A living room with a bunch of musicians on the floor with guitars and guitar gear can only belong to a band. That is the first thought as you enter the rehearsals of The Ritornellos. “You don’t come across so many bands anymore as everyone is busy working with a laptop to make music these days”, says Ananda Sen, guitarist, singer and songwriter. The Ritornellos have been writing music for a while and are now planning their season of live gigs that may lead up to a new full-length album at the end of the year. His previous band, The Supersonics now defunct, like most bands reached a saturation point where it didn’t feel like a band anymore. Seemingly the captain of the ship in this new set, he insists about the process of making music as being a collaborative effort where each member brings in individual sensibilities to create together.
This was perhaps my third meeting and usually, the Ananda Sen zone is full of creative energy having an ability to transform into frenzy when given an opportunity. During our conversation over a cigarette break as the band converges in the rest room, Sen is quick to admit that he doesn’t give a fuck about most things happening in the music environment currently as not much inspires him. He appreciates many artists writing great music with technology, however the laptop culture today is not his idea of making music. The 35-year-old musician has written over a hundred songs, studied audio engineering in Glasgow and worked briefly in NYC before moving back to Kolkata. He emphasizes on the importance of lyric in his songs and how everything is dictated by what the song demands. The sound of The Ritornellos is not restricted to any particular genre and is driven totally by its content. The songs mostly talk about experiences including drugs and currently the band manages to work together with a singular thought process.
As a kid, Sen has dabbled into rock n roll through Grateful Dead, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, and feels he is still discovering them, even today. While describing the same, he has admitted many times before, “I live in a bubble and I’m