplished drummer, in the film industry, asserts that "whatever one learns at an early age, forms the foundation of later accomplishments" and attributes his success "to the blessings of my parents, God and my gurus. Subsequently, I was inspired by the compositions and styles of international masters such as Billy Cobham and Noel Grant." Asked about his take on the present Hindi film music scene, Siva says rather optimistically, "It is coming up, with a more international flavour being added by the present crop of composers."
'Silk,' the five-member fusion music group, which includes the likes of Shankar Mahadevan and Louis Banks, was conceptualised while Louis and Siva were travelling in Russia as part of a music group called Shanti. "We decided to experiment by fusing Western Jazz with Indian classical music," says Siva about Silk, which has performed to rave reviews in the United States, West Asia and the United Kingdom, besides in various Indian cities.