Delhi-born Param Vir spent his early years steeped in Indian classical music and came to the UK in the 1980s to study composition in a western idiom. His music is brilliantly scored, with a lustrous surface underpinned by strong ideas often drawing on eastern philosophies. In 2003 BCMG premiered and toured his fabulous large-scale ensemble piece The Theatre of Magical Beings – his first Sound Investment commission. When we met recently Param Vir told me that he now seeks to integrate these traditions more overtly and of his excitement at the idea of a genuine fusing of Indian classical ‘ragas’ with his own highly developed harmonic language. His second Sound Investment commission will therefore be for an Indian classical soloist and BCMG ensemble.
Stephen Newbould, BCMG Artistic Director
Param Vir’s Sound Investment commission Raga Fields was premiered on Saturday 4 October 2014 at CBSO Centre, Birmingham conducted by Nicholas Collon.
“…compelling and fascinating, in effect a concerto for sarod (it looks like an electric guitar, but sounds like nirvana — and I don’t mean the rock band) and chamber ensemble. These Three Spaces allow the soloist, Soumik Datta…to forge a timeless interaction with western instruments and textures. The sound-relationships created are sometimes almost extra-terrestial, harp and celeste prominent collaborators, but we also dig firmly into mainstream territory with the finale’s evocation (perhaps unaware) of Tippett, Petrushka, and the orgiastic Rite of Spring.” – Christopher Morely, The Birmingham Post