Amit Chaudhuri | Found Music

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Found Music

by Amit Chaudhuri

'Calcutta-born Amit Chaudhuri's follow-up to This Is Not Fusion is another captivating and deeply idiosyncratic fusion/not fusion of Hindustani classical music, jazz, rock and blues... A quirky, one-of-a-kind, little piece of magic.' allaboutjazz.com
Genre: Jazz: World Fusion
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  Song Share Time Download
clip
1. On Broadway (Post-Colonial version)
7:36 $0.99
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2. Saraswati
6:15 $0.99
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3. One Fine Day
4:53 $0.99
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4. Country Hustle
7:14 $0.99
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5. Rain
8:10 $0.99
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6. Messages From the Underground (Break on Through)
5:24 $0.99
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7. So You Want to be a Rock and Roll Star
4:44 $0.99
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8. Good Vibrations
8:05 $0.99
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9. Norwegian Wood
5:12 $0.99
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10. Famous Blue Raincoat Suite
15:15 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
FROM UK REVIEWS OF FOUND MUSIC, released by Babel Vortex, London, October 2010 and EMI India March 2011
An allaboutjazz.com Editor's Pick of 2010

'Calcutta-born singer Amit Chaudhuri's follow-up to This Is Not Fusion (Babel, 2010) is another captivating and deeply idiosyncratic fusion/not fusion of Hindustani classical music, jazz, rock and blues... If you haven't heard the band before, you're in for a treat—dreamy raga-based discursions which incorporate the acid rock songbook, trumpeter Miles Davis' modal legacy, Delta blues and retro Tin Pan Alley... A quirky, one-of-a-kind, little piece of magic.'
Chris May, on www.allaboutjazz.com, the world's leading jazz website

"Occasionally, very occasionally, something arrives out of the clear blue sky that, because of its verve, daring, and chutzpah, so tickles your fancy that it double-take ripples into double-take. Found Music is one of those rarities...a series of soundscapes straight out of Chaudhuri's imagination and his memory's darker recesses...Just go with the flow."
Ken Hunt, Jazzwise magazine, Britain's leading jazz magazine

'It's a rich and provocative journey he's taking us on... Inspirational... The world music scene is a much more interesting place with the presence of Amit Chaudhuri.' Peter Culshaw, **** Songlines

'Moments of heart-catching beauty...a pleasure to hear.'
Fran Hardcastle, londonjazz.blogspot.com

'Whoever said Indian ragas and The Beach Boys can’t mix? Sceptical listeners should head to Rich Mix in Shoreditch tomorrow night as Amit Chaudhuri performs material from his latest album Found Music...With his debut album This Is Not Fusion, Chaudhuri fashioned a distinctive sound that resisted easy definition... The audience at Rich Mix, one of London’s up-and-coming arts centres set on the Bethnal Green Road, can expect some fantastic Indianised re-imaginings of pop songs.'
Ben Davies, www.jazzwise.com

'The Beatles' Norwegian Wood sung as a Hindustani raga gives some idea of the breathtaking eclectics of Calcutta-based writer-musician Amit Chaudhuri's second album. It breathes life into what has become a bit of a tired old classic and makes you listen to it anew. The same can be said of his reinterpretations of Good Vibrations by the Beach Boys... The fusion of found sound with inventive musicianship and scat-like delivery makes this a quirky offering which merits repeat listening. The final track Famous Blue Raincoat suite, [which] has a meditation on Miles Davis's version of Concierto de Aranjuez... is as compelling as the originals in its soulful identification.'
Len Phelan, Morning Star, Britain's only socialist daily

‘A real 360 degree renaissance geezer.'
Bobby Friction BBC Asian Network

"Upsettingly multi-talented."
Martha Kearney,
The Review Show, BBC 2

FROM INDIAN REVIEWS OF FOUND MUSIC, released by EMI, March 2011
'With a glorious new album, writer Amit Chaudhuri firmly establishes himself as one of the most original composers in the country...Chaudhuri takes his exploration to even more daring heights with Found Music. He throws everything into the blender in this one – his extensive knowledge of Hindustani classical, rock, pop, Western classical, blues, jazz, poetry, Hindi film music, and even Lone Ranger comics – to produce an album that is lusciously beautiful... Stunningly evocative.'
N Radhakrishnan in Rolling Stone India

