Thursday, November 13, 2008
The A to the Zitar of Contemporary.
The "Zitar" is not the electric Sitar. "Don't call it an electric sitar; you'll disrespect what is a 300 year old science perfected by guys who figured out the supreme art of playing" says it's creator Niladri Kumar,who loves his pair of union jack socks and has also designed the "T-shirt Kurta" which according to him is "More comfortable to play in than silk, and fits in beautifully" .
Now, My knowledge of Indian classical music is limited to playing the tabla, live concerts where most people are dozing off and playing around with The Taanpura and Sitar downstairs. I have tried a number of alternative tunings on the guitar, which played the right way often churns out something amazing, provided my distortion levels and the reverb are set right not to mention the "High Med and Low and FDD"..... (you get the point)
The Zitar looks like a toy version of the woman's Sitar(Yes they come in different sizes). Its loaded with a Seymour Duncan Double humbucking Electric Guitar pickup, Run through a Boss GT6 or a Line6 Pod XT live Digital guitar effects processor. The tones generated are unique,abstract, strange and beautiful. The 5 stringed instrument has a steel Gauge 3 string for the first, and unwound Brass string for the second, a second steel Gauge 3 for the third, a gauge 1 on the fourth and fifth strings all which (i assume) are tuned to the natural scale and its played in the usual sitar position. Perfect Fusion."Z is the last letter of the alphabet, right? Well, A Sitar can't get any smaller or any louder than this" and I Believe him.
His latest album Priority is something for which my fingers have a terrible itch to get hold on. A video for the track "Priority" is being aired on Vh1 and hopefully elsewhere as well. He seems to be playing the Zitar like a fusion artist would shred on the guitar. But what makes him different is unlike the others, he has finally come up with something that's normally alien (from a 16 year old's point of view) to Indian classical strings, something that's.........cool.
And he is the one who got me to start fiddling around with a real Sitar(much to my family's dismay, who would rather have me doing trigonometry among other exciting things)
Definitely someone to watch out for.
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