French musicians take ‘Masala Dosa’ to the world

February 27th, 2009 - 3:03 pm ICT by IANS  

Chandigarh, Feb 27 (IANS) Three French musicians taking inspiration from Indian food and mixing notes, beats and sounds like spices to cater to the global appetite for good music - that’s what the band Masala Dosa is all about. They are now on tour in India to serve their crisp songs.
“Indian food is very spicy and an assortment of masalas (spices) is put into it while cooking. In the same way we gather the masala of different beats, sounds and noises and present our final composition,” Pierre Jean Duffour, who formed Masala Dosa in 2002, told IANS.

“We need a perfect blend of masalas while cooking and even a pinch of it can make or mar the dish. In the same way, we need an immaculate amalgamation of beats while composing,” said Duffour.

On Thursday evening, Masala Dosa left the crowd at the plaza in Chandigarh’s commercial hub of Sector-17 spellbound with their performance.

The band is on a tour of India to promote their latest album “Electro World Curry”. Before coming to Chandigarh, the maverick Frenchmen had performed in Bangalore, New Delhi and Pushkar. Now they will move to Chennai, Goa and Pune.

“We cannot understand Hindi but we are big fans of Indian classical and folk music. We go everywhere with our mobile studio and record every sound that excites us. As we had to sit at the New Delhi railway station for nine hours, we recorded the sounds of public announcements and now we will use them,” said Franck Lemoine, the drummer of the band.

Masala Dosa has performed in over 200 concerts across Europe in the last three years and performed on the stage with artists of different countries.

The band has composed music for the film “Sita Sings the Blues” by American director Nina Paley. They have also got offers from Hollywood and Bollywood films.

“Our timing of entering this field could be wrong as now people have an easy access to free download and piracy is withering away the industry. However, we have no grudges as we understand that we three cannot change it,” said Brice Duffour, bass guitarist.

“We can also see the situation the other way around as through free download our music has also reached every nook and corner of the earth,” he added.

Talking about their musical journey, Duffour, who plays the sitar, said: “We three have been working together and experimenting with music for the last 15 years but my interest in Indian music arose when I seen the performance of Pandit Ravi Shankar.”

“I was so impressed that I came to Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh in 1998 to learn how to play the sitar. Then I formed our band. Indian and French cultures are diametrically opposite but we are trying to bridge this gap through music,” he added.

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