Amit Chaudhuri — ‘This Is Not Fusion’

Amit Chaudhuri

Indian novelist and musician Amit Chaudhuri releases his first UK album ‘This Is Not Fusion’

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This Is Not Fusion – Amit Chaudhuri
Released by Babel on 22/2/10

Following a series of sold-out live performances in 2009 that culminated at the London Jazz Festival, Amit Chaudhuri releases his first album ‘This Is Not Fusion’ on the Babel Label on February 22nd 2010.

‘This Is Not Fusion’ brings together the major threads of twentieth-century western popular music: blues, jazz, rock, techno and disco with Indian classical music in an original and eclectic way that explores
the many similarities between the genres to produce
a wholly uncontrived, natural musical language.

The music on ‘This Is Not Fusion’ emerges from Chaudhuri’s multiple lineages: as a trained and recorded singer in the Indian classical tradition; his experience as a guitarist and singer in the American singer/songwriter mould; and as an internationally acclaimed, award-winning novelist and critic.

Amit Chaudhuri writes –
‘At the age of sixteen when my immersion in Indian vocal music grew more intense there came a gradual but seemingly irrevocable rejection of the western music I had grown up with and it would take me seventeen years to start listening again to my old record collection. When I did I began to hear doubly; to hear the raga in the blues and the blues in the raga. What brought the two together was the pentatonic scale and the bent notes used in both traditions, which now struck my ears anew. It was in this receptive mood that I heard one morning as I was practising raga Todi, the riff to Clapton’s ‘Layla’ in a handful of notes I was singing. Soon after, I thought I heard, in a hotel lobby, a santoor playing Auld Lang Syne, although it was actually a phrase from raga Bhupali. Those moments of ‘mishearing’ also contained within them both my past and moments in the history of Bombay converging with the present. From these convergences began the musical project I have been working on and travelling with for the last four years which has resulted in this album.’

What the media has said about ‘This Is Not Fusion’.

‘This Is Not Fusion’ explores the junctions between Indian classical and western popular traditions to frequently startling effect.’ The Guardian

‘This is Not Fusion’ is a provocation and rebuff to players of the past like the Mahavishnu Orchestra who projected east and west as inert, static categories… Chaudhuri uses this struggle and makes torpid elements pull together to flash and burn bright.’ Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, The Independent

‘Chaudhuri’s ‘non-fusion’ music creates a striking metaphor for the urban sensibility.’ Ivan Hewett, Daily Telegraph

‘An unalloyed pleasure… I really do love his voice and his style.’ Stephen Fry

‘That a singer with a soothing, classical voice has remained hidden in a writer of acclaimed novels is this album’s first surprise. Amit Chaudhuri, a trained classical musician besides being a fabulous novelist has succeeded in marrying the East and the West with aplomb.’ The Hindu

‘Sublime music…’ Wall Street Journal