I am a multi-instrumentalist (play Sitar, guitar, drums, percussions), music composer and music producer. In this page, you can listen to some of my works, and read about my musical journey.
Sitar Recital as a part of my music group MelodyLabs's performance in Santa Clara Fairgrounds, 2018.
I designed and directed this 18 minute music video "A Tribute to Legends of Bengali Music: From San Francisco Bay Area" in summer 2017. I worked with more than 25 Bengali singers/musicians from the Bay Area to create this. I did all the music arrangement, played multiple musical instruments, did the video recording, editing, music mixing, mastering and production. This music video was selected as the official theme music video for North American Bengali Conference (NABC) 2017.
This is the entire recording of "Siddhartha and friends present: 6 Strings and a decade - a musical". This 45 minute program was hosted in Chabot College, Bay Area in 2012, and involves several singers, musicians and dancers.
My musical journey
Music is a very important part of my life. I play several musical instruments, have composed and published a Bengali album, have lead several large musical productions, have created music videos of scale, and am an active member of the Bay Area musical community.
I started in my college band as a drummer in my IIT Kanpur undergrad days starting in 1997, with focus on A.R. Rahman songs and hard rock. I then shifted my focus on guitars, and in a few years, was the lead guitarist and music arranger for all group musical performances in IIT. I also started accompanying various artists on the keyboards, playing piano style, and by my final year, I had won best instrumentalist in IIT Kanpur for 3 consecutive years during intra-hall cultural competition "Galaxy".
Coming over to USA in 2003 to do a PhD introduced me to many different genres of music - bluegrass, blues, Jazz, country - to name a few. I gradually started getting influenced by these sounds. I also shifted focus to being a solo instrumental artist rather than part of a band, and started performing instrumental solos for several musical events.
At this time, I also started my stint as a composer, and did my first Bengali album, "JolChobi" in 2007, where I sang all the songs, as well as played all the instruments and produced them. This experience also brought me into the field of music production - the fine art of recording, mixing, mastering, arranging.
After coming to the Bay Area in 2009, I started interacting with the legendary Indian classical Violinist Shishirkana Dhar Chowdhury, and started performing with her student orchestra. It was there that I got deeply into Indian classical music. It's depth and richness has since dazzled me, and I started infusing several elements of Indian classical styles into my playing. I started concentrating on learning, as best as I could, the various niches of Indian classical instruments which can be carried over to the various instruments that I play, especially electric and acoustic guitar.
Starting 2012, I started foraying into leading large musical stage productions, which combine a lot of singers, musicians and dancers, all coming together to perform live with a common theme and story. My first such big production was called "Six Strings and a Decade", which was staged in Chabot College in 2012. You can find the music video below. In October 2016, I staged another musical called "Siddhartha and friends", where I got together some of my most well known singers, musicians and dancers, and did alternative implementations of popular Bengali songs in a 1:30 hours program.
In early 2017, during preparations for NABC 2017 (hosted in the Bay Area), I was asked to create a theme music video involving local bay area musical talents. I got together a team of around 30 singers and musicians, and created, directed, produced and arranged a music video. It was one of the most complex productions, which involved hours of recording, playing several musical instruments, editing, mixing, mastering, to name a few. It took around three months, and a lot of fun, to complete. You can find the music video below.
In later 2017, my wife bought me a Sitar as a gift. From the moment I picked it up, I have been in love with this majestic instrument. A lot of my focus has now shifted to (self learn) Sitar by watching YouTube videos of Maihar gharana classical Artists, mostly the late great Sitarist Pandit Ravi Shankar. I did my first solo Sitar public performance in a friend's daughter's marriage ceremony, and I realized that I had indeed picked up (a few) nuances of a classical Sitar player. I still consider myself a beginner Sitar player, but have nevertheless started giving small stage performances since then.
Music is an every day part and parcel of my life, and my musical growth has largely been inspired by my wife, who is a brilliant singer herself, and by some friends who have inspired me and have taken interest in my musical growth.
I have really enjoyed my exposure to all sorts of world music and Indian classical music, and I am now at a stage where I would like to contribute something significant in the domain of world music. I have an ongoing project in world music which I hope to share with you all shortly. Stay tuned.