Chennai, January 2018: British Council today unveiled the Chennai edition of Mix the City (MTC) at the opening eve of IIT Saarang. MTC isan interactive music platform that connects the city and its musicwith the world. It was been designed by award-winning British start-ups- digital content partner Flying Object and technical development partner Roll Studio.The launch was preceded by a special opening performance at the Classical night for IIT Saarang by MTC musicians- Prakash Hariharan (Mandolin), Vivek Anand (Acoustic Guitar), Anil Srinivasan (Piano), Padma Shankar (Violin), Rajhesh Vaidya (Veena), Paul Jacob (Bass Guitar) and Perimallam Drummers led by A. Samraj.
Alan Gemmell OBE, Director India, British Council, said, “We’re delighted to launch Mix the City Chennai and celebrate a city we love as well as its artists and musicians. We’ve recorded 12 outstanding musicians in iconic locations across the city and hope we’ll inspire people all over the world with the incredible music of an incredible city. “
Mix the City allows users to create and share their own unique audio-visual soundtrack of Chennai, mixing music samples performed by artists at well-known landmarks across the city. The Chennai edition has been created with the help of UK folk musician and producer- Anna Meredith and Indian music production company EarthSync. It features 12 exciting Chennai-based musicians: Padma Shri A.K. Palanivel (Thavil), Sumesh Narayanan (Mridangam), SarojaGanapathy (Dilruba), Sean Roldan (Electric Guitar), Prakash Hariharan (Mandolin), Vivek Anand (Acoustic Guitar), Anil Srinivasan (Piano), Padma Shankar (Violin), Rajhesh Vaidya (Veena), Runa Rizvi (Vocals), Paul Jacob (Bass Guitar) and Perimallam Drummers led by A. Samraj. In Chennai, the locations that have been filmed are unique and artsy with a cultural significance behind them.
The app aims to showcase the diversity of the country through its sound in the metro cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata. It reflects upon the evolving music scene in India and the fusion of sounds between classical, folk, ethnic and contemporary music styles with a balanced mix between vocals and instrumental in all versions.The first ever Mix The City was commissioned by the British Council in Tel Avivand curated byKutiman, acclaimed songwriter, producer, mixologist, filmmaker.
Visit www.mixthecity.com to create your own soundtrack using the sounds of the world.
For more information, please contact:
Aditi Hindwan| [email protected] | 8377001450
| National Head – Press and Media | British Council Division
For media information, please contact:
Swati Guwalani | [email protected] | 98732 20117
Bhawana Narula | [email protected] | 8130479839
About the creative team
Flying Object, the digital content partner on Mix the City, are a London-based creative agency. Core to their work is the belief that advertising and media has limited ability to cut through; instead, brands and cultural organisations should earn attention by being interested in their consumers, and giving interesting experiences in return. Their work covers video, social, interactive and physical installations. Recent projects include Tate Sensorium, winner of Tate’s IK Prize 2015, and the A-Z of YouTube, for the 10th birthday of the video-sharing website.
Roll Studio, our technical development partner, is a creative digital agency based in London and Avellino, Italy, specialising in design, development and digital services. They have over 10 years’ experience in creating and programming some of the most innovative experiences on the internet. Helping brands embrace the ever changing digital landscape and having some fun along the way, more information can be found at Rollstudio.co.uk
EarthSync is a producer of high end, award winning audio and visual content, based in Chennai, South India, working with roots to contemporary music and artists from far corners of the world. EarthSync’s diverse work spans international touring, documentary films, educational programmes, digital products, and festivals. Its online platform EarthMoments produces unique collections of high quality global sound samples, and IndiEarth supports independent artists. EarthSync brings its vast experience and multi-country network to build India’s creative industries infrastructure through its initiative IndiEarthXChange, India’s definitive trade event for independent music, film and media.
A songwriter, producer, orchestra leader, mixologist, filmmaker Kutiman burst into the music scene in 2007 with the world wide debut of his critically acclaimed, self-titled album Kutiman. It received rave reviews from top music critics including Pitchfork, CLR8R, The Fader and DJ Magazine. Kutiman is a leading member of the jazz-funk outfit called The Kutiman Orchestra, comprising 8-9 musicians, who offer a unique psych-jazz adventure. The Kutiman Orchestra’s sound can be described as a playful yet tension filled space found between the tight, mind-blowing grooves of James Brown and the loose, cosmic jazz of Sun-Ra. Kutiman’s interest in the alchemy of digital video art and warm soulful music saw his ground-breaking online music video “mash-up” series ThruYOU soar to an incredible 10 million views on YouTube in just two weeks.
About British Council:
The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We create friendly knowledge and understanding between the people of the UK and other countries. We do this by making a positive contribution to the UK and the countries we work with – changing lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust. We work with over 100 countries across the world in the fields of arts and culture, English language, education and civil society. Each year we reach over 20 million people face-to-face and more than 500 million people online, via broadcasts and publications. Founded in 1934, we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body.
