v-RAVI “Guitar Fusion”
feat. RAVI IYER, blending Carnatic & Hindustani music on the double-necked, custom Guitar !
The Background: Ravi Iyer, India’s leading rock-guitarist right from the 90s, having spearheaded some the best rock bands including Witch Hammer (80s & 90s), Vayu (2000-08) & Para-Vayu (2009-2012), is also one of the most versatile musician, who believes that there are no boundaries in music and genres. He endorses leading International brands such as PRS Guitars, BE3 Amplifiers and D’Addario Strings.
Ravi was featured as the Cover Story in the ‘Big M’ magazine earlier this year (see in slideshow above)
The Birth of “v-RAVI”: Ravi made a conscious effort in 2011 to go back to his Indian Classical roots (he is a trained Tabla player, besides coming from a family with a strong music background in both Hindustani & Carnatic styles). What started off simply as an honest attempt at extracting a completely pure and traditional Indian sound out of the guitar, has now eventually led to his most passionate project, the ‘v-RAVI – Guitar Fusion’ band, with Ravi’s custom-made, double-necked guitar becoming the protagonist of the act, very ably complimented by Rupak Dhamankar (Tabla) & Krishnan Narayanan (Mridangam).
The Sound: While the music of the band is mainly based on Indian ragas, blended beautifully with western and Indian instruments, sticking to a basic 3-piece line-up allows Ravi to fuse elements of various genres to the music. This also allows v-RAVI to collaborate with International musicians (as they have done previously with Clio Karabelias (Greece) on the Harp, Jake Bloch (USA) on the Drums, Pelle Kruse (Sweden) on the Blues Harp) and also renowned Indian musicians (such as Sivamani, Fazal Qureshi, Pt. Ravi Chary, Sridar Parthsarthy, Prakash Sontakke, Gino Banks, and many more). Hence, whilst the sound is Indian, it still reaches out to a worldwide audience.
The album BENDS: Bends is Ravi Iyer’s second Solo album (this time as the band v-RAVI) after Rocking Raga (2003). Trading complex chordal harmonies for more Indian bends, this album is all about sound straight from the soul – just the way traditional music has been. As Ustad Fazal Qureshi, who has featured on Ravi’s latest award-winning video-single 786 – an art attack, rightly said at the album’s launch concert, “Ravi Iyer has done a great job of combining the two systems of music, in a harmonized manner”
The album was recorded as a part of three different live performances at the prestigious club Blue Frog, Mumbai (India) and features a number of artists from India and abroad. Veteran music critic Narendra Kusnur published in his review of the album “‘Bends’ is one of the most important guitar albums released in India”.
Live Performance Showreel:
Major Concerts so far:
- Taehwa river International Jazz Festival (TiJaF), Ulsan, South Korea – Sept ’14
- USA Tour (San Francisco & New York) – Apr-May ’14
- Worli Festival – Jan ‘14 & Jan ’13
- Kala Ghoda Arts Festival – Feb ‘13
- Bandstand Revival Fest – Apr’ 13
- Hard Rock Café – Feb ‘13
- PALM Expo – June ‘13
- Wassup Andheri Festival – 2011
- Blue Frog – Aug ‘13
- B Flat, Bangalore – Jun ‘13
- Nokia Music Connects – ‘12