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A new band, Whale in the Pond, performed at the musical launch of Wabi-Sabi, a lifestyle boutique and café, in the heart of the City of Joy, recently. The musical trio, Sourjyo, Shireen and Deep, was gracious in talking with Different Truths (DT) correspondent, Subhajit. He picked their brains on the kind of music that they were dabbling in. Here’s an interesting account, in the weekly column, exclusively for Different Truths.
Whale in the Pond is an upcoming band. The musical trio, the primary songwriter and musician, Sourjyo Sinha, multi-instrumentalist, Shireen Ghosh, and the virtuoso guitar player, Deep Phoenix, performed at the musical launch of Wabi-Sabi, a lifestyle boutique and café in the heart of the City of Joy. It was inaugurated on Saturday (Dec. 3) evening.
An unusual name for a band intrigued most people who were there to enjoy their rendition on Saturday evening. What prompted them for such an interesting name of the band?
Sourjyo quipped, “The band was based on my childhood fantasy, which later became an idea. I used to live in Silchar, Assam. Our home had a pond next to it. I used to imagine that there was a whale in it. It was my early curiosity and fear, especially after dusk. That’s where the name came from.”
No wonder the Whale in the Pond had a surreal ring about it!
On being asked if the making of the band was inspired by any one of them, in particular, all three of them chorused in unison, “No.” Sourjyo informed that the idea of the band occurred randomly, during one of their addas, as they sat together, one day.
In the Occidental culture, music system is influenced by Pythagoras and his school. From ancient Greece to the medieval and modern epoch, its foundation lay in the soil of European countries. In the course of time, as its forms and genres grew, music spread out its roots into other parts, as it established prominence throughout the world music.
“We are not into any one genre. We dabble with all kinds of music. Pop and Jazz are very large umbrella terms,” Sourjyo chimed in.
The trio had their second show for the band, Whale in the Pond, at Kolkata. However, they were working separately in their respective fields of expertise. “We all have our own materials. Sourjyo has some 20 to 25 songs that could be performed with the band. I have two albums, one already released and the other being completed,” said Deep Phoenix.
Shireen Ghosh added, “I compose for films.” The three of them had united together to form the band.
Inspiration is obviously an important aspect of any journey. The trio also shared their likes and inspirations. “Talking about inspiration, I think my primary source of inspiration are the people around me or the people I get to see very often. Anything that pushes me to write something I am not used to, is inspiring,” said Deep. Shireen added, “It is the quite same thing for me, especially anything that is challenging. It doesn’t matter at all what it is.”
“We are starting with very basic, typical songs. We might experiment after we have a certain footing. For now, we are concentrating on simple bouncy and happy songs,” said Sourjyo, on being asked about experimental music.
There are lots of musical groups that become famous but gradually fade away. The three shared their opinion on the causes of such breakups of the bands. “There are lots of reasons. You cannot really pin it down to one or two reasons. It depends on the situations and its perceptions, which differ from one another,” said Shireen.
Deep added, “Band often break up due to death of some people or the clashes between people. There are lots of other issues as well.” He added, “There maybe someone who wants to do metal and is in the Blues, there is nothing wrong to leave the band.”
“It depends on the members at the end of the day. If they are not happy in the group then there is nothing you can do,” quipped Shireen.
The audience plays an important role in promoting the bands and their music. Sourjyo opined about the narrow conceptions that run wild among the public often. “First of all people need to stop considering what kind of music it is, Western or Eastern. We can easily write in any language and it could be the same music or same song written in different languages. They need to look past their prejudices. I think that’s the way we can promote our form of music to a larger audience.”
There are very few venues that co-operate with upcoming bands and promote all sorts of constructive ideas and cultures. Talking about the cafeteria, Wabi-Sabi, Deep said, “I think it is a nice place they have come up with in Kolkata. There are places shutting down and very few open-mic ceremonies are conducted these days. There is a lack of opportunity for young bands. Surely we have done our things but as a band, we wouldn’t have performed together fresh off the bat unless a place like Wabi-Sabi had opened up. I mean if this trend continues, it would be brilliant!”
The café hummed with the melodious voices and songs of the Whale in the Pond. They rendered mellifluous song composed by them. They were immersed in their meditation to charm the evening and the audience at Wabi-Sabi.
Photos by Rupak Mal