The British Council today unveiled Mix the City Kolkata, an interactive music platform that connects the city with its music and its people.
Mix the City Kolkata allows you to create and share your own unique audio- visual soundtrack of Kolkata, mixing music samples performed by artists at well-known landmarks across the city.
Mix the City Kolkata features 12 exciting Kolkata-based musicians: Tanmoy Bose, Somnath Roy, Kaushiki Chakraborty, Pradyumna Singh Manot, Mainak ‘Bumpy’ Nag Chowdhury, Deepsankar Bhattacharjee, Subir Ray, Abir Singh Khangura, Varun Desai (Yidam), Rupashree Bhattacharya, Golam Fakir and Punjab Band. Each musician is filmed at a celebrated location across the city. In Kolkata the locations that have been filmed in are as varied as the music itself. They include well known landmarks, arts spaces, neighbourhoods and even hangout zones.
The Kolkata mix has been curated by Kutiman, acclaimed songwriter, producer, mixologist, filmmaker and leading member of the jazz-funk outfit called The Kutiman Orchestra. Kutiman, also curated the first ever Mix the City – for Tel Aviv. The Mix The City platform is designed by award-winning British start-ups, digital content partner Flying Object and technical development partner Roll Studio.
Mix the City India has four versions: Kolkata joins Delhi and Mumbai; Chennai will be launched later. The four versions will aim to showcase the diversity of sound, music and cultural influences in each city. Each region has 12 musicians (48 musicians in all) who will record 24 samples (two loops per musician) that will be compiled into a shareable 4-minute YouTube track that will sit on the main Mix the City website.
Alan Gemmell OBE, Director India, British Council, said, “We’re delighted to launch Mix the City Kolkata during this year’s Durga Puja – joining the city in celebrating creativity, artists and musicians. We’ve recorded 12 standout musicians in 12 standout locations across Kolkata and hope that people all over the world use Mix the City Kolkata to create and share a video of the city. It’s great to bring this digital, mobile UK-India Year of Culture project to life.”
Mix the City Kolkata is being launched at Phoenix, The Astor, one of Kolkata’s a new performance venues and nightclub with a special performance by Tanmoy Bose, Somnath Roy, Mainak ‘Bumpy’ Nag Chowdhury, Deepsankar Bhattacharjee, Subir Ray and Yidam.
In a special partnership, Mix the City will be showcased at two Pujas this festive season. Two partners — 75 Palli Puja and Ahiritola Sarbojanin Durgotsab —will help Mix The City be part of this festival.
The 75 Palli Puja has a Kolkata-London theme and they have tied up with the diaspora through the London Sharad Utsav. Mix the City Kolkata kiosks will be set up at 75 Palli Puja and London Sharad Utsav for people to experience the city in all its musical glory.
At Ahiritola Sarbojanin Durgotsab, where the Puja theme is around Creative Collaboration – Srishtir Melbondhon, the video and audio loops created by Kutiman will be played through the duration of the Puja.
Visit www.mixthecity.com to create your own soundtrack using the sounds of the world.
About the producers
A songwriter, producer, orchestra leader, mixologist, filmmaker Kutiman burst into the music scene in 2007 with the world wide debut of his critically acclaimed, self-titled album Kutiman. It received rave reviews from top music critics including Pitchfork, CLR8R, The Fader and DJ Magazine. Kutiman is a leading member of the jazz-funk outfit called The Kutiman Orchestra, comprising 8-9 musicians, who offer a unique psych-jazz adventure. The Kutiman Orchestra’s sound can be described as a playful yet tension filled space found between the tight, mind-blowing grooves of James Brown and the loose, cosmic jazz of Sun-Ra. Kutiman’s interest in the alchemy of digital video art and warm soulful music saw his ground-breaking online music video “mash-up” series ThruYOU soar to an incredible 10 million views on YouTube in just two weeks.
Flying Object, our digital content partner on Mix the City, are a London-based creative agency. Core to their work is the belief that advertising and media has limited ability to cut through; instead, brands and cultural organisations should earn attention by being interested in their consumers, and giving interesting experiences in return. Their work covers video, social, interactive and physical installations. Recent projects include Tate Sensorium, winner of Tate’s IK Prize 2015, and the A-Z of YouTube, for the 10th birthday of the video-sharing website.
Roll Studio, our technical development partner, is a creative digital agency based in London and Avellino, Italy, specialising in design, development and digital services. They have over 10 years’ experience in creating and programming some of the most innovative experiences on the internet. Helping brands embrace the ever changing digital landscape and having some fun along the way, more information can be found at Rollstudio.co.uk
EarthSync is a producer of high end, award winning audio and visual content, based in Chennai, South India, working with roots to contemporary music and artists from far corners of the world. EarthSync’s diverse work spans international touring, documentary films, educational programmes, digital products, and festivals. Its online platform EarthMoments produces unique collections of high quality global sound samples, and IndiEarth supports independent artists. EarthSync brings its vast experience and multi-country network to build India’s creative industries infrastructure through its initiative IndiEarth XChange, India’s definitive trade event for independent music, film and media.
