The Sangeet Project
Sebastian Åberg has been combining tabla studies in India with drumming on club scenes in Sweden and England during the last ten years. Two seemingly different worlds that now has merged on his debut album. ” I know that I’ve found the perfect combination of modern electronica and Indian art music”, he says.
The first close contact with Indian music took place in 1998 for Sebastian Åberg, who earlier had been occupied mostly with rock and synth music behind the drums. He went to Panjim on the south Indian west coast to study tabla for the master Maruti Kurdekar.
– I stayed for a year and during that time the idea of finding new types of meetings between classical Indian music and more modern western influences began to take shape, he explains.
The studies at Kala Academy gave Sebastian Åberg an opportunity to do an in-depth study of the strict rules as well as the poetic freedom of classical Indian music – and his love for the complex and dynamic tabla grew strong. So strong that he two years later returned to India with recording equipment as only luggage.
– I stayed for six months. During some intensive weeks, I recorded with local musicians. I used some basic ideas that I had prepared in Sweden for structure and inspiration.
The Sangeet Project was thereby established.
Since then, a lot has happened. Intensive studio work with production and additional recordings with Swedish musicians – on lapsteel and Turkish doudouk to name a few examples – has finally ended in seven tracks that Sebastian describes as music that preserves the traditional magic and structure of the raga, but with ”heavier beats and a more suggestive, electronic feeling”.
– Two things have been important for me during this process. First – that the origin, the raga, is handled with esteem. Secondly – that the musical meeting between east and west actually enhances the musical expression, more than becoming a gimmick.
Click here for a hires photo of Sebastian Åberg. Photographer: Jon Edergren. The image may be used for editorial purposes. Please contact info-at-countryandeastern.se if you have any questions.
The Sangeet Project was performed live at the Ethnografic Muséum, in Stockholm 2006. A 10-minute video of “Pray”: