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Globally Indian

There are many bands that claim to play fusion music with elements of Indian sounds. And then there is The Bansal Band, that plays music where Indian and world music flow seamlessly into each other while still sounding distinctly rooted. Coming to the city to perform on September 8 at bFlat, the ensemble, led by Norwegian/Indian violinist Harpreet Bansal, will be showing Bengaluru’s music lovers what makes their sound so different from the rest.

Excited to be in Bengaluru, Harpreet says she has heard many good things about bFlat. “We’ve heard that it is a great place for music. The Bengaluru crowd too has quite an amazing reputation of being a very receptive audience.”

Having been tutored by Harbhajan Singh Bansal, sitar maestro Ashraf Sharif Khan and Indian master violinist Dr L Subramaniam, she was the first to obtain a master’s degree in Indian classical music from the Norwegian Academy of Music.

Playing music based on the raga tradition, the arrangements are a collaborative effort between Harpreet and the band and focuses on playfulness, contrasts and improvisation.

On the set list, she says, are mostly her compositions, based on North Indian classical raga traditions. “We incorporate a blend of jazz and Norwegian folk music. So the music you will hear will not be solely based on Indian classical backgrounds.”

Comprising Harpreet on violin and compositions, Vojtech Prochazka from the Czech Republic on piano and harmonium, Adrian Fiskum Myhr from Norway on double bass and Sanskriti Shrestha from Norway/Nepal on tabla and voice, The Bansal Band puts together an incredibly fluid and cool presentation of world fusion with a strong dose of Indian melody.

Elaborating on the band’s sound, Harpreet say her music relates to various kinds of feelings. “It can be very calm or can get very dramatic and intense. The public will experience a very different concert. Of course, although it is based on ragas, we deviate to other soundscapes. It is not a fusion, rather it is something in between. Hopefully people will enjoy it.”

Having grown up in a classical background, Harpreet says her music is close to her heart. “I also take inspiration from my daily life. I bank heavily on nature as well. And since ragas themselves relate to various moods, they inspire me too. I look up to my idols, famous musicians and singers, to shape my music.”

On how the band came together, she says, “I live and play in Oslo and I met Vojtech at an annual concert there that invites musicians to play together on stage. We decided to play together. Then we formed the trio with Sanskriti. It started as a trio and expanded to the quartet. All of us have been working together as a duo or trio in different projects and we all live in Oslo. It is not a big city so it is easy to get together.”

Shuttling between India and Norway, Harpreet says: “I’m not sure what scene I can relate my music to in India.” The space globally, she adds, is highly receptive. “Our music is appreciated, especially in Europe.”

Their music, Harpreet points out, is taking them to new frontiers. “For me, it is important to grow and play my music. Since my origin is Indian and I live in Norway, playing in Europe is an opportunity to showcase my culture there. It is equally important to play in India, since these are my roots. To receive feedback from the Indian audience is important for my progress.”

Catch The Bansal Band live at bFlat, Indirangar, on September 8 from 9 pm onwards. Tickets on BookMyShow and venue. Call 25278361.

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Printable version | May 9, 2021 7:10:53 AM |

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