Amie & Sangeet Millennium
Amie performs enchanting Indian raags and folk melodies on sitar with tabla and some vocal accompaniment. Her critically acclaimed Sangeet Millennium Ensemble fuses Hindustani music with jazz and other world music styles, creating elegantly vibrant, soulful sounds, sometimes a bit eccentric.
award-winning sitarist/composer, teaching artist, ensemble leader,
Amie Maciszewski has devoted her adult life to absorbing and
disseminating North Indian music culture, including over a decade's
immersion in India. Hailed "stunning," and "amazing," Amie has performed throughout North America, in India, Europe, and Japan, conducted
residencies and workshops in diverse venues, and taught at several universities. She has released four
noted CDs (one award-winning) and contributed her music to several acclaimed
independent films and an international theater production. Her brainchild the Sangeet Millennium
Ensemble, named Texas Top Ten (2010-11, Austin Chronicle Readers' Poll), traverses boundaries
seamlessly with repertoire that includes Hindustani classical music,
arrangements of traditional Indian melodies, and original world
music. She is also a noted documentary filmmaker.
Sangeet Millennium Ensemble fuses North Indian music marked by the exotic sounds of the long necked string instrument sitar, made famous by Ravi Shankar, with saxophone, Indian tabla drums, and often bass and Indian vocals. To hear the saxophone play the slides and oscillations so characteristic of Indian music is both familiar to jazz fans and wonderfully new. The group blends the two styles together, creating both a contemporary sound and one that resonates with earlier fusion groups like Shakti and the work of jazz great Ornette Coleman. Meditating on the unexpected, this collective emits sounds that have been described as "elegantly vibrant"-- at once mesmerizing, lyrical, and bizarre.
Founded in 2006 and led by Amie Maciszewski, the Sangeet Millennium Ensemble follows the precedent set by by her guru, Sarode Maestro Aashish Khan, and his elders, in which players of diverse instruments collaborate to compose, arrange, and perform loosely structured pieces, often based on classical raags, allowing for considerable improvisation.
The ensemble's artistic work has received support from the City of Austin, Texas Commission on the Arts, and Mid-America Arts Alliance, among others. The Ensemble has released two CDs: Shimmering (2007), nominated Texas Top Ten by the Austin Chronicle Critics' Poll, and Sangeet Safar, which helped earn them selection among Austin's Top Ten World Music Bands in 2010-11 by the Chronicle Readers' Poll. Their new EP is currently in production.
Marwa - Guru bin gyaan
Written By: traditional
Guru bin gyaan kaise paawe
Without the guru, how can you find knowledge . . .
Written By: traditional folk song of Rajasthan,India, India
"Kesariya baalam, aavoji, padharo mhaare des . . . "
Oh my saffron-turbaned lover, come, return to our homeland . . .
CDs, available on CD Baby:
Sangeet Millennium Ensemble's "Sangeet Safar" (Sangeet Millennium Productions, 2010) - my Indo-jazz fusion project's release which blends and bends genres including Hindustani classical, light-classical, and folk music with original jazz. Saxophonist Paul Klemperer and tabla player Shiv Naimpally join me. Bassist Jay Srinivasan makes a guest appearance on one track. Material includes both live and studio recording. Two tracks from this CD are streaming on this EPK.
"Guru Pranam" (Sangeet Millennium Productions, 2010) - My classical sitar performance recorded live in concert at Sangeet Research Academy, 2009 (with Swapan Mukherjee - tabla). One track from this CD is streaming on this EPK.
"Lighting the Way: Padmabhushan Girija Devi" (Hindustani vocal diva). I provide backup vocals and play tanpura on this CD recorded live in concert in Austin, TX (Horizon Pvt. Ltd., 2008). Other artists: Pandit Anandagopal Bandhyapadhay - tabla, Rupan Sarkar - vocals, Amzad Rahman - harmonium.
"Shimmering" - The Sangeet Millennium Ensemble's first CD, nominated for Texas Top Ten for 2007-08 by the Austin Chronicle Critics' Poll (2007). Joining me are Alex Coke on sax and flutes, Bruce Saunders on guitar, Subrata Bhattacharya on tabla, and Naga Valli on vocals.
"Light and Legacy" - My classical sitar performance, with Rohan Singh Bhogal on tabla, recorded live in concert at The University of Alberta Convocation Hall (2007).
Other recordings & tracks:
"Gorjone" and "Without You" mp3s - streaming on this EPK
Boardworks KS4 Music - World Music (Oxford, UK, 2008) - commissioned recording of sitar performance with Shiv Naimpally on tabla as part of educational package
The four-to-five-member Amie & Sangeet Millennium, aka the Sangeet Millennium Ensemble, fuses Indian with jazz music, performing arrangements and improvisations of both traditional Indian melodies and original new world music. Tunes typically last 5 to 12 minutes, and each set is 40-50 minutes.
In her classical mode, Amie plays traditional Indian ragas on sitar, and sometimes sings, with tabla accompaniment, typically beginning with a slow intro (alap), moving into compositions accompanied by tabla (gat). The tabla takes short solos throughout, but there may be an extended solo as well. The first set can be 30 to 60 minutes long, followed by, say, a 30 to 45 minute set in which we play several shorter, light-classical and/or folk pieces.