The UK-India Year of Culture was announced by Prime Minister Modi during his 2015 visit to the UK. The British Council in India curated a programme that celebrated the modern-day relationship between the UK and India, connected with young people and inspired them to build a relationship for the next 70 years. To find out more about the UK-India Year of Culture please visit: www.britishcouncil.in
About the artists:
Sumesh Narayanan:Hailing from a traditional musical family, Sumesh wasunder the tutelage of Mridangam Maestro Kalaimamani Sri ThiruvaarurBakthavathsalam for more than 16 years and has acquired the nuances of the traditional gurukulam approach of learning. Apart from being a classical performing artist, Sumesh has also been a part of a number of innovative outfits that cut across musical genres and styles resulting in a contemporary flavour that suits the mind-set of the newer generation.
Prakash Hariharan: A classically trained electric mandolin virtuoso who focuses on fusion and South Indian classical (Carnatic) music. In addition to his original and classical work, Prakash continues to work in the film industry with notable composers like A.R. Rahman, Harris Jeyaraj, Imman composing and producing soundtrack works. He also performed at the famous Dakota Jazz Club in Minneapolis and toured South Africa with his Carnatic-Flamenco fusion trio performing sold out shows in Johannesburg and Cape Town.
Anil Srinivasan: An accomplished classical pianist, the first to be awarded the coveted SangeetNatakAkademi Youth Award in 2010 for creative and experimental music (India’s national honour for musicians under 35). He is also the founder of the hugely successful “Rhapsody” music education initiative, which uses structured, systematic syllabi delivered through schools using a combination of physical classroom learning and online support to promote classical arts to nearly 75,000 children across south India.
Padma Shankar:She started her training in music at a tender age from her vainika mother, Mrs Lakshmi Narayanan. Padma is graded “A” by the All India Radio and is a regular performer in both All India Radio and Doordarshan. In 2011, she accompanied Anoushka Shankar at the premier of her album “Traveller” in Girona, Spain.
Perimellam Drums: Starting off as a 10-member band in 2007, it has now grown up to a 45-member band. The musicians in this troupe play a form of drum which is one of the oldest drums used in India, especially in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu.
Vivek Anand:A guitarist who has been playing since childhood has developed a strong passion for the solo guitar and its repertoire having experimented with genres from classical and rock to many other styles. He has been honored with a teaching diploma in Classical guitar (ALCM_TD) from the highly esteemed University of West London and has been teaching for a decade helping students score in board examinations such as Trinity.
Rajhesh Vaidya:He inherited his indigenous talents from his father Sri K. M. Vaidyanathan, a stalwart both in Mridangam and Ghatam, who also decided Rajhesh’s career in music. Apart from his blistering speed, his performance is distinguished by his use of electric and amplified strings. Within the Veena and south Indian music tradition, he is undoubtedly one of the most intriguing and technically beguiling artists.
Padma Shri AK Palanivel: An artist who plays the Indian drum, Thavil. Palanivel first learnt playing the Thavil under the tutelage of his father, S. Kumaravel Pillai from 1959. His inimitable virtuosity on this “Raja Vadya” elevated him to the status of a highly coveted Thavil artist when he was barely 15. He has also been playing the Nagaswaram, as well as other classical instruments like violin, flute, veena, guitar, clarinet, mandolin, and saxophone, as well as utilising vocal music.
SarojaGanapathy: Having been born into a musical family predominantly from the Tamil film industry, she is a very well-known Dilruba& Tar Shehnai player for over three decades now. She is the only female Dilruba player in south India who has performed in more than 3,000 movies across different Indian languages with music directors like MS Viswanathan, Illayaraja, Deva, AR Rahman and other leading music directors.
Sean Roldan: Sean Roldan is a multi-award winning multi-instrumentalist, who excels as a singer, songwriter and guitarist. Also known as R Raghavendra, Sean is a professional Carnatic classical musician who developed an original song-writing style and played the guitar with a blend of Indian folk, American country-blues, acoustic-funk and classical-melody influences. Aside from his independent projects, Sean composed an original score for the short film Crying in the Dark which won ‘Best Picture’ at the Earth-Spirit-Love Festival in London.
Paul Jacob: A critically acclaimed musician from Chennai who has travelled the world with his music. Having started out playing the bass guitar with his school band aged 12 Paul went on to be a part of several rock bands before joining “Nemesis Avenue”, which featured future Oscar winner A. R. Rahman on keyboard. His interest in Indian traditional music led to the formation of Bodhimuzzik, an organisation dedicated to the integration and promotion of traditional Indian music.
Runa Rizvi: A serene and powerful voice in the world of music, Runa is a Sufi, Ghazal & Fusion Artiste. Equally skilled in the contemporary Bollywood industry, Runa has worked with noted artists like AR Rahman & Sanjay LeelaBhansali for mainstream projects. Her love for Jazz can be seen in her contemporary improvisations. Runa has been performing since the age of 6 and has grown to be a true versatile artist and a true cosmopolitan in nature.