Sunday, 30 April 2017

Music Diaries: Avik Ganguly

In the last post of the month, I would first like to thank every person who has helped me reach where I am. Especially with this endeavour of mine. Inviting me to events, giving me references or simply by being by my side. The questions that had been raised on me and my endeavour in the very beginning by close people has been answered. Ironically, those people aren't close anymore. Close are those who've seen me through and continue to do so.

For today's session I present to you a keyboardist who have had a lot of experience in this field. Very fortunate to have met him, his music shinesthrough his words. Avik Ganguly, to everyone has been an inspiration. So here's hoping this helps you...

You have been in this industry for quite some time now and have been the closest to music in your own sweet way. What has been the tune that you first played ever on your instrument? 

Avik Ganguly— Yes, it's been almost ten years I've been playing as a professional and I remember my first tune was Anondoloke of Tagore. 

Keyboard- the most important and yet such a silent instrument. By silent I meant that the keyboard is always there. The best friend. How would you define the keyboard? How unique is its sound? 

Avik Ganguly— I use it in the same manner as an artist does his canvas. In a band, it is a cushion sometimes and at other times an elevator. And with synthesizers one can design his own sounds and that's what make me super happy. But keyboard players are forced to play from ethnic instruments to the latest commercial hits to even the bizzare. For this reason alone some become Jack of all trades (kinds of music) but master of none.

You also arrange tracks. How is it arranging the music of a song from the scratch?  

Avik Ganguly— Being a perfectionist makes me a bit slow as it takes a lot to impress me. I redo my tracks a zillion times before I am satisfied. Often when a track is completed, I wonder did I really make that happen? This is so because there is an abyss between what I started with and what I ultimately have now.

Having been a solo musician and also as a part of a whole troupe, what’s the pros and cons of both the types? What would you prefer and why? 

Avik Ganguly-- They are the two faces of the same coin; in one hand a soloist makes me the boss of myself and I have no limitations. While a group restricts my creativity to an extent as music is planned and rehearsed and one works with a periphery. A soloist like myself can improvise and create as I go along. In fact I enjoy both as they give me plenty of scope to learn and explore.

How does it feel performing in public? All these years of experience, what do you experience during sound check before a concert? 

Avik Ganguly— Playing for public is the goal for most of the musicians. And I am no exception. Yes, it gives me immense pleasure when people appreciate the music I play. As a lobby pianist at Lalit Great Eastern hotel, I've seen people siting beside my piano and enjoying the soft and soothing music. I've also seen people dancing like crazy with the band music. Now and then when my music has not been appreciated, I do not feel depressed or disappointed. Instead it feels me with energy to learn and shine to get better. I want my music to touch people. And soundcheck... well, for me that's the place where you can really explore a musician. Because during the show a musician might have to play what he is asked to play but during soundcheck musicians play whatever is there in their heart. And I love jamming with the fellow musicians on stage during soundcheck.

It is common ground that the taste of music varies from person to person. Some people like some kind of music. But what kind of music do you, as a listener, like to unwind with? 

Avik Ganguly—  Seriously, I love music from all genres. For me if it's good music it's good music. Whether it's loud or soft, whether it's in bengali song or instrumental. But as a pianist I have weakness for Chopin. Specially nocturnes. And Yanni and Yiruma are two of my favourites. I find their music very musical and meaningful. And one of my favourite keyboard player is Cory Henry. His solos are crazy.

You know, there are moments in life where we end up getting ideas in the weirdest of places. Happens with me. How do you come up with the music that you make? 

Avik Ganguly— Yes, weird places indeed. One day I was on my bike and blowing the horn. The  I realised it was a 5/4 pattern and returned home that day and put down a track with that. And some obvious places like Sea,  Mountains and rain make me think new tunes. And sometimes a fight with my wife too.😉

Now that we are on the topic, what are you working on right now? Anything in the recent times that we all should look forward to? 

Avik Ganguly—  Currently I'm working on two private albums. But my project VEDATRONICS is probably the biggest project of mine. It's a electro fusion band where we do vedic chants and Indian classical stuff with electronic music where I work as the music producer along with playing my keyboard and keytar. Some fantastic and finest musicians are involved in it. And also I play for the band WAGAH ROAD  and we have some big plans in recent future.

In 5 years from now, where do you see yourself? And of course, where do you want to see the whole music scenario of Kolkata in 5 years from now? 

Avik Ganguly-- Well,  I would like to see myself as a music director because I did background music of some movies and short films and I feel that I can do that quite well. And I want to score music for different projects. Then I would like to own the most expensive keyboard. And want to do music videos of at least two of my piano solo compositions.And kolkata music scenario, in five years I expect a change in mentality where musicians will not get a call for work saying "BHAI BUDGET NEI. EIBAR PLEASE KORE DE". I expect kolkata to be the place where people would pay for good music, good studios and good musicians. I expect where a music director will be free to express himself and not do the work according to the producers. Where one musician would not take the credit for another musician's work. And  where musicians playing original music will have places to play and earn a good life.

To sum it up, what would be your piece of advice to the upcoming musicians? How should they go about what they do and what should they always keep in mind? 

Avik Ganguly— There is no shortcut to success. You need patience, hard work and humility. Don't let go of your dreams. And in tough times, hold on to them even tighter. One more thing, upcoming musicians should attend live shows of every genre. That's where they'll get to know what to play and also what not to play.

Isn't it wonderful knowing music up close? Do you want to share your experience? If you are a musician and you want to speak about music or get featured here, get in touch with me at I would be more than happy to talk to you and discuss music with you.

If you think that there are things about music that you know and would want to share with the whole world, don't forget to leave me a message. To help me with my endeavour, do not forget to share the post. If you have come up with a music album and would want me to review it before release or for that matter, after release, I am always there. Also, if there is a music launch and you want me to cover it (especially if it is in Kolkata, India) I am there. For the people outside Kolkata, give me the details of the launch and I would cover it for you. If there is any music event that you want me to attend, I am just a ping away always. For the rest, as I always say, let your soul be musical!

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