Those of you who came to our first concerts in Lawn Road – way back before COVID – will remember two magical evenings when Soumik Datta and his sarod played extraordinary Indian music for us.
And then there was lockdown – and Soumik moved…. and I moved…. and the Bulgarian builders moved in….
But now he is back – for a special private evening just for us! On August 11th.
Since we last saw him, Soumik has (as you can see from the photograph above) ‘rocketed to stardom’! He was already a regular on BBC TV – he presented a fascinating programme on Indian music on BBC4 a few years go. And during lockdown he was commissioned by Radio 3 to create a radio show exploring what was happening to arts venues across the land silenced by COVID. This evolved into a series of six films – Silent Spaces – each with just six performers singing and dancing in iconic venues such as the Albert Hall, Sage Gateshead and the British Museum.
Last year his short film ‘Songs of the Earth’ about a young climate refugee from Bengal, premiered at the UN COP 26 climate conference. And then this spring a three month residency at the South Bank resulted in ‘Hope Notes’ weaving the stories of refugees through a soundtrack of sarod, strings and voices. First performed at the South Bank a few months ago, Hope Notes goes on tour all round the UK in the autumn – see his Instagram account for dates and places.
(If you want to find out more about these projects and listen to or watch some clips, go to ‘Projects’ on Soumik’s website.)
In between have come performances at the Proms, Glastonbury, the QEH; upcoming is a commission for the BBC Singers to premiere at the Barbican in October to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Indian Independence.
August 11th – Soumik, Sarod and Supper
With all this going on, we are really happy that he is going to visit us on August 11th. I am very much hoping that the weather gods will shine kindly on us again so that we will be able to sup in the garden as we did on the Korros evening.
What is he going to play?
A first outing of the new solo sarod set (with drones, atmospheres and electronics), inspired by Indian classical and folk music, that he has been developing for the autumn tour…..
Because this is a private ‘party’ you will not be able to book through Ticket Tailor as usual. Instead please email me to tell me how many ‘tickets’ you would like.
The doors will open at 7pm for a glass of wine; music starts at 7.30pm followd by supper at around 8.30pm.
Instead of buying a ticket we would ask you to make a donation to Soumik’s charity, Soumik Datta Arts. We would suggest around £20/£25.
Once I receive your booking request I will email you my bank details for payment. I will then gather the monies together and pass them on. If for any reason that does not work for you then please just bring cash or a cheque (made out to me) on the night.
Thanks to Boris….
In fact, I suspect that the real reason that Soumik is coming back to play for us is so that he can play for Boris.
When Soumik lived at Lawn Road the two were inseparable. Boris spent most of his time in Soumik’s flat and, I gather, critiqued his practising – when he was awake. I think Soumik may have missed the feed back. Boris is looking forward to 11th August with eager anticipation.