Sunday, January 22, 2006

Niladri Kumar and his Zitar

That’s what he calls his 5-string electrified sitar and is in the process of patenting. It has a pick-up and is plugged into a Boss GT-6 guitar effects processor - a rocker's delight!
Had the good fortune of watching him play his zitar live at the first ever Bangalore Habba in 2003-2004. His performance - MIND BLOWING –
Watching him sitting centre-stage with the likes of Fazal and Taufiq Quereshi, Karl Peters, Louis Banks and play like he did … the guy is a genius.
Unfortunately not too many albums of his out there … available in the shops i.e. – we truly live in an age of bhangra and techno … its unbelievably hard to find albums of Indian artists.
Update – Its impossible to find CD’s of Colonial Cousins or Silk Route – they don’t make them anymore – so if you have them or know someone who has them – hang on to those CD’s friends! That’s how bad the situation is!
Getting back Niladri – his album Sitar Gaze is wonderful (still waiting to get the CD back from Sarat) and am listening to “Kali’s Son” – sweeheeeeet works. Plis listen if u can – and yes – do let me know if you find more of his works.
Rock on Niladri & Zitar.

16 comments:

Prashant Pai said...

I was blown away by Niladri Kumar the first time I watched him perform at IITB. He is truly awesome, good genes as well. He is the son of Pt. Karthick Kumar who is also a sitar player..

During the performance he pretty much played the sitar as a regular sitar as well as like a electric guitar. Interestingly, I was even more amazed because with the sitar unlike the guitar you cannot watch your own hand while playing..

Venky said...

Great to hear about that Prashant. Wich year was this?
BTW, did you notice him in the JanaGanaMana video?
As for seeing the fretboard, well after a point you realy don't see it - guitar or sitar. And there are so many advantages as well as disadvantages of a small fretboard on the guitar!

-v

rohan said...

This is amazing to share that , i am a great fan and follower of niladriji, i am too trying to modify my sitar , and transforming it to a electric sitar. and all this ideas has evolved from one person that is the great niladri kumar.i wud like to make him listen to my compositions one day. thanks and wish u all the best sir.
MUSICALLY YOURS
ROHAN DASGUPTA
(09836812195)
(kolkata)

SS said...

Niladri Kumar's work on the tracks of Gangster ('Bheegin Bheegi') and Metro ('Alvida') is truly mesmerizing... the tone of Zitar is is very unique, and very original. Niladri didn't want to patent the instrument, but in my opinion, he should... Remember Mohan Veena, a hybrid guitar patented by Vishwa Mohan Bhatt?
I look fwd to hear more from him in the future....

Vinay said...

I heard Nildari Kumar as a member of Zakir Husain's performance at Chicago Symphony hall.Zakir, of course is fabulous but the star of the evening was Nildari.I had not known that his sitar was electrified ( he did have a Mac laptop next to him).This is what allowed him to play very high notes at low pitch and still everyone could hear them in pin drop silence.The hall was mesmerised.Do see him when you can.This man is a genius.

Hogwartsbeckons said...

I was drawn to a music shop in a temple in chicago..the notes were mesmerizing..my first introduction to niladri kumar and sitar-and I have been clued in ever since..check out his cd-chillout forever..haunting music!

muzo said...

Event Review
http://www.radioandmusic.com/content/editorial/news/niladri-kumar-launches-his-first-album-priority

Link :Interview with Niladri Kumar

http://www.radioandmusic.com/content/editorial/just-talk/niladri-kumar-to-appeal-audience-a-big-job

UjSen said...

Niladri Kumar is the reason, i'm picking up the Sitar. My friends think i'm crazy, and my bands gone hostile. I've been listening to his album priority for three hours now!!

The first time i heard him was on the Krazy Kiya Re song from Dhoom2I noticed that the instrument playing sounded like a distorted guitar w=had a strange texture. I did a bit of research and.......yeah.
ITS NOT AN ELECTRIC SITAR!! ITS A 'ZITAR'

Scytherman said...

Loved the "Priority" video...saw /heard the YouTube songs of Niladriji...I am a fan(atic)!!!
The Maestro certainly is anything but 'prolific'...only 2 albums of his Zitar works are out, to my knowledge-and I am still trying to get my hands on them!!
Is the animation/visual concepts of the "Priority" video his,too?? The visuals certainly compliment rhe music,I think....
Niladriji would certainly join my CD/DVD rack among others like Deep Forest,Spyro Gyra,Tangerine Dream,Enigma,Azimuth Spectrum,Fourplay...oh the list goes on...

Chirag Sutar said...

We know about his music.. peek into his thoughts on the current music scene. Niladri Kumar recently wrote a blog for our website .. here's an excerpt

It's a big thing today if an artiste manages to get 5000 listeners

As a kid, I had heard from my father about the late 50's - 70's era when people thronged theatres in large numbers. There were no auditoriums then, concerts would be conducted in theatres because those were the only venues.
After the venue was packed to its capacity, the rest would stand outside – but none would go till it got over! My father was also one those who stood outside to hear these concerts and one who eventually went on to become a musician himself. In those times, around 15,000 people would gather for a concert, and it's quite surprising – there were no aggressive marketing campaigns like we have now – that was something which I can refer to as the 'live music scene'.
Playing at the city music joints or pubs is certainly not a great achievement. I would be dishonest if I painted a rosy picture of today's scenario – it's not that great – it's a big thing if an artiste manages to get 5000 listeners... for more ..

http://www.radioandmusic.com/content/year-ender/rewind-08/needed-alternative-music-scene-niladri-kumar

Priya said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Priya said...

I went for Niladri's performance last night at Hard Rock Cafe in Bombay... What can I say...he swept me off my feet...Looooved it... And the best part... everybody got complimentary Priority CDs... :-) As far as possible I will never miss his performance... I request someone to post his history as to how he started, where, etc...cos i couldn't find it...

Chirag Sutar said...

You'll find his blog, interview after his 'priroty' album launch and asn exclusive interview

http://www.radioandmusic.com/content/editorial/news-releases/exclusive-niladri-kumar-the-zitar-revealed

http://www.radioandmusic.com/content/editorial/just-talk/niladri-kumar-to-appeal-audience-a-big-job

http://www.radioandmusic.com/content/editorial/news/jean-francois-niladri-sonu-delight-beams-concert

You'll find most of the stuff here ..

madhur.telang said...

I have also been previledged to be at the B'lore festival in 2003-04. And Taufiq and him played a wonderful percussion at around 6 am(the festival goes night long). Guys, if you have the album Priority, dont miss the songs Priority and Zeliberation. IN the latter, Nashik dhol is incorporated, and listen to the brilliance. Long live Niladri, I am waiting for a live performance in Pune.

Ravi Shinde said...

I heard Niladri yesterday in a fusion concert with Jhakir bhai and Taufik right here in Kolhapur. It was simply awesome....an outstanding performance by three of them....will upload the videos on youtube.

fighter said...

I want my mohan veena to sound more like a sitar. Have you found a way to do that? Equipment? Reply to me ar sungodtemple@hotmail.com