Bickram Ghosh's Rhythmscape
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Bickram Ghosh's Rhythmscape

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"The show that brought the house down was BikramGhosh's Rhythmscape. It was the Sun around beside all other items paled. It was an example of a truly professional rendition...". (translated from Bengali) - Ananda Bazaar, Kolkata


"On the same day, Bikram Ghosh presented Rhythmscape, the fusion band comprising a set of brilliant drummers,violins,mridangam,ghatam and congas.The numbers they performed were thrilling and at the same time close to our tradition.This was the first time they performed in Delhi and the show was a huge success." - Asian Age, New Delhi


But the event that stole the show was a performance of Rhythmscape by tabla maestro Bickram Ghosh - Kolkata Scoop


An invasion of drums resonates from the same fingers that have given the tabla its flamboyance and a dramatic presence on stage. When Bickram Ghosh does things, style is definitely involved. Whether it’s a live concert where he breaks into acap ella and keeps the audience hooked, whether the fingers are simply flying in an invisible flurry across the tabla, whether you’re listening to him accompanying Pandit Ravi Shankar, or whether he’s jamming with members of his group, Rhythmscape. - The Hindu


It's very easy to dismiss Rhythmscape: The New Sound of Melody and Rhythm as new age meandering. After all there's plenty of rain sticks and gongs, and you'll find plenty of blathering in the sleeve notes. And don't forget the faux jazz that makes up "Zinc." But if you can take the time to get beyond all the clichés, there's actually some tasty musicianship on this album. Bikram Ghosh is an extremely talented tabla player, albeit one who's working very much outside the box on this release, accommodating Indian ideas, voices, and instruments (along with Western percussion and instruments) to Western mores .... - Barnes and Noble


In collaboration with the Consortium for the Promotion for South Asian Music, Art Asia brought the delights of Bickram Ghosh and Rhythmscape to the Theatre Royal, Winchester for a spectacular evening of fusion music.

Audience members were marvelled by the virtuosi performances of each musician and the wide variety of techniques used to fuse the sounds of the western and eastern instruments.

The ecstatic ambience was created by experimentation of electronic samples combined with the acoustics of the tabla, mridangam, ghatam, keyboard, electric violins and drum kit. The group inspired listeners with the implementation of some spectacular performance techniques and special effects. The creative vocal techniques of Bickram Ghosh took the audience to a level of complete astonishment in the treatment of voice as an equal in the virtuoso demonstrations.

This performance was a rare treat for audiences in Europe. The mastery of compositional style and effective combination of such diverse instrumental forces resulted in a truly unique experience for all. - Arts Asia, Winchester, UK


BICKRAM GHOSH'S Rhythmscape stands out as a perfect example of meaningful fusion. This reminds one of yet another of those rare-to-come-by fusion albums, Rhydhun by Taufiq Qureshi. Rhythmscape is not fusion for market reasons, but fusion born out of genuine passion for sounds and rhythm patterns from various corners of the globe. It's clear that there is a thinking mind that is constantly trying to juxtapose one's own traditional sound patterns with that of various other traditions from across the globe — Japanese, African, and so on.

Bickram Ghosh is one of the leading tabla players of the country. He has not only provided saath to Indian greats such as Pandit Ravi Shankar, Ustad Ali Akbar Khan, Balamurali Krishna, and Karaikudi Mani, but has also jammed with several Western musicians such as George Harrison, Mstilav Rostropovich, and others.

Interestingly, the album has a subtle, yet apparent Carnatic flavour to it and that comes from Bickram Ghosh's training in mridanga, under the renowned player, S. Shekhar. While he tries to weave in Japanese electronic handrums, djembe, darboukka, and rainsticks into his compositions, the source material is Indian classical music. And so what we have is a grand tradition and an imaginative mind interpreting it. Various styles and genres integrate into the overall structure, leaving no rough edges. - The Hindu, Chennai


"Mr. Shankar was .... accompanied by Bikram Ghosh, who I suspect is the greatest tabla player to ever perform at the (Chicago) symphony center." - Chicago Tribune


"Getting deserved high billing was Bikram Ghosh whose fingers moved faster than lightning on the tablas. It is impossible to overestimate his contribution to the roaring success of the evening's program." - The Nation, Bangkok


