What do you get if you combine the musical influences of Costa Rica and Iran? You get Strunz and Farah, the Grammy-nominated musical duo that has been enthralling audiences worldwide for over three decades and, who incidentally, made their first stop in India at Mumbai recently. While Jorge Strunz was born in Costa Rica, Ardeshir Farah hails from Iran and together they bring to the world their unique offering of world fusion music.

A few minutes into their concert, as the notes from their guitars begin to pirouette and waft, rising slowly in circles, all you can do is close your eyes and give in to that peaceful feeling that speaks of cultures and lands as far away as the imagination takes us.

Mesmerising audiences with their sheer range and versatility in the fusion music genre, their songs carry with them tales of universal brotherhood, a theme close to the duo. “If there is a message that we want to take to our fans it is that of universal brotherhood. After all, how else do you explain the coming together of a musician from Costa Rica and Iran to set up a band based-out of Los Angeles in the US. Strunz and I were fortunate enough to travel wide and across the world while we were growing up and we bring the same influences in our music as well,” said Farah.

Speaking of global music influences in their music, the Indian connection too is not too far behind.

“We have been hugely influenced by Carnatic music from South India and performed with L. Subramanian as well. We are great fans of artists such as Hari Prasad Chaurasia and Ravi Shanker too and on this trip, I hope to interact with more Indian music artistes. We have also been influenced by the sound of Indian music instruments such as the sarod and sarangi and have incorporated them in our repertoire,” adds Strunz.

On the changing music scene that they have experienced over the decades from the high octane rock and roll era of the 60’s and 70’s to the new-age music of the present, Frank takes a nostalgic view.

“Strunz was fortunate enough to play the guitar alongside Jimi Hendrix in the 60s and truly it was the best time in the music world back then. Original songs and compositions was the order of the day with the creativity being the buzzword. However, over the years the music scene has slowly downgraded into a ‘deejaying’ kind of music culture, wherein the same music gets broken down and repeated in various forms using technology. It makes me sad to know that the younger generation does not know who Beethovan or Mozart were. This is why it is important to teach classical music to children in their school days and expose them to different genres,” believes Farah.

Though here in India for a short trip covering concerts in Delhi and Mumbai, the duo promises to be back for more. “Next time we hope to cover cities like Bangalore and Hyderabad and hopefully get more time to travel around the country,” signs off Farah.

manisha.jha@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on December 7, 2012)
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