About the artists:
Tanmoy Bose: Tanmoy Bose is a percussionist, researcher and composer based in Kolkata. He received his tutelage from the legendary lt. Kanai Dutta. He became the Gandabandh Shagird (formally initiated disciple in Indian classical music) of Pandit Shankar Ghosh, the noted torchbearer of the Farukkabad gharana.
Somnath Roy: Somnath Roy plays a variety of percussion instruments. He is well known for his playing of the earthen clay pot Ghatam, a percussion instrument used in south Indian classical music.He began learning Hindustani flute from Nepal Sarkar and went on to learn north Indian percussion tradition from Bablu Biswas.
Mainak ‘Bumpy’ Nag Chowdhury: Mainak Nag Chowdhury, aka “Bumpy”, is an accomplished bass player and composer-music director. He has travelled with his own projects and also as a session-player with eminent artists and bands from India and abroad. His versatility with different genres makes him one of the most sought after bass players from India.
Deepsankar Bhattacharjee: Deepsankar Bhattacharjee is a sitar player. The fourth generation of his family to play the instrument, his teachers included his father Pandit Hara Shankar Bhattacharya and he is the torch bearer of the Jafferkhani Baaj, a unique style of sitar playing invented and perfected by Padmabhusahan Ustad Abdul Halim Jaffer Khan Saheb.
Subir Ray: Subir Ray is a worthy disciple of Pandit Debaprasad Bandyapadhyay, Pandit Sanjoy Bandyopadhyay and Sulaya Bandyopadhyay. He was a gold medallist in instrumental music (MA) from Rabindra Bharati University. Performing for the last 20 years, he has accompanied with numerous artistes, both vocal and instrumental.
Varun Desai/Yidam: Varun Desai is a music producer and DJ. Born and raised in Kolkata. He is a Purdue University graduate in computer engineering. His passion for music led him to start DJ-ing and producing events, which subsequently turned into his current profession as the director of an event management company. Since 2002, he has been touring the world, both as a cultural representative and as a music producer and DJ.
Abir Singh Khangura: Abir Singh Khangura is an esraj player. He belongs to the musical lineage of his father Prof. Mohan Singh Khangura, disciple of Pandit Dhruvtara Joshi of Agra gharana and Pandit Asesh Bandopadhyay of Visnupur gharana.
Kaushiki Chakraborty: Kaushiki Chakraborty is an award-winning Hindustani vocalist. At the age of 12 she became a scholar at the ITC Sangeet Research Academy; by 14, she was on a 50-concert tour of the US with her father and Guru Pandit Ajoy Chakraborty. She is known as a Khayal singer but is also adept at Thumri, Dadra, Kajri, Chaiti, Bhajan etc. She has sung for many film soundtracks, including AR Rahman scored Water, and recorded many albums.
Pradyumna Singh Manot: Pradyumna Singh Manot a.k.a. Paddy is a jazz pianist. He began playing piano at age 6 and at 8 he started performing for All India Radio. He completed his grade 8 in piano from the Royal School of Music, London and has played several solo recitals and performed with city orchestras including A’telier de Musique conducted by Abraham Mazumdar.
Punjab Band: Punjab Band is one of Kolkata’s leading Brass Band groups, whose members are known for churning out Bollywood numbers from yesteryears in bedazzling costumes, soldier hats and knee-length boots.
Rupashree Bhattacharya: Rupashree Bhattacharya is a solo harmonium artist. Initially tutored in vocal music by her father Durga Bhattacharya, her teachers included Ashit Bandopadhyay, Shipra Bose and Sanjoy Chakrabarty. In 1996 she became a scholar of the ITC Sangeet Research Academy under Pandit Ajoy Chakrabarty. She also received dhrupad and dhamar training from Pandit Falguni Mitra. She is a “B-High” graded harmonium artiste of All India Radio and has taught at ITC Sangeet Research Academy, Kolkata since 2002.
Golam Fakir: Golam Fakir is a singer and dotara player (an instrument part of the Baul tradition of West Bengal). Golam is from Gorbhanga village located in Nadia District of West Bengal, in East India. A leading singer in baul music, he is known for his melodious voice and his own unique style of playing dotara.
About British Council:
The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We create friendly knowledge and understanding between the people of the UK and other countries. We do this by making a positive contribution to the UK and the countries we work with – changing lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust. We work with over 100 countries across the world in the fields of arts and culture, English language, education and civil society. Each year we reach over 20 million people face-to-face and more than 500 million people online, via broadcasts and publications. Founded in 1934, we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body.
About UK/India 2017
UK/India2017 is a year-long celebration of the long-standing relationship between India and the UK, which will see a vast programme of cultural exchange and activity take place in cities across both countries. Working with a huge number of partners and institutions, the British Council is developing a programme of cultural activity which will connect and inspire people in both countries; and strengthen and celebrate the UK and India’s cultural ties. For more information on UK/India 2017 please visit www.britishcouncil.in