Tabla rolls and the glides from the sarangi will mingle with the booming western drums and electric guitars, as Indian-Austrian music group Ashram will dish out a concert in the state capital on Friday to regale the audience with classical Indian melodies, sacred Sanskrit chants and pulsating rock vocals.
Organised by Goethe-Zentrum together with the Corporation of Thiruvananthapuram, the New Year high-voltage pop concert will be held at the Manaveeyam Veedhi, Vellayambalam at 7 pm. Entry is free.
Ashram, whose musicians came together in 2004 to form a cross-continental band, has held a string of concerts in Europe and India. Among other things, they presented a second album ‘Prison Without Walls’ in around 100 jails from northern Germany to Thiruvananthapuram.
Embarking on a new era, the band has dedicated the last few years to the cult novel Siddhartha by Nobel laureate Hermann Hesse. This hugely inspirational book, which deals with the spiritual journey of a boy, Siddhartha, from the Indian subcontinent during the time of Lord Buddha, shows a path of duality and circles in samsara (cycles of birth, misery, and death caused by karma), which is what the band embodies by breathing music to connect the world.
For some time, Ashram has been planning the reunion of the intercontinental band and the release of a third album ‘Siddharth’ this year as part of this venture and also play a short tour through Austria, Switzerland, Germany and India.
The band was inspired by the spirit of the 1922 book Siddhartha and transformed their years of Indian experiences and spiritual adventures into their own songs. The music and lyrics, written in Sanskrit and English, attempt to bring a modern Buddha Gautama Siddhartha into the year 2024. The band has dedicated the new songs and the concerts to the life’s work of Hermann Hesse.
Online samples can be found at (www.ashram-music.com). In 2006, Ashram recorded its first album in Thiruvananthapuram. A year later, in August and September, they presented their first album (‘Ashram’) and played more than 30 gigs across Germany and Austria in the following tour.
Ashram’s second album was mixed by 16-time Grammy Award winner Thom Russo (thomrusso.net). He has worked with some of the biggest names in the international music scene beyond Ashram, including Eric Clapton and Michael Jackson.
In the words of ‘Ashram’ members: “Sounds of Indian tabla mixed with guitar riffs, mystic sitar tones and Far East voices embedded in fundamentally Western rock grooves is Oriental Rock, the unique sound of Indian European fusion.”