AR Rahman recently launched a unique fusion album “AMALGAM” featuring one of the greatest Carnatic musicians of all time Padma Vibhushan Chevalier Dr. M. Balamuralikrishna. Album released by Saregama has Seven tracks of his compositions sung by himself in a modern, contemporary musical setting. Incidentally the album is the last ever recorded by the great vaggeyakara legend. The background score arrangements for this album done by two young musicians, Shyam Ravishankar and Nikhil N.
Shyam is a 21 year old student of Dr.M.Balamuralikrishna and is an accomplished musician having performed over 650 concerts. Nikhil N is a 24 year old music producer and composer who is a student of KM music college and Berklee College of music. He has scored music for more than 30 short films and several jingles. This album features Ragavan on the guitars, Mitul Daniel on the bass, G. Jagan on the live drums and percussion, Akshay Ram on the mrudangam and Basanth on the saxophone.
The idea for this album came when Shyam had invited his guru as the chief guest for the first public performance of his fusion band, Amalgam. His guru really enjoyed this music. After this, Shyam took one of Dr. M. Balamuralikrishna’s songs and did basic arrangements for it using elements like Guitars, bass and drums. When he heard that, Dr. M. Balamuralikrishna immediately suggested the idea of an album of 7 songs sung by him and Shyam roped in Nikhil to add expertise to the album.
Amalgam – the album blends together diverse genres of music with each other, bringing together the essence of Indian classical music and several traditional genres like jazz, blues and experimental genres of Western music like orchestral rock and contemporary new age fusion, raagas that have been there for hundreds of years with raagas created by Dr. M. Balamuralikrishna, distinctly Indian instruments like the mrudangam along with distinctly western instruments like the saxophone, the songs of an 86 year old legend with the arrangements of two young boys in their twenties. This album is well and truly an Amalgam.
Vibhu Balamurali, Musician Dr K Krishnakumar representing Dr M Balamuralikrishna Memorial Trust and Anand from Saregama were present during the occasion.