A sensational journey

“I began playing the guitar when I was in 8th standard, but I only became more passionate about it after my proximity to Indian classical music” says Susmit Sen the self-taught musician and co-founder of the band Indian Ocean, who gave a talk about his journey through music and life on Friday, 19th, at St. Joseph’s college.

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Photo credit: Toto funds the arts. 

The talk began with his relationship with music from as far as he could remember. “When I first picked up the guitar, I played a few Beatles and Bob Dylan songs, but I found my true calling, I found Indian classical music a few years later” said the Musician.

Susmit then spoke of his college life, where he discovered his own style of playing music and was encouraged to take part in many competitions. “The only competition I won 1st place, was in my own college, but it was made clear that competition is not best for any form of art. Judging really narrows an art form down into constricted genres” said the artist who then went on to tell the audience that the sad truth was that the world is still governed by competition like it was then.

 

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Photo credit: Toto funds the arts. 

The artist then continued to describe his work life. He spoke of a desk job and added that it made him realize that it was not the life he wanted and how life took a turn.

“In 1986, Asheem Chakravarty and I performed for the first time, we were then called the Susmit and Asheem duo we were supposed to play for 45 minutes but we ended up playing for more than one and a half hours” said Susmit, who formed the band Indian Ocean 4 years later.

Susmit then took a break from his story and played a song by Nirmalendu Chowdhury after which he explained to the audience about how Nirmalendu’s powerful voice influenced him. He also spoke about how Indians were influenced by western culture.

The audience began to listen even more patiently, when Susmit began to speak about his experience with the band. “The journey with Indian Ocean was long and beautiful. Two more members Rahul Ram and Amit Kilam joined us, we produced 5 studio albums and a live album, but it was not easy” said Susmit who explained the struggles that lay in to developing an album.

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Photo credit: Toto funds the arts. 

After the inspiring story and a quick Q&A session, he mesmerized the audience with his melody as he played a few of his pieces on his multi-talented guitar, which not only overwhelmed the audience, but also inspired them.

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I am not much of a writer but I love covering all forms of art.

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