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Sound Cinema

A collage of images in Karsh Kale’s head has resulted in his new album,Cinema.

Written by Somya Lakhani | Published: January 1, 2012 1:25:58 am

As a child,Karsh Kale would listen to a variety of music at home — from his father’s collection of Indian classical rhythms to his brother’s head-banging hits to the icons of rock. This wide range created an array of images in Kale’s head,all of which now unspool in his album,Cinema. “I would be listening to Indian classical music while living in the US. The Indian sounds playing in the background mixed with the American landscape in front of my eyes. All of this created a visual representation in my mind,like a movie that is driven by music; that’s why the album is titled Cinema,” he explains.

In India on a pre-release tour of the album,the New York-based artiste performed at Kitty Su in the Capital on Friday. In comparison to his other works,this album is more sophisticated and contains more self-compositions. Kale has stayed true to his style of mixing the traditional with the contemporary — Hindustani classical music merges with electronic and progressive rock.

“I have collaborated with Monica Dogra,Papon,Midival Punditz,Shruti Pathak and many more Indian acts for this album,” adds Kale. This has resulted in the retro feel of Island,and the guitar-bansuri collaboration of Cinema,and an amalgamation of a ghazal with electronic music in tracks such as Ma and Absence. The India edition of Cinema has 18 tracks instead of the original 13,as well as a few remixes. An Indian-American,Kale has been touring with his new band,informally called Karsh Kale Live,that comprises Warren Mendonsa on guitars,DJ Jayant Luthra,Johan Pais on the bass,Pandit Ajay Prasanna on the flute and Vidhi Sharma on the vocals. “I jammed with Warren at NH7 Weekender in Pune and there was this great connection,and the band came together just like that. We all listen to very different music,someone’s into rock and blues,some into electronic,some like classical music,but we all understand each other’s worlds,” says Kale. He is also successfully wearing other pairs of shoes — he was the music director for the 2011 film Soundtrack,and is scoring for an upcoming film,Jodi Breakers,with Salim Merchant.

Though Cinema releases online in India in March and will be available in stores a few months later,the response overseas has been encouraging. The album rose to the number one spot on iTunes World Music Charts,and Kale opened for AR Rahman with numbers from Cinema at the Hollywood Bowl last year.

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