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Sat, 21 Sep 2019

Northeast Today

A Dive into Tangential Music

A Dive into Tangential Music
June 07
14:27 2019

Dipanti Lahon

With a whole new perspective on music and its divinity, Celestial Way, a band from Guwahati has hatched a new genre of music and named it as tangential. All the six members of the band are prodigies in their own musical ground and the kind of music CW plays is anything but mainstream. This unconventional band narrates their “in progress” story.

CW

Celestial Way

DL: All the band members of Celestial Way are seasoned musicians in their own right. How did the idea of a band emerge?

CW: It started with the guitarists of the band. Nibir and Prasanta are old pals since the late nineties and had been playing together and with other bands/artists since then. Both of them started looking for the right fit for the band that started as a project. When the band started, there were around 10 members working as a team for the project and the band also did a few gigs with all the members. Then, finally the members took a call and decided to shift from project mode to the Band mode as Celestial Way – Nibir, Prasanta, Johnny, Daniel, Queen, and Jayanta.

Now, all the band members are still working in their individual projects and gigs but play only as Celestial Way as a band. The secret of success of the band is believing in a principle Nibir always says- “to rock on that stage we don’t have to be the best of the musicians, being a good human being is good enough even with limited knowledge in music as long as we can connect with each other and in sync.”

DL: What is the story behind the name “Celestial Way”?

CW: Celestial Way is the way of life through the universe. We all are fascinated with the spirit of life, right from 7 spiritual chakras to seven notes of sound. We believe in the oneness of the universe and music and our path of music is through Celestial Way. Secondly, there was a very popular heavy metal band from the late nineties till 2006 called “Celestial Doom” and both Nibir and Prasanta were a part of it. So, they wanted to keep the “Celestial” part from that band and rest of the band decided on the “Way” part. Even though our songs don’t talk about our beliefs but it’s our beliefs that motivate us to work together and take the path of Celestial Way. In future, we may write one or two songs on the concept but as of now, we aren’t writing anything on that line for the time being.

DL: Who are your biggest influences?

CW: The Universe is our influencer for music. But talking about inspirations, we take it from classical music to the 70’s bands through genres like rock n roll, blues n jazz, the 80’s glam rock era till the latest rock n pop sensations. We also listen to a lot of underground bands and a lot of folk music stuff. So, talking about influence – we are like a sponge for positive energies or good music irrespective of genre.

DL: The band has invented a new musical genre i.e. ‘Tangential, tell us more about it.

CW: Any Music that is not main-stream and moves tangentially away from the mass-produced stuff is tangent music. It’s a subcategory of Non-Mainstream music which has got flavors of almost all genres but can’t pinpoint at one specific genre of music. So, in a way, the concept of tangent music is above the process of classification and division of music by music companies and mainstream media. Tangent music represents the oneness in music and our belief is that music cannot be divided as music is already out there in the universe and we musicians just rearrange and bind it in a less chaotic manner.

Celestial way

DL: Since when have you been officially performing as a band? Tell us about some of your major gigs.

CW: The project started in 2015 and we have been performing at various venues all across the country. We had some fantastic time at Monsam Music Fest, Judima Festival, etc. We did a few pub and club gigs in and around the state, Bangalore, Delhi, etc. You would be surprised that the band is not very keen on doing too many gigs and not too many venues can afford the band too. All the members are busy with their respective businesses/ works/ projects etc. and hence, finance is not an issue with this band to keep it running as long as the members are spiritually and musically connected together. But don’t go only by the spiritual angle of the band when it comes to having fun. We enjoy every gig and every party where the band is invited. We are a super fun band to be around but we always preach youngsters to stay away from drugs.

The band also represented Assam in the national arena for All India Radio, Assam and the members in their private capacity have represented the Assam and Guwahati at various platforms too.

DL: What has been your biggest challenge as a band?

CW: Biggest challenge so far would be hiring a full-time manager and a sound engineer. Another challenge is the availability of platforms where the crowd joins in for originality in music. There are too many venues and concerts for cover songs (and we love doing covers in a tangential way) but the music of the band won’t improve unless there is an equal demand from the audience for original music. By the way, copying the style of another band with own lyrics and chords are not considered as original music by us. To do original music, a band must find its “SOUND”. We together believe that we haven’t found that sound yet but we are on our way towards it and once we find it, our first album will be out (without any previously released songs).

DL: What inspires each of you to be in the field of music in this era of cut-throat competition?

CW: We are not in any competition with anyone as a band. Personally, we all might have such issues but not as a band … not as Celestial Way!!

Competitions are for horses, athletes, etc. Music is a completely different playing field with multiple layers which are often confused with levels. Every genre of music is unique and no music is better than the other. Well, competition is within the business houses involved with Music Business and hence, it wouldn’t be wrong if we say, Music is divine, Music Business is not.

DL: As a band how has your music evolved so far? How many originals have you recorded? Tell us briefly about the songs.

CW: We have worked on around 8 original songs and have recorded only 2 of them till now. One is Hepahor Bihu and another one is Save the Rhino. Recording sessions are going on for another two songs which will be again released as singles. One of the tracks will be called Ride On and another one is still untitled. We don’t think the band would go ahead with the recording for the first album before 2020.

As musicians, we have gone through a paradigm shift when it comes to writing music. As a performing band, we mostly play for the musically aware audience but we make sure to keep the gallery happy too. So, when you come to a CW concert, there will be something for everyone to take back as a good memory.

Hepahor Bihu is a simple song explaining the fun and festive atmosphere during the Rongali Bihu in Assam and Save The Rhino talks about saving the one-horned Rhino from extinction. Both the songs are available on Youtube, SoundCloud, and other similar online platforms.

DL: Many globally acclaimed stalwarts like John Lennon and Michael Jackson are regarded as prodigies in their own right for their contribution to the world of music, but on a humane level they are regarded as a misogynist, sex offender, and sadist for the treatment towards minors/opposite sex. As musicians yourselves, on the conundrum of “Separating the art from the artist”, how far do you think it is possible? What are your individual stands on the matter?

CW: It’s a need of this hour to view every individual without any rosy glasses, be it a musician, movie star and most importantly our political leaders. In this era of social media, which was established on narcissism is slowly getting out of our hands. Right from political propaganda to online paid push of music or other related entertainment, the essence of music is getting lost.

We all believe that – heinous crimes like rape, harassment and molestation must be dealt with utmost sincerity irrespective of the position or popularity of the culprit. However, we have often seen in many cases where the accused is declared guilty through media trials and online trolling who were actually framed and not guilty. So, as educated people of a civilized society, we mustn’t jump into conclusions at the drop of a hat. Hence, we used the word “sincerity” while dealing with such subjects.

DL: What are your future plans and how are you planning to grow as a band and reach out to a wider audience?

CW: The best part of this band is that – “we are not in any hurry”. We are planning to work on the first album by next 2-3 years and complete it. We are hoping to get invitations for Music Festivals around to spread our Tangent Music and positivity among other musicians. We will launch a website and connect it to social media platforms to promote the band, our music and most importantly the divinity of music within everyone.

CW

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