'In their plays of high and low, East and West, words and scales, the two Chaudhuri albums transcend genres and defy categorisation, establishing him as a one-off musician occupying a space entirely his own.'
Palash Krishna Mehrotra, Rolling Stone India

'Delightfully inventive... Chaudhuri plays with notes with the dexterity of a Covent Garden juggler...some genuine gems that have stuck in my head.'
Indrajit Hazra, Hindustan Times

'It is quite obvious by now, to those who have been paying attention to his career, that there is very little Amit Chaudhuri cannot do. Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, former Booker judge, respected professor, winner of the Betty Trask Award and Sahitya Akademi Award, he uses the little free time one assumes he has to create fabulous music!... It’s an audacious gamble, and pulled off with much aplomb.'
Lindsay Pereira in Midday, Bombay's leading afternoon newspaper

'Amit Chaudhuri’s Found Music is a glorious mix of Hindustani classical, rock, jazz and the blues... Hugely enjoyable.'
Asian Age


CD Liner Notes
Found Music – Amit Chaudhuri


Amit Chaudhuri has been performing his distinctive mix of raga, jazz, rock
and blues, under the thought-provoking rubric 'This Is Not Fusion', since
January 2005. At that time, he explained the negative in his project's
title by pointing out that his music was more than simply the result of a
physical meeting of musicians from Western and Indian traditions, that it
came from 'a space in which musical lineages intersect, and renovate
themselves and become altered by this contact', his aim being 'not only to
take advantage of these musical intersections between the two traditions,
but to attempt to create a language of music and performance out of them'
via 'a point of entry into one musical tradition or system through another
one'. Chaudhuri refers to these points of entry, which can be anything
from a rock song's hook to a phrase from a raga, as 'found music', thereby
consciously tapping into the non-musical art world by referencing Marcel
Duchamp and his celebrated 'readymades', already existing objects given
fresh life courtesy of their incorporation into a new and original art
work.
On this, Chaudhuri's second album exploring the musical territory
opened up by these ideas, said 'found music' comes from a rich and
diverse variety of sources. The recording's opening song, 'On
Broadway (the Postcolonial Version)', provides a perfect example of
the effectiveness of the technique: itself the product of a fusion of
an existing Barry Mann/Cynthia Weil song with the surefooted
commercial instincts of songwriting legends Jerry Leiber and Mike
Stoller, 'On Broadway', in Chaudhuri's version set to raga Gavati,
becomes a daydream in the mind of a homesick immigrant Indian cook on
Lexington Avenue hoping to make it in New York. 'Country Hustle',
with its plaintive 'Hi ho Silver' chorus and wittily contrived rhymes
('cactus'/'attacked us'), draws on Chaudhuri's childhood love of Lone
Ranger comics and culminates in what might be termed a 'con-fusion'
(dating back 500-odd years to Christopher Columbus) sparked by the
ambiguous term 'Indian'. 'Messages from the Underground (Break on
Through)' not only plays with the familiar warning to Tube
passengers, 'Mind the gap', but also, via Jim Morrison's 'Break on
Through', explores the very notions of mental freedom encapsulated
(via its reference to Aldous Huxley's 'doors of perception') in the
name of the late singer's band. The Byrds' 'So You Want to Be a Rock
and Roll Star' is utilised to portray a scenario in Bombay before the
rock scene there was revived in the late 1990s; John Lennon's
'Norwegian Wood' is set to raga Bageshri, the evening raga in which a
woman waits for a reunion with her lover, to the mutual artistic
advantage of each element. The power of such carefully arranged
collisions was tellingly illustrated, at a recent live performance by
Chaudhuri, by the clearly involuntary laugh of delighted surprise
from an audience member suddenly recognising another piece of 'found
music' included here, Brian Wilson's 'Good Vibrations'.
It is the album's closing track, however, which provides the richest,
most rewarding example of the effectiveness of Chaudhuri's technique.
'Famous Blue Raincoat Suite' brings together the haunting
preamble to Rodrigo's celebrated Concierto de Aranjuez, Leonard
Cohen's achingly beautiful sung letter exploring the emotional
consequences of a triangular love affair, raga Mishra Kafi and verses
from two 1950s Hindi films to create an entirely original and
uniquely touching, intimately personal work of art. The
characteristic emotional maturity informing Cohen's affecting lyric
perhaps provides the key to appreciating Chaudhuri's art. While it is
undoubtedly trite to point out that emotions transcend cultural
difference, it is none the less pertinent to remind ourselves that
the most enduring art, as Duke Ellington suggested, is 'beyond
category'. The homesick melancholy of the nostalgic immigrant, the
pain consequent upon separation and loss, the acknowledgement of the
transience of life and love – all these are, self-evidently, simply
human emotional reactions to the various vicissitudes of life rather
than feelings specific to members of individual cultures, and it is
this universality that accounts for the power, richness and resonance
of Chaudhuri's music.
Chris Parker
Chris Parker is jazz critic for the Vortex, London, and former jazz critic of the Times.


