Flutes and Fusion – The Hindu


Jean-Luc Thomas and Ravichandra Kulur talk about permutations and combinations of their collaboration

“The idea is that we bring the main food to the common meal. I bring my Breton potatoes and Ravi brings his Indian spices, but we don’t eat the same food every day. We are changing things, ”explains flautist Jean-Luc Thomas of Magic Flutes, his collaboration with his Indian counterpart Ravichandra Kulur. You might wonder if they were hungry enough right now to come up with this analogy, however.

But Jean-Luc, who is originally from Brittany in France and met Ravi at the TFE Festival in Rudolfstadt, Germany in 2013 for a collaborative concert, says the mix of different elements has to be connected. “The fusion can be confusing,” says Jean-Luc when describing the sound of the magic flutes, before the first of six shows across the country, starting with the Alliance Française in Bengaluru.

When they finally decided to create Magic Flutes in 2014, Jean-Luc was in India and it started as a jazz-fusion project with the two flautists at the center. They wanted to try different combinations, so they took their time to figure it out. The studio iteration of the project included Colombian guitarist Camilo Menjura and Breton drummer and percussionist Jerome Kerihuel. Jean-Luc says: “After that, we took a few months to examine it in depth. ”

Ravi helped add more Indian artists to the permutation, and as is the case with their current tour of India, artists from ghatam, kanjira and khartal have joined their confluence of flute music. The intention is to always approach the show differently from what they did with their 2016 album. Enchanted flutes. Ravi says, “We invite different musicians, experiment and keep the music fresh. If you have a fixed band, this will be perfect music, but you probably won’t see too much freshness all the time.

Besides trust, the other bond the two share is their understanding of the extent of the flute’s influence in music around the world – from the shepherds of Niger to the Indian reverence for the instrument played by Krishna, the Greek mythology and more. Ravi adds: “Every region of the world has something special to offer.

As part of their shows, Jean-Luc also uses a looper to sample his flute sound and reintegrate it into the performance. Although this is in the realm of electronic music, the Pied Piper assures us that this is all very organic and not a stilted backing track. The Frenchman said: “A very good friend of mine created the software that I use now. He was afraid of the poor quality sound of all loopers, especially acoustic instruments. The one he made is now used more in contemporary music, to create atmospheres, background colors. It’s not the mainstream, artistically creative thing.

After their tour of India, a busy schedule awaits Ravi, who also performs with sitarist Anoushka Shankar, as well as Jean-Luc, who has monthly events to manage, a label and a collaboration with Nigerian flautists Yacouba Moumouni and the rhythm. Nigerian. master Boubacar Souleymane. With three months of planning culminating with the India tour, there are also plans to reunite later this year for Magic Flutes. Ravi says: “We played in Europe last year and we plan to play there later this year as well. This setup will work, so we’ll have to give it some thought. ”

The Magic Flutes perform at Bflat, Indiranagar on January 28, starting at 9 p.m. Tickets: Rs 400, available on Bookmyshow.

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