Discography

Rhythmscape , Sony Music 2002
Beyond rhythmscape, Sagarika Music, 2007
Other prominent albums of Bickram Ghosh:
Interface , A Tabla Odyssey, Talking Tabla, Folktail, Samaa(with Shankar mahadevan, singer in the famed band Shakti), One(with the French band Mezcal Jazz Unit), Drumscape, Full Circle(with Ravi Shankar ), Rise(with Anoushka Shankar), Drum Invasion etc.
Bickram is regularly scoring music for films as well. He has recently completed scoring for a Mira nair production.

Photos

Bio

Bickram Ghosh, world famous tabla player who performed with Ravi Shankar as his tabla accompanist for over a decade created Rhythmscape and leads the band. Bickram played on the Grammy awarded album "Full-Circle" with Ravi Shankar. He worked with Anoushka Shankar on two albums which received grammy nominations. Bickram also collaborated with the late Beatle George Harrison on the latter's posthumously released "Brainwashed."
Bickram has over 60 releases as soloist, collaborator and composer released worldwide today. For more information please visit www.bickramghosh.com.

Six years back Bickram created Rhythmscape (and released the album of the same name)which, as he puts it, "was the culmination of my musical energies that I had imbibed through all my collaborations worldwide". What makes Rhythmscape truly amazing is the fact that while it serves up an amazing repertoire of rhythm, it achieves a melodic soulfullness that is quite unparralleled. The cd released five years back in India (through Sony music) and two years back in the rest of the world has become an enormous success and is considered to be one of the major works in the new-age arena of world music in recent times.

Having performed through the length and breadth of India, Rhythmscape debuted in London's Queen Elizabth Hall to a packed to capacity house. It subsequently performed at the Barcelona Forum in 2004 where it was presented on the same stage as Lenny cravitz, Norah Jones, Alicia Keys and Bob Dylan, and was acknowledged by the Forum as the "best show on the Haima stage". Tours followed in the UK and USA . Last years performance in New York's Joe's Pub was followed by amazing reviews. The group performed at NABC 2007 before a 10,000 strong crowd and was heralded as the best act of the festival. The first cd was followed up by an equally successfull cd called "Beyond Rhythmscape"released in 2007.

What sets Rhythmscape apart from other bands is the lethal combination of brilliance and soulfulness. Some of the world's best known percussionists inhabit Rhythmscape's stage. Besides Bickram, there is V.Suresh on the traditional clay pot, who is the best known player of his generation in India today. Suresh has recently collaborated with Paul Simon. The team also includes the mridangam powerhouse S. Sekhar who played on a number of films directed by the great Satyajit Ray. On the melodic front ,the great Indian electric guitar maestro Amyt Datta and the amazing vocalist Suprotik Das stir up some of the most beautiful melodic moments.

Some comments from India's top musicians serve to describe Rhythmscape well.

"I do feel that Bickram’s Rhythmscape has got a fresh new voice of exuberance…it is indeed very exciting."

-Ravi Shankar, sitar maestro

Rhythmscape has that unique quality of being at once wildly exciting and also deeply moving. Bickram's uncanny tabla skills and love for intricate rhythmic patterns inject a fire and pulse which are impossible to resist. Delicious flashes of Latin or Middle-Eastern flavours blend seamlessly into his concoction, a fusion which stands above many of today's stale attempts at musical integration which are happening in India. Yet through all the frantic travels among rhythms and cultures runs a wistful, haunting pull that is inherently, timelessly Indian. With mellifluous vocals and achingly beautiful instrumental interludes, Rhythmscape transports me to an India which is often hard to find.

-Anoushka Shankar, sitar player

"I have heard many experimental albums, but Bickram Ghosh has definitely given a different dimension to the concept of fusion. I really enjoyed listening to them"

-Amjad Ali Khan, sarod maestro

Bickram Ghosh’s Rhythmscape has "captured the imagination of musicians and listeners alike."

-Shubha Mudgal, singer

"Bickram’s Rhythmscape is simply brilliant. I love performing with him and his group."

-A. Sivamani, percussionist