Sarod maestro Soumik Datta's new single, Tiger Tiger, released on Earth Day takes on deforestation and the climate change crisis
London-based Indian musician, composer, television presenter, and sarod maestro Soumik Datta returns with the release of his new single, Tiger Tiger on Earth Day to conclude his previous EP JANGAL - also themed around deforestation and the climate change crisis.
Soumik, who has collaborated with international pop stars like Beyonce, Jay-Z and British-Asian stalwarts like Nitin Sawhney, Talvin Singh, Akram Khan and Anoushka Shankar has championed Indian arts in the mainstream through his work with London Philharmonic Orchestra and City of London Sinfonia and even through appearances at festivals like Glastonbury and WOMAD in 2019.
Talking about the inspiration behind his latest single, Soumik elaborates, “Tiger Tiger is the finale to my previous EP Jangal. Responding to the critical loss of biodiversity, my music uses the sarod woven in with instruments and musical styles from Brazil, India, Malaysia - where forests are being cleared at alarming rates. Drums from the Amazon region blended with tribal woodwinds from North East India, tabla, sarod and electronics create a protest of sound.”
He adds further, “Wildlife all over the world, is under stress. What we face today is the consequence of that - locked down and under threat from COVID-19. The more we disturb forests and natural habitats, the more danger we are in".
Jangal, is a vibrant tangle of musical influences and styles with the planet at the centre of it. The soundtrack crackles with defiant energy, and meshes ancient, digital, vocal and electronic rhythms and melodies.
Talking about his Bengali roots Soumik adds, “The Sundarban delta on the eastern coast of India is yet another climate hotspot and holds just a few of these majestic animals now. Perhaps culturally, I identify with the tiger the most. For me, this wild beast more than any other symbolises the immense power of nature. By wearing the mask, the song becomes a voice for all the endangered, hunted and marginalised creatures of our world”.
Combining Indian classical melodies with colourful, urban beats, Soumik is able to create an eclectic mix of sounds that is both transcendent and innovative. Playing the nineteen stringed, fretless sarod, Soumik’s impassioned energy simmers endlessly. His tremendous range provides enough complex rhythms and glissando notes to augment music in any genre.