Chennai-based fusion music band, Oxygen releases its maiden The Metagen Project to mark 20th anniversary
The album comprises of six songs with over 36 musicians having collaborated to compose different compositions
Exploring different musical genres and fusing them with Indian classical and folk music and experimenting with a variety of unusual musical instruments has become a new passion for musicians. And Chennai-based band Oxygen - World Music Band is all in the spotlight for their recently released experimental album, The Metagen Project, to mark 20 years of the band’s existence.
Founded by C Girinandh, he tells us that through his musical band, he attempts to explore various spectral and sonic capabilities with the latest technology to create a uniquely immersive experience. The flagship album celebrates their journey so far.
With six songs in the album, it incorporates several genres from around the world. You get to hear a wonderful fusion of jazz and funk blended with Tamil and Bihu folk. What's more, all of it is expressed through the language of aesthetic lighting and colour combinations, making it a rare musical composition.
In addition, Tenor Strings, a Chennai-based, 20-member orchestra has added a grand flourish to this project with their perfect sound and synchronisation. Over 60 musicians have worked on the album in collaboration with Oxygen, Girinandh tells us that there are 36 original compositions featuring various musical genres, techniques, and renowned artists. “It’s a great learning experience to evolve musically as it’s a journey on its own. Through this process, we embraced technology which helped us to express the sound we had. Now we feel we can explore more with this hybrid sound performance. We are also very fortunate to collaborate with many musicians which was great learning and bonding indeed,” says Girinandh.
Composed over a span of eight months, the music album has some tracks that he says, were revisited from their previous album. “The challenge and the key were to form a 20-piece string orchestra and get the scores performed,” shares the musician. With three tracks already out from the album, each one striking the right chord with the quintessential Oxygen music, one of the tracks Thandanaane has vocals by Muthusirpi, a folk artiste from Tamil Nadu. The remaining five songs, we learn, are instrumental with beats borrowed from different genres like classical symphonic, rock, jazz funk, oriental fusion, Bihu folk fusion, and hybrid new age — each one of them presented with very abstract imagery, offering opportunities for various interpretations.
In the last two decades of his musical journey, Girinandh observes a void in original live bands. He says cover songs by any musical band usually bring more traction as audiences relate with them more. “So eventually, the major bands are into cover songs, which is great in terms of commercial music. But there is still a global audience for instrumental music and it’s definitely a healthy future for live original indie bands,” opines the musician, who along with his band members, is working on Metagen Season 2 with 36 song ideas ready. “We are planning them with projection mapping and immersive concepts,” he concludes.
The songs are streaming on YouTube and other music platforms.