SRF Innovation Award // Live Showcase // Introducing: Sarathy Korwar
November 26, 2015
On the 26th November, we’ll be putting on a London showcase featuring the artists supported by the Steve Reid Innovation Award. Set up to aid the development of unsigned artists who are pushing musical boundaries, the award provides financial assistance as well as vital mentoring. Taking place at The Forge, it’ll be an opportunity to see the artists perform at an exciting point in their development. You can buy tickets for the show for £5.
To give you an insight into the artists before the show, we’ve asked each of them a few questions about their inspirations and ideas informing their music. We spoke to Sarathy Korwar about the influence of Sidi heritage, influential records and plans for his live setup.
Could you pick three records that have been influential for you?
I’d say of recent times the three records that have inspired me are…
Charles Lloyd – Wild Man Dance
I heard Charles Lloyd live for the first time last year at the Barbican and was completely mesmerised and blown away at the same time. This live album has the same effect on me, from the choice of eclectic instruments and how they interact to the band’s overall vibe. So much vibe…
Jaimeo Brown – Transcendence
I love the concept of the album and how well the gospel samples sit with the free jazz nature of the band. Was very inspired on hearing it and it has deeply influenced the way I have gone about doing my own album.
Ashwini Bhide Deshpande – Women Through The Ages
Her rendition of Raga Jaunpuri on this album is one of my favourites and I have spent many many mornings listening to this record. It makes me very reflective. One of my favourite indian classical singers.
Is there one instrument or piece of equipment that you couldn’t do without
For a performance I’d like to think there isn’t any one thing that I rely so heavily on that I couldn’t perform without. But I couldn’t do without the tabla in general. It’s the mother instrument! A lot of my ideas come from playing the tabla and it inspires a range of musical possibilities for me.
Have there been any bits of advice from your mentors through the Innovation Award that have stuck with you?
The mentors have been very encouraging throughout and have basically advised me to trust my own musical instincts and make the album I had set out to make, which has been very reassuring.
Nick Woodmansey aka Emanative has been very influential in the production of the album and has been a great sounding board for my ideas.
What is it that most excites you about working with Sidi folk music? And how do you see it interacting with the other aspects of your music?
The Sidis are an incredible community of people. They are the living link between Africa and India. They are Sufis and their songs celebrate Sufi saints, their African heritage and are also distinctly Indian. The group that I worked with are great performers and musicians who inspire many musical ideas.
My own music emerges mainly from jazz and indian classical music. So the album weaves together the music of the Sidis and the reactions and responses to their music by contemporary jazz and indian classical musicians both from the UK and India. Hopefully, the resulting music reflects all the varied connections and relationships between people on the album, without trying too hard.
What’s your live setup going to be at The Forge?
I’m going to be joined by a band featuring musicians I love and have played on the album as well. There is an accompanying photo-essay by Nikhil Roshan that will be screened that was shot during my trip to Ratanpur and Bharuch in India where the group of Sidi musicians live.
Buy tickets for the show tonight.