Balancing a profession and a hobby, creatively and effectively, can be a challenge to many, but not for these bunch of IT professionals. What began as a company band of 50 people in 2008, SvarAmrita is now an Indian classical creative music band which specialises in blending various musical styles from classical - Carnatic and Hindustani, to folk and western, producing creative music beyond boundaries and genres. Giving the usual guitar, keyboard and drums a miss, today, this band has eight members, all inclined towards the classical. Veena, violin and flute are the main instruments used in their compositions.
"We try to bring in some unique elements in each composition. For example, one of our composition starts with a raga and then blends with a Mozart composition. In another composition, we have merged elements of Hindustani classical music and the Hollywood James Bond theme music," says Krishnananda Vaikuntha Prabhu, the tablist.
According to the members, who are employees of companies like Infosys, Oracle, Philips, Cognizant, NTTDATA, PESIT and Sampoorna, it is in the few hours they spend practising and not in their hectic jobs that they find satisfaction.
The band will be releasing their brand new album 'Journey' on December 15 consisting of nine tracks. "The album is about an eternal bond between ‘them’. 'Them' represents man and woman, human and music, we and universe," said Vishwesh Bhat, the lead vocalist and an employ of NTTDATA.
Unlike Bhat, who has continued to juggle his music and work, Shruthi V Kumar, a veena player broke her connection with the IT sector last year and took up music full time. "I realised that I didn't want to be part of the mundane routine. Music gives me happiness," she says. Apart from playing veena, Shruthi is also a music therapist.
The original band, Xprescions, was formed in the year 2008 with more than 50 IT professionals. "At that time, we all were part of the same organisation. We have had performances where all fifty would perform on the same stage. Then eventually, we started getting offers to perform outside the company. Also, our band members started quitting the firm and shifting out. That is when we made it an individual band without any connection to the company," says Bhat.
Apart from giving live performances and composing songs, the band has also lent music to some unique projects in other cities.
Last month the gang was in Ahmedabad for the inauguration of the sound and light show in Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Museum for which they have composed music. "Our composition is played as part of their everyday programme," says Bhat.
The band members feel that western music has more takers as compared to classical especially in a city like Bangalore where every street has a pub which allows live performances. "For us, the opportunities are limited. We cannot carry a veena in a pub. Also, today's generation has very limited knowledge of our own culture," Bhat laments.