Composer and sarod player Soumik Datta recently joined forces with the London Philharmonic Orchestra (LPO) to perform his new soundtrack to the 1969 film Goopy Gayen Bagha Bayen.
Performing as part of the Southbank Centre’s Alchemy Festival on 19 May, Soumik composed an entirely new score, King of Ghosts, for the Indian arthouse film, which was projected on a large screen behind the orchestra. The story itself follows two village musicians with special powers as they travel through time and space, against the backdrop of rural India. As well as composing the score, Soumik combined eastern and western traditions by playing sarod (an Indian stringed instrument similar to a lute) with the orchestra.
Speaking to DESIBlitz magazine, Soumik says: “I trained under the guidance of the legendary Pandit Buddhadev Das Gupta. Later, I studied as a composer at Trinity College of Music [now Trinity Laban]. It is the constant dynamic meeting of cultures and their sounds that inspires in all that I do.”
Nicknamed the ‘British Sarod Maestro’ by Time Out, Soumik graduated from Trinity Laban with a Masters in Music in 2009. Since then, he has toured internationally, performed his own music at TED Global and played with the likes of Beyoncé, Bill Bailey and Anoushka Shankar.
Dynamic and adventurous, Trinity Laban trains composers for the realities and diversity of professional life. The Composition Department actively encourages students to explore and experiment with new ideas, and teaches composers to be collaborators, performers and entrepreneurs.