Is it an opera? Is it western classical music? Are we getting a new season of Game of Thrones? Or is it just Hyderabad-based fingerstyle guitarist Vivek Venugopal aka Visita? These questions are bound to arise at multiple points as you experience his new body of work, An Ode to the Morphing Muse.
He describes his work as “A Suite in 4 Movements for Soprano, Alto, Piano, Guitar & Cello”. Each song has one dominant instrument front and centre with the others enveloping the space around it. The four “movements” or “chapters” can be interpreted as being part of an emotional arc of the process of self-healing or the internal journey one goes through when confronted with life’s bitterness.
It starts off with ‘A Lasting First Impression’. The subtle complexity to the guitars and Salome’s vocals give it a mysterious folklore vibe. The rustic and dreary ‘Dreams & Resonances’ sounds a lot like what would be played after Cersei Lannister wastes some Dothraki due to its desolate violoncello. The emotions are much more potent on the twin closers ‘The Deepest Recesses of the Soul’ and ‘Exultation, Liberation’. The former paralyses you with its depressing piano and strings. Thankfully, we end on a hopeful high by the end of the album.
Clearly, Visita has mastered the skill of manipulating your emotions with not much. The short and crisp runtime makes this album a perfect end to end emotional experience without it overstaying its welcome.
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