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Indian Ocean strikes a chord with Atlanta

September 2007
Indian Ocean strikes a chord with Atlanta

After selling more than 40,000 copies of their first album within a year of release, Indian Ocean has struck gold with the release of their popular work, Kandisa. To classify their music as rock would be an understatement, to fit it into jazz would be an injustice. The artists who call themselves "Indian Ocean" performed live at Vibha's cultural event in collaboration with IIT Southeast Alumni at Roswell Cultural Arts Center.

Formed by Susmit (Lead Guitar player) and Asheem (Tabla, Percussions and Vocals), the band came full circle when Rahul Ram (Bass Guitarist) and Amit Kilam (Drums, Vocals) joined the group. Indian Ocean is a contemporary fusion music band from India. Its unique music encompasses shlokas, sufism, environmentalism, mythology and revolution to name a few.

The opening act was a dance sequence by Anupa Thakurta with her young students dancing to the tunes of Khajuraho, played by the band in the background. The second song, "From the ruins" was a definite testimony of Asheem's vocal strength. Filled with rhythmic structures, the modulation and variety in his voice was enthralling.

The band continued their performance with light hearted songs such as "Desert Rain" and instrumentals such as "Melancholic Ecstasy". The last song before the break was "Hille Le". Based on a Bihar poet's lyrics and traditional folk music by the band, this was a song that would force any weak feet to get up and dance.

During the break, Bala, representing the IIT Southeast Alumni, talked at length about their association's various activities.

This was followed by a moving presentation about Vibha and its impact on the lives of children. A defeaning silence during the presentation and a thunderous applause afterwards was a testimony to the presentation and Vibha's life changind social work.

Soon after the presentation, Niyati Desai, cultural team lead, said, "One of the amazing things about Vibha is the positive difference that it enables us to make in the lives of underprivileged children. We all have been fortunate enough to not worry about the basic necessities in life and to afford a good education and have had ample opportunities to learn and grow and be where we are today. However, not everyone is fortunate enough - Vibha gives us a medium to ensure that every underprivileged child attains his or her right to education, health and opportunity."

The first song after the break was "Bandeh" from the movie Black Friday. The song gelled so well with the audience that the Black Friday audio CD on sale at one of the stalls sold out moments after the show. Such was the clarity and depth in his voice that it felt like a surreal voice commanding, "are ruk ja re bandhe; are thum ja re bandhe, ki kudrat has padegi ho".

It was now time for Amit Kilam to show his percussion skills. What started off as a genuine display of creativity with the famous Gabgubi instrument soon emerged as a raw power of pure skill and talent!Trying to catch up with him and succeeding a great deal was Rahul with his base guitar and Asheem with his tabla.

The show culminated with the title song Kandisa sung again by Rahul Ram. The band had to accede and play "Kaun" from the Kandisa album after the encore requests from the audience. The energy from the band was exhilarating despite the fact it was its 11th concert in the month. The band made an honest attempt to reflect the true spirit of its slogan, "The sound of contemporary India getting to know itself." Indian Ocean's performance was a true reflection of the fact that genuine creative artists do exist.

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