The nectar of music
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While Georg Gratzer began his musical education with western classical sensibilities, it wasn't long before he fell in love with jazz and went on to master the jazz saxophone at the Graz University of Arts. His concert tours took him to various countries around the world and Gratzer picked up music from each place and culture. He is now an accomplished player of several instruments soprano, alto and tenor saxophone, Bb soprano, alto and bass clarinets, transverse flute, alto flute, the Chinese Dizi flute, Chinese metal instrument HuLuSi, North Australian Didgeridoo and Zampoņa or a panpipe from the Mid Andes. In 2008, when he first heard the Gundecha brothers perform in the 2500-year-old Dhrupad style, he decided to learn from them too. It is all these influences that appear in Gratzer's new album which will release in April, next year in Europe and later in the year in India. "I try to learn new instruments and styles wherever I go and sometimes I teach others my music too," says Gratzer.
The new album will incorporate several of the various instruments Gratzer has learnt over the years. "I've sung a little in this album but it's mostly going to be instruments," he says.
Gratzer's brand of Indo-jazz and world music will also form the underlying theme at his performance in the city on Sunday. The band called Amridan comprises Gratzer on woodwinds, Raul Sengupta on tabla and percussion, Mishko on electronic bass, Mahesh Vinayakram on vocals while Hinasarojini will perform a dance routine to complement the music. "She will choreograph her dance based on how our music makes her feel and her dance in turn will inspire us to make different music. It's like a conversation between music and dance," explains Gratzer.
The band itself is coming together for the first time, starting with their first jam and rehearsal on Friday. "While I have worked with Raul and Hinasarojini before, I have never met the others in the band and this the first time we're all performing together. We have three days to rehearse till the concert," says Gratzer.