Musicians rejoice! Sportsmen such as Leander Paes and Abhinav Bindra will not be the only ones to represent India this year at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. A contemporary classical band from Chennai, known as Staccato, has been selected from a whopping 10,000 entrants to represent Asia at the Olympics. The band will perform at the Olympic Park for the cultural exchange events, scheduled on July 30 and August 2.
Staccato has a very global sound, infusing elements of jazz, worldwide folk, blues and rock with Carnatic classical. We think that the 10-member band is quite an apt representative for our country, which is also a melting pot of diverse influences. And it’s all thanks to the 17-year old keyboardist of the band who, with the help of the other members of the band, submitted Staccato’s entry (two original compositions – Salsa & Sounds of Air) to the Olympic Committee in London.
Before they knew it, they received a call confirming their participation. Vikram Saarathy, the band’s keyboardist was overjoyed when the band received the call. “Who doesn’t want to represent their country in the Olympics, and since we’re musicians, it’s a great feeling that we’re able to represent India in a way that we can at such a high platform!” He believes that their global appeal is the reason they got selected.
The contemporary classical band is best identified by their renditions of popular A.R.Rahman & Illayaraja songs. Apart from these covers, the band also performs original compositions. With so much happening in the band, the sound of the band is alive with instrumentation while Gowtham and Vandana take over the vocal duties. The band is also influenced by artists such as Shakti, Indian Ocean, Laya Project, Indialucia and Heartbeat. “We are currently composing a song on world peace especially for this tour,” says Vandana Srinivasan, the lead singer.
Staccato has been very pro-active in the scene, even garnering some International acclaim. They composed the soundtrack for the film “Thinapayanam“, which won accolades for the best score at the Paris Film Festival. Staccato has represented India at the World Finals of Tum Tum Pa, a percussion event organized by Red Bull in Brazil. Check out their submissions for the Olympics:
By the way, here’s some trivia for you. The Olympic Committee was headed by Danny Boyle, of Slumdog Millionaire fame, and was quite impressed with Staccato’s work. So much so, that they recommended the band to perform at the Aberdeen Music Festival set to be held this August in Aberdeen.
Staccato is now on the lookout for some benevolent sponsors, so that the band can go perform in the Summer Olympics of 2012 in London.