Inflame: the meeting of flamenco and Indian music

On Tuesday, March 12, Western Carolina University hosted the amazing Inflame group.

The band, comprised of four members, creates a lovely infusion of flamenco music and Indian music. The band includes various instruments indicative of the culture they are from. Each instrument in this small but talented band is essential. The men took instruments and musical styles that are not normally associated together to create beautiful music that makes a lasting impression on those who hear it.

The atmosphere of the Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center was extremely laid back. The band member Snehasish Mozumder, or Maestro as his fellow musicians call him, explained that the premise of this band is a dialogue between the two genres of music. This idea was evident in the call and answer style of many of the pieces they played. This idea of a dialogue between the instruments, genres and members is what allows the group to thrive.

The audience could tell that the musicians were extremely passionate about the music they were making. The musicians moving to the music and simply marveling at the joy of performing seemed to incite the same reaction in many of the audience members; several were bobbing their heads or tapping their feet along with the music. The first couple of songs were extremely lively and playful. The give and take between the instruments was extremely evident.

An interesting aspect of the performance was an explanation of the ways that the genres melded together because of the rhythmic patterns and notes. Although many of the pieces played sounded strangely familiar to each other, there was one specifically that was based off of a lullaby that retained the melodic soothing tones that accompany lullabies, but it held an expressive tune.

There was a constant spoken dialogue between the audience, technicians and the performers. Although the audience was not openly clapping to the music or dancing in the isles, many were silently jamming in their seats. This created an ambiance similar to a jam session at a friend’s house. This was an extremely admirable aspect of this performance. The starch fourth wall that is usually constructed between musical performances and the audience was refreshingly lacking. This perpetual idea of conversation was extremely important to the performance.

As she was leaving, Shaddoe Blackford, a student at WCU, exclaimed, “I thought Inflame was epically awesome and should come back very soon.”