Well, it’s not every day that you get swayed by live music to a completely different world. Two musicians on stage – one with a guitar (Susmit Sen) and the other (Varun Gupta) surrounded by some familiar and some alien percussions and a vocal mic stands alone in the centre – perhaps indicating that silence is their lead singer.
Welcome to the world of Susmit Sen, the once-lead-guitarist-of-Indian Ocean-now-gone-solo. A lethal combo of musician and philosopher (Now I know why his compositions compel you to introspect on life that you’ve led and the life you intend to lead).
Susmit Sen’s compositions conjure up a wide spectrum of imagery. For instance, the song, ‘Intimacy’ reminded me of the onset of monsoon scene in Satyajit Ray’s Pather Panchali, where a dragonfly hovers around a still pond and the Ravi Shankar’s sitar lends a charismatic tone to the entire scenario. If Ray was alive, he’d have readily replaced or rather contemporized this scene with ‘Intimacy’. Furthermore, there was a composition, perhaps called ‘Eight and a half’, which reminded me the way RD Burman begins the song, ‘Tere bina jiya jaaye na’ in the movie, ‘Ghar’ – a perfect taal-mel of guitar and tabla.
Such is the magic of his composition, be it the upbeat Bongingon or the mesmeric ‘Depths of the ocean’. Vadodara had the privilege of listening to his untitled composition, which he performed for the first time and asked the audience to suggest an apt name for it. The composition conjured up myriad images of the sea, sand and the shore, which compelled one to suggest it calling ‘Shores afar’, owing to the way it ended, on a melancholic, yet hopeful note.
All said and done, thanks Harsh Purohit and Cognito for bringing this experience to Vadodara. The vocalist’s mic stared the audience all throughout and guess what, we didn’t miss any singer. The silence was mellifluously eloquent.
PS: You can buy Susmit Sen’s albums ‘Depths of the ocean’ and ‘Ocean to Ocean’ Susmit Sen Chronicles on iTunes. Trust me, it’s worth it and trust me, am not getting paid to write this 🙂