What does the future hold?

City-based musician Abhijeet Tambe’s upcoming performance, Portal Waiting, is based on his latest album
In frame: Abhijeet Tambe
In frame: Abhijeet Tambe

Think about a performance where you are transported into a post-dystopian future world with two characters who have opposite ideologies, each occupying the ground and the sky. As they argue on their respective positions, they repeatedly refer back to a time in the past, which leaves the audience with one question in their mind: how will the future look back at us? Written, developed and performed by Bengaluru-based musician and storyteller Abhijeet Tambe, Portal Waiting is a show that is inspired by Abhijeet’s latest music album. We get chatty with him to know more about his performance, where the idea originated from and lots more…

Tell us more about your show? What can the audience expect?
Portal Waiting is the name of my six-song EP , the concept album I released in November. It has a strong interconnection between each of the songs. In my head, there has always been a story and a central character — the protagonist — who is having a particular experience and that is exactly what I wanted to bring on stage and the performance that I’ve lined up wasn’t something that I thought of while I was making the EP. Although the album is set in between the present and the future, the performance is certainly set about 100 years ahead in the future — a post-apocalyptic world to be precise. There are two sets of survivors and they are both enjoying two very different kinds of utopia. One is a set of people that live in a forest here on Earth and the other set lives in a city that is up in the stars. There is a conversation between one character from Earth and another from the city in the stars and they are looking back at a point in history that resulted in the ‘so-called’ calamity. The time that they are looking back is roughly the time we are living in now, so for someone who is experiencing the show, it’s like the two characters are looking back and talking about us.

You not only play both the character but will also be singing simultaneously. How challenging is it to perform these three roles together?
There’s a couple of ways to look at it. I have experience as a musician performing on stage. But when it comes to playing these characters, I’m neither trained nor do I have experience. Writing a script is something I love doing and I’ve done it for a long time. But writing a script for a 74-minute show like this is something I haven’t done before. I have to be very careful about how I rehearse this, how much I push, because it has really been strenuous on my voice.

Tell us more about the album on which the performance is based on?
I used to play in a band called Lounge Piranha that was based in Bengaluru. We had an alternative rock-oriented approach and it’s certainly the kind of music I resonate with. After leaving the band, I went through certain changes and felt pretty blue for a while. I came out of it and sort of reset my life with music and did a couple of things I had never done before. One of them being composition and sound design for theatre and film. That’s where I got my first exposure to how various storytelling forms can intersect with music and sound. I started to keep my songs simple and they started to become about my personal experiences. During the pandemic, I started getting this dystopic kind of a feeling. Because the pandemic showed us our vulnerabilities, the end of the world kind of feeling that grew really strong and I just channeled that to write something unique.

What’s next for you?
More performances, hopefully (laughs). I have another performance lined up at The Blue Room in Jayanagar. I’m hoping to take this show to other cities in India in spring this year. I am also working on another album with my friend Anurag Shankar, which will be out in the second half of 2024.

Entry free. January 6, 6 pm. At BIC, Domlur.

Email: alwin@newindianexpress.com
X: @al_ben_so

Related Stories

No stories found.