Simon Thacker is a composer, classical guitarist, improviser and ensemble leader whose ever expanding musical world draws on a deep immersion in diverse cultures.He has been described by the media as “one of the most important musicians of his generation". As well as touring as a classical guitar soloist, he has also developed some of today’s most prescient ensembles: Simon Thacker’s Svara-Kanti, a world leading Indo-Western collective which has seen him tour and collaborate at major festivals in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Simon's startlingly original music has propelled many traditions forward and created a new frontier for classical guitar. His pieces have been played on radio in over 50 countries. As an educator, he has been classical guitar tutor at Edinburgh Napier University and Edinburgh College for over a decade. He has performed as soloist with many orchestras, including the RSNO.
Svara-Kanti has just released the epic double album Trikala (the Sanskrit word for the three tenses of time, past, present and future),creating new sound worlds through his immersion in Indian classical, folk and spiritual traditions. After 3 action packed years and recorded in three locations (East Lothian in Scotland, and Chennai and Kolkata in India),it is not fusion but an organic extension of traditions or the creation of new genres. Trikala sees Simon Thacker’s Svara-Kanti metamorphose into a community of different lineups (thirteen performers in all) which each take inspiration from four different aspects of the vast musical macrocosm that exists on the Indian subcontinent: Hindustani classical (north), Carnatic classical (south), Punjabi folk (west) and the Bengali mystical folk Baul tradition of both India and Bangladesh (east). There is also a major solo work with a tangential Tamil inspiration, one of Bengali polymath Rabindranath Tagore’s best loved melodies reimagined and a moving transformation of India’s “National Song”.
Unity comes from Thacker, as the single compositional voice that has either created or recreated all of the work on both albums, and the symbiotic relationship between the performers who, whether in the most breathtakingly intricate composition or ferocious and intuitive improvisation, search for truth and essence selflessly together. Ancient forms are refracted in the present to propel them forward to the future, travelling beyond East and West to genuinely create a third direction genuinely of itself. Trikala offers a window into the evolving soul of traditions and the world of one of today’s most expansive music creators. Traversing over 2 hours and 18 minutes of some of the most advanced intercultural music ever recorded, Trikala is a work of rapturous forward momentum and a pivotal moment in the history of Indo-Western collaboration. Svara-Kanti invites you to immerse yourself in the three tenses of Trikala.
The album also features leading Musicians like : Raju Das Baul (voice, khomok), Sunayana Ghosh (tabla), K.V. Gopalakrishnan (kanjira), N. Guruprasad (ghatam), Justyna Jablonska (cello), Japjit Kaur (voice), Afsana Khan (voice), Sarvar Sabri (tabla), Jacqueline Shave (violin), Sukhvinder Singh “Pinky” (tabla), Neyveli B. Venkatesh (mridangam), Forida Yasmin (voice)
Those of you who have been around from the 1960's through the 1990's will remember the vibrant live music scene in almost every starred hotel in India. Those were the days when you walked into a nightclub like 'Rendezvous' at The Taj Mahal hotel and 'Supper Club' at the Oberoi Sheraton in Mumbai to see curtains going up on a band that was the prime focus of these outlets. Every seat in these restaurants allowed an unobstructed view of the band that performed every night on resident contracts. Today all this has disappeared thanks to some ridiculously high entertainment taxes on live music. Today, non off these hotels have complete bands playing save for a few that feature small duos or solo singers. The Lodhi in New Delhi, recently listed among the world's best hotels, decided to step in and rewind to the good old days. They got Goa's premier jazz quartet 'Jazz Junction' to move to Delhi on a resident contract and the decision has paid off in terms of footfalls generated by the band. Jazz Junction featuring singer Daniella Rodrigues, pianist Tony Dias,
bassist Colin D'Cruz and drummer Angelo Colasco began playing at The Lodhi in June 2018. Four months into the contract the band generated a sizeable following, with quite a few high profile guests choosing to celebrate their special occasion at the Elan bar where the band performs. Against all odds the rewind option proved to be a huge success and hopefully other properties around the country takes the cue to trigger a whole new revival of live music.