Lifestyle Books and Art 23 Mar 2018 From busking to the ...

From busking to the big stage

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | AYUSHEE CHAUDHARY
Published Mar 23, 2018, 3:09 am IST
Updated Mar 24, 2018, 12:12 am IST
The 45-year-old English singer and composer has been at it for 20 years, he worked as a busker on the London Underground for about 15 years.
Bunny Batliwala, Spencer Maybe, Peter Tegner, Denis Petukhov
 Bunny Batliwala, Spencer Maybe, Peter Tegner, Denis Petukhov

Renowned painter Pablo Picasso has remarked, “All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once you grow up.” And rightly so despite all the skills, survival for an artist can be a real struggle. The will to live for what you love and the passion to do what drives your inspiration isn’t entirely a bed of roses. The journey for the members of Spencer Maybe came with similar set of challenges but no hardship could repress the ignited spark of music in them.

The band’s vocalist, 45-year-old Spencer Maybe, has been composing and playing music for over twenty years. Spencer worked as a busker on the London Underground for about fifteen years, where he was able to hone his musical skills.  He was also a Burlesque dancer for five years where he learnt to engage and entrance the audience. “You don’t hear about many male Burlesque dancers. It’s an interesting format and being essentially new, it was like a blank canvass for me. Even though I was enjoying being on stage, I really loved singing and composing music over that,” said this musician from London who has travelled through U.K., South Africa, Sri Lanka, India and Spain.

 

It was love at first sound when the energy of Spencer amplified with that of the 42-year-old drummer Bunny Batliwala in Goa at the latter’s house while practicing for a charity gig four years ago. Bunny, a multi versatile instrumentalist, hails from Mumbai and moved to the U.S. at the age of 17. Bunny’s mother who used to play piano transferred the magic in her son who started playing piano at the age of 3. But his hunger to dive into music kept him going as he began guitar and bass at the age of 15. His quest for music led him to be a student of World Percussion at Berklee College of Music and eventually under gurus like Ustad Sultan Khan as his student and International Manager. “Even today whenever I come across any new or interesting technique, I want to learn it.  I have very intricately learnt from my masters because I would just not leave them. I was with them off-stage, noticing and grasping the details. You learn the best behind the stage,” said Bunny who feels he has made his way to where he is today through his silly questions about minute techniques to his masters all the time.

 

Bunny who is now settled in Goa since past four years spent fifteen years as a musician, producer and events programmer in New York City, playing in diverse styles. “I was playing Afro-beat one day of the week, latin the other, reggae the next day, rock on the fourth and so on. Going through these different genres in the rhythm section in New York really made me this versatile,” added Bunny for whom stage is his temple and his music his meditation. Bunny who is entranced by the inspiring energy of New York, the ultimate melting pot of the world as he calls it, misses the space that city gives to artists. However as his family brought him back to India, he found this country’s melting pot, Goa, and settled there in search of new international talents.

 

Luckily he came across Spencer, Peter and Denis in Goa (all separately) and the four came together to explode the universe with their honest heartfelt music.

43-year-old Denis Petukhov, who apparently can handle every situation with a calm demeanor, can let you lose your tranquility through the rhythm of his bass ranging from jazz to punk to world music. Denis who is known for his exceptional ear, extremely melodic phrasing, and rock solid groove hails from Moscow. 

While the fourth pillar of this band, Peter Tegner, who has been playing for over 30 years now, is an award winning guitarist and composer from Sweden, whose dreamy and cinematic compositions can be described as “fairytale music for grownups” that will leave you nothing less than mesmerized.

 

They are coming to Bangalore for the launch of their latest album, “Wait and Patience” that has been recorded in Goa.  “Goa,because we all met here and it is probably the only place where such a set up of international players can be found. Plus it has a pace that fit the creation of this album. In London there’s more of rush, here you get the space and time that is needed for an artist’s development,” said Spencer who has written the lyrics for the songs of the album.

Their favorite composition from the album is ‘Silence is golden’ but if you allow them into your silence, they will create a soundscape that will be as gentle as a lullaby one moment and at the next moment will be loud enough to hit the roof as you witness magic and love oozing out of the stage when they perform. “Yes individually the talent and energy of each of us as a musician brings out the passion on stage but the jovial brotherly bond that we share off stage is what breeds excellence and genuine creativity,” said Bunny who cannot imagine a world without artists.

 

What: Spencer Maybe launch of 'Wait & Patience'                                              When: March 24, 9 PM                                                                                          Where: bFlat, Indiranagar

 

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