Setting out to grab a world record with a guitar
Music is believed by some to encapsulate the beauty of the world. New Delhi-based guitarist Kapil Srivastava, however, has taken this idea quite literally and plans to complement his music with the visual charm of distinct landscapes via his new project Amazing India. Known for his compositions in the Irrfan Khan-starrer Dubai Return and a jugalbandhi (duet) with Grammy winner Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, this musician kick-started his latest venture to make a mark with a world record—shooting 300 videos of various compositions at exotic locations across India.“My objective is to bridge the beauty and culture of India and reach out to today’s youth as well as global tourists,” says Kapil, who has already released three rearranged tracks (including Dil Hoom Hoom Kare from the movie Rudali) as a part of this effort. “Cine music is a very important tool in communicating to the masses. The great melodies of composers like Ilaiyaraaja and Salil Chowdhury acquire a distinct character when transcribed on guitar,” he adds. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V0afi8CRAf8
Chasing the melody
Inspired by his pupils who belong to various states, the guitarist, who runs a 12-year-old guitar training school with branches in cities including Hyderabad and Bengaluru, plans to traverse the country from Kashmir to Kanyakumari to execute this ambitious idea. “I was born in a metropolitan city amidst traffic, pollution and people chasing after a higher social standing. There is very little space for the self,” explains the artiste on why he chose to venture outside the comfort of air-conditioned recording studios. His notions of fusing travel and music are evident in his music videos like Tere Mere Hoton Pe from Chandni—shot at Dharamsala in Himachal Pradesh. Kapil adds,“I realised that I should communicate the tunes from amidst nature, so I choose every location based on the feel/mood/colour of the melody.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4woVWE3eJJs
The artiste claims that inspired listeners are already reinterpreting classic compositions from Bollywood in the wake of his melodic improvisations in the series (which makes use of alternative scales). Besides reworking evergreen tunes, Kapil intends to widen the scope of his project with influences drawn from blues, country, Irish and his forte—Indian ragas. “There are so many places in South India with abundant historical and cultural significance. Alappuzha, Mahabalipuram and Gokarna are some of my dream spots. I’m also hoping for some solos and collaborations with local string instrument musicians,” he iterates, when asked about plans to travel down South. Honoured by the Health & Family Welfare Department of the Government of Delhi for his creation of Kayotsarg—a series of tracks inspired by Hindustani classical music which helps deal with stress—his new programme aims to generate nostalgia for Indians across the country.