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Staccato’s art of the rejig

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The band members of Staccato explain what makes both, their original compositions and their signature rejigs of established tracks, stand out

Like its sound, Chennai-based band Staccato is an ensemble that has evolved over time. A group that originally met while in school, Staccato brings to its music, a clarity and conviction in its roots, combined with a sense of the eclectic in its expression. Drawing from its many influences from across genres and the world, Staccato is as much a celebration of Chennai as of world music.

The long of it!

We are curious about the name Staccato; what’s its story?

To tell you the truth, we weren’t always called Staccato. We experimented with a few other options, but somehow it didn’t work for us; we didn’t garner much attention or accolades for that matter. Staccato was a name we just decided at the last minute before registering for a contest, where we had planned to play the iconic AR Rahman song, ‘Veerapandi Kotayilae’ from the Tamil film, Thiruda Thiruda.

The song, for those who know, is filled with staccato notes in the strings section and the inspiration to call ourselves Staccato came from there.

What came first; the name of the band or the music you make?

The music, undoubtedly, and we can say this with confidence. Some of the band members have connections that go back to school. They have played together multiple times in various platforms like school culturals, annual days, and other events. We were also part of an orchestra together.

Staccato has been around for over eight years now. Has the sound evolved over time?

We have three major contributors to our set list: interpretation of the classics, current and trending hits, and own composition. We love experimenting with notes and re-discovering vintage music. That said, we draw inspiration from the same to create our own brand of music.

We do enjoy playing music that pleases the crowd, but are also very keen to play the music that we like and allow our audiences to cultivate a flavour for it.

We’d like to think that our sound is constantly in evolution. Every set, we think, is a new adventure for us to learn from. It took us quite a while to even start playing our own songs as part of our set. We have a goal, we are still working towards it and hopefully everything we do along the way is just as fruitful.

Staccato creates interpretations of both old classical tracks and trending cinema music, right? How do you identify a song and decide to work on it?

The song should strike a chord with us the first time we listen to it.

Once that happens, our idea is to see how we can re-interpret the song without ever losing the soul. We are so conscious of this that if ever there is a song that we like — and we think that re-arranging it may take away its soul — we’d rather not mess with it.

You also create independent music; how different is that from re-interpreting an existing song?

Our own compositions actually bring out each individual’s perspective of music. It’s not just a single band member’s voice: our music is a collective wave of all our thoughts and influences.

Unknowingly, and almost subconsciously, most of our songs seem to have snippets of Nature. Our songs reflect our personalities.

Staccato, comprising Gowtham Bharadwaj, Niranjana Ramanan, RH Vikram, Shallu Varun, Abhinandan, Bala, Sandip Ramanan, Manoj Kumar and Saurabh Joshi, will perform on November 16, 7.30 pm at The Music Academy.

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2020 7:52:50 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/november-fest/staccatos-art-of-the-rejig/article25308340.ece

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