‘Indians are aware that things exist outside Bollywood’

New Delhi, Sep 29 (IANS) With the rising surge of talented indendent musicians making their mark in the country, city-based guitarist Dhruv Visvanath believes that now “people are wide awake when it comes to the music”.

“There is a strong sense of awareness about the kinds of work that people are involved in and lo and behold, Indians are aware that things exist outside Bollywood,” Visvanath told IANS in an email interview.

Even as the atmosphere of India’s indie music scene is generally healthy, Visvanath believes that the “real challenge” is finding more listeners.

“Bridging the gap with how Bollywood works with creations from the indie scene is a good way to start. By including more music from the independent scene in movies, advertisements, and of course a better endorsement by the leaders of Bollywood would definitely shine a spotlight on the scene,” he said.

“I think the efforts are slowly being recognised. But progress is slow,” he added.

The musician, who is regarded as a “solo percussive acoustic guitarist (SPAG)”, launched his debut album “Orion” at the Indian Habitat Centre here on September 19.

About the album, Visvanath, who found mention in Acoustic Guitar Magazine’s list of ’30 Great Guitarists Under 30′ from across the world, says his debut offering is a “journey”.

“The album is, in fact, a rock opera based on the story of Orion and how he became the constellation we see in the stars today. I fashioned a story to link the songs together, because I’m a fan of stories and how important they are to music.”

“I felt a little incomplete without having each of the songs link together in a special way,” the self-taught guitarist said.

“The story revolves around how Orion is forced to fight the gods in an epic battle, in order to free his family. But he eventually loses, and with the gods sympathetic of his effort, decide to free his family in return for him being imprisoned in the stars,” he said about the album’s concept.

On the technical and musical front, Visvanath said he has “tried to push the boundaries” with the acoustic guitar on “Orion”.

“I think guitarists can expect a lot of new things. While I do tend to stick to some straight up hard rock with strong lead lines and loud rhythm, I’ve also tried to push the boundaries with the acoustic, with trying to make it sound as big as possible.

“With songs like ‘The enigma’, ‘Redemption’ and ‘Rain’, I’ve tried to take the acoustic guitar to the next level, by building layer upon layer to make the music sound as big as possible,” he said.

“By putting a new set of sounds to an instrument that’s almost always seen as something soft and laid-back, I continue to think of new ways as to how I can make the music sound as big as possible, from just one guitar,” he added.

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