Found Music Amit Chaudhuri


1 On Broadway (postcolonial version) (7:35) (Leiber, Jerry; Mann, Barry; Stoller, Mike; Weil, Cynthia) Arr. Chaudhuri
2 Saraswati (6:15) (Chaudhuri)
3 One Fine Day (4:53) (Chaudhuri)
4 Country Hustle (7:14) (Chaudhuri)
5 Rain (8:10) (Chaudhuri)
6 Messages From the Underground (Break
on Through) (5.20) (Messages from the Underground, words and music, Chaudhuri; Break on Through, words and music, The Doors)
7 So You Want to be a Rock and Roll Star 4:44 (Chaudhuri)
8 Good Vibrations 8:05 (Brian Wilson, Mike Love) Arr. Chaudhuri
9 Norwegian Wood 5:12 (Lennon-McCartney) Arr. Chaudhuri
10 Famous Blue Raincoat Suite (15:15) Arr. Chaudhuri. (Recorded at the concert room, School of Music, University of East Anglia)
i. Preamble from Concierto de Arunjiez: (Rodrigo)
ii. Raga Mishra Kafi
iii. Famous Blue Raincoat (Leonard Cohen)
iv. Hindi film song extracts:
'Yeh raate yeh mausam nadi ka kinara' (Music: Ravi; Lyrics:Shailendra)
Film: Dilli Ka Thug
'Yeh mahalon, yeh, takhton, yeh tajon ka duniya' (Music: S D Burman; Lyrics: Sahir), Film: Pyaasa

Total time: 72:54:22

All arrangements by Amit Chaudhuri


Guitar: Prasenjit Ghosal, except Adam Moore’s solo on ‘Rain’
Keyboards: Indrajit Dey; except Bart Dietrich on ‘Famous Blue Raincoat Suite’
Trumpet: Jonathan Impett
Bass: Sanket Bhattacharya; except Mainak Nag Choudhury on ‘Good Vibrations’
Tabla: Ashok Mukherjee
Slide guitar on ‘Country Hustle’: Amyt Datta
Vocals: Amit Chaudhuri

Additional sounds and conch recorded with the help of the staff at Studio Vibrations, Calcutta. Sounds of the London Underground, Jubilee Line, recorded by Roger Elsgood.
All songs except the two mentioned below recorded and mixed at Studio Vibrations, Calcutta, in September 2009 and January 2010, by Raja Narayan Deb, Ephram Isaacs, and Saibesh Adak.
‘Famous Blue Raincoat Suite’ recorded by Jason Dixon, December 2009, at the concert room at the School of Music, University of East Anglia, Norwich, and mixed at Dream Digital Studios, Calcutta in February 2010.
‘Good Vibrations’ recorded and mixed at Dream Digital Studios, Calcutta in September 2006 by Anirban Sengupta and Dipankar Chaki.
Mastered at the Blue Studio, London, by Andrew Tulloch.
Produced by Amit Chaudhuri

Thanks are due, first of all, to the terrific musicians who have played with me. To T Suresh and his team at EMI (India), to Oliver Weindling of Babel and the Vortex (London), to my manager Roger Elsgood, and to various friends who have supported and encouraged this project through the years: Partho Chakrabarty, Peter McDonald, Ajay Chowdhury, Martin Pick, Rohit Manchanda, Moira Weigel, Ian Jack, Pankaj Mishra, Jamie McKendrick, Jon Cook, Sunetra Gupta, Sally Bayley, and many others. Thanks, of course, to my listeners. Finally, most of all, my parents, Nages and Bijoya Chaudhuri, my daughter Radha, and my wife Rinka.

Inlay design: Sukanya Ghosh

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