Ashwin Batish's Sitar Power!

........a fusion of western pop, rock, jazz with Indian music

The Beatles started it. Stevie Wonder ("Signed, Sealed and Delivered"), Tom Petty ("Don't Come Around Here No More"), and Paul Young (Every Time You Go Away") took it even further. With the latest synthesizers they found a patch that comes very close to this sound.....

Well, here is the best news yet! The experimentation is over! The sitar is here to stay and to be a part of the American sound! What's more, sitarist Ashwin Batish has discovered the key to integrating Classical Indian music with Western pop, rock and jazz.

The sixties provided the open door for the concept of Indian music to become a part of the American way of life. Today, this music is poised once again to thrill American and World audiences further with exciting new combinations.

Ashwin's quest for this new sound started when he was teaching a course in Classical Indian music at San Jose State University, California. Here he confronted many young upcoming music students who were fascinated by the possibility of fusing Indian and Western musical forms. Armed with this challenge, Ashwin set out by purchasing the tools of the trade, namely a new Tascam multitrack recorder, mixer, Yamaha DX-9, drum machine and other ditties. It didn't take long to create some rough ideas. Input was given on the progress by many of Ashwin's friends.

The fruit of this quest is powerful; its magical! For the first time it makes sense to combine not only the Indian and Western sounds, but also the concepts. Its really simple when you stop to think about it: This new sound, which is increasingly being classified as; Indo-rock, Indo-jazz, or globally as Worldbeat Ethno-pop, has a very strong melodic base derived from the Raga concept of the Northern Indian classical music system. To this are added the driving rhythmic patterns derived from Rock, Jazz, Carribean, Afro-Cuban forms (to name a few) along with base lines and chord changes, finally some reverb, delay, chorus, flanging and anything else that works is added to the instruments to sweeten them to the max..............

The final result is....... Sitar Power!

1988 Music World. Printed by permission.

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