On Wednesday, 22nd March, Sarod artist Soumik Datta will be returning to Liverpool to perform at Liverpool’s Philharmonic’s Music Room. A polymath composer, producer, bandleader and TV presenter, Datta’s work embraces traditional and contemporary art forms to address the urgent issues of our times.
We have a long and happy history with Soumik – he was one of the first members of ‘Tarang‘, and we continued to work with him beyond that in support of his development as a professional musician through performance opportunities and fellowships to train in India!
We’re looking forward to welcoming him back to Liverpool! This week, we caught up with Soumik to ask some questions ahead of his gig:
- Can you tell us a little bit about Tarang, the Indian music ensemble that you played in?
At the age of 18, Tarang was the first music group I was ever part of in the UK. It connected me with other young, aspiring musicians learning Indian music on tabla, sax, sitar, sarod, santoor and guitar – many of whom have become prolific artists in our field. I’m really grateful to Milapfest for that early opportunity, and for the memories of some warm friendships!
- What will it be like, to return to Liverpool after so long?
It won’t be the same of course but I’m delighted to be invited back. My current work is an attempt to dig deeper into Indian classical music and be more exploratory with the form of ragas. So I’ve chosen to present some of those ideas at this concert and invited one of the finest tabla players in the world (and a dear friend) to join me – Shahbaz Hussain.
- What advice would you give to young musicians who are at the start of their careers, and trying to find their way?
1. Practice, practice, practice!
2. Record yourself (even if it’s just audio on your phone) and play it back. Take notes, record again!
3. Play your attempts to other musicians to get their feedback and ideas.
4. Stay in the company of better artists than yourself, stay inspired, and stay motivated.
5. Don’t be hard on yourself if things aren’t happening immediately. Your musical muscles will develop over time. Trust in your body, and your long term goals.
Soumik Datta will return to the Milap stage on Wednesday, 22nd March 2023 at the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Music Room. Tickets are available to purchase here.