Songs of Freedom: Rama and the Blushing Satellite

To them, music is more than art, it is religion, where God and life meet. For Ramanan Chandramouli, the founder and guitarist of Blushing Satellite, music is a medium that unites us, human beings, with the divine knowledge of the universe.

Musically, they go everywhere. Ramanan's wide interests range from alternative rock bands like Radiohead and Soundgarden, to African American, funk and soul; these influences to seep into his own compositions. The songs themselves simply flow, skipping past the laws of traditional songwriting.

Instead, they take audiences on a meditative journey along a spectrum of sonic vibrations. “Not limiting oneself to the idea of a genre is the key to being creative,” explains Ramanan.

Rama has played alongside Brad Rabuchin (Ray Charles), Philip Bynoe (Steve Vai) and Tim Curle (Josh Groban) and has toured extensively toured the United States, Dubai and Malaysia. “My dad made me swear to him – and to myself – that I would never stop playing the guitar, no matter how difficult the journey got. I’m honouring his wishes and playing my heart out everyday,” he says.

He remained a guitarist in other people’s bands for several years. “Then, I wanted something of my own, so I could express myself,” he reminisces.
The band has undergone several lineup changes along the way with the latest outfit comprising vocalist Mahesh Raghnandan, Prabhu Muraleedharan on drums and Arjun Ramdas on bass.

“They challenge me and raise the bar so high. And we’re the closest of friends outside of the band, too,” he adds. Lead singer Mahesh, is presently fixated on a song: My Mind, by Yebba.

The young singer-songwriter has seen an exciting rise to success and has already shared the stage with international artists and performed across the country at Bacardi NH7 Weekender, Stage42 Festival and The Great Indian Octoberfest among others. Drummer Prabhu isn’t glued to his drumsticks as much as one might expect. For him, much of the learning comes from listening and allowing his mind to process. So when he isn’t practicing, he’s trying to learn as much as he can.

Based out of Bengaluru, Prabhu has been a part of various acts and music festivals over the years. “Miles Davis is the probably the coolest dude to ever play music,” he says, “John Bonham has a great big sound and D’Angelo has his groove.”

Arjun’s grooves and creative ideas lay the foundation for the band’s sound, which is often expressed as a personal conversation amongst musicians, creating emotions for the listener.

“I think the uniqueness of our music comes from its malleability, its openness in terms of dynamics and improvisation,” says Arjun. “There is a healthy balance between structure and intuition.”

The band has had its ups and downs, as they expanded their craft and attempted to become one with the music itself. It also meant taking the focus off the challenge of mere survival. They understand that experimentation comes from a study of classical roots.

They get their name from an earlier vocalist, “It refers to someone who has a crush on you and is constantly obsessing over you in their lives and their thoughts. In effect, you are their epicenter,” Rama explains.

“The human body is an orchestra and music is the best therapy, it brings  harmony back into our lives,” says Rama, who credits everything to his muse, his “Divine Mother.’ “And there’s no tasting the fruit without toil, he adds.

The band’s display picture showcases the members’ silhouettes symbolising the loss of the ego and the merging with the infinite power of the cosmos. Their music is synonymous with life and nature – transient, dynamic and unpredictable.
Through this performance, they invite you to close your eyes and follow them down the rabbit hole. Just as Mahesh echoes from the band’s song, Flow:
“Going with the flow
Remove yourself
Let it flow, let it flow”

What: Blushing Satellite
When: March 10, 9 pm
Where: The Bflat Bar, Indiranagar
Entry: Rs 295-340

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