Do you know the feeling when your body is physically present at one place but mentally you're in another world altogether? That is exactly how Karsh Kale live at Blue Frog, Mumbai for #SignatureExpressions felt like. The music, the ambience, the crowd and the artists combined into a single livewire thread and were transported to a world where there were no boundaries.
To say that the entire Blue Frog bowed down to Karsh Kale's Unique Expressions would be an understatement.
Karsh Kale is one of those revolutionaries, who can be considered a rarity in today’s musicscape. Billboard Magazine, the final say in international music, described him as a “visionary composer and producer”. He has been changing the face of music in the last 12 years by mixing genres such as Indian classical music with an international rage of EDM, electro and dubstep. Not to be forgotten is his undeniable charm when he takes over the tabla and showcasing its universality and versatility.
Hours before he was scheduled to perform onstage, Karsh Kale's aura had taken over the ambience of blue FROG. His fans were heavy with anticipation at the magic that was about to unfold on the stage. Fluid decor and colourful lighting at Blue Frog was the perfect setting for the night. Of course, to add to the mood there were gastronomical wonders whipped up in front of everyone’s eyes. Ah yes, what you have is no short of perfection!
Karsh Kale didn’t go solo at Signature Expressions in Blue Frog. He was accompanied by music producer Gaurav Raina, ace flautist Pt. Ajay Prasanna and vocalist Talia Bentson. The moment he started the act, the whole room pumped up with an energy that vibrated throughout the entire room. The opening act saw Karsh Kale and Pt. Ajay Prasanna in a fiery Jugalbandi where each showed off their talents on tabla and flute respectively. Gaurav Raina provided the perfect setting with electronic background music and set off the entire Jugalbandi to a great start.
Followed by the Jugalbandi were two vocal tracks, where vocalist Talia joined Karsh Kale and Gaurav Raina to sing songs from Gaurav Raina's new album, “Grain”. Talia’s silky smooth voice perfectly complemented the mood of the crowd and the tracks being played by the rest.
Moving away from relaxed mood everyone was in by now, Karsh Kale resumed the act with a classic which saw a lot of cheer from the crowd - PD7 by Karsh Kale feat. Anoushka Shankar. A beautiful song which switches between electronic and classic in true Karsh Kale style, it was the perfect crossover to the next part of the show.
After this classic, Karsh Kale and Gaurav Raina went into the hardcore EDM consisting of songs which regulated between Trance, Techno and Dubstep. Never can one have imagined that the tabla can so effectively match the ups and downs of the bass in a dubstep song. It takes a live performance by Karsh Kale for one to understand the transcendent quality of the tabla. As soon as the EDM part of the show ended, there was an instant switchover to folk music matched up with extreme electronic beats by Gaurav Raina and melodious flute from Pt. Ajay Prasanna. The last track saw Karsh Kale uniting as one with the tabla and bringing the energy of the audience to a peak before ending it.
A beautiful live performance consists of equal contribution from the artist and the audience. By the end of it, Karsh Kale ensured that every soul in there had inside them a fire which left them wanting more yet realizing that they had experienced a performance which to some was no less significant than an epiphany. The way he worked around those instruments was a true testament to talent unparalleled. He came, he saw, he cast his spell with his extraordinary music and showed the world what Unique Expressions is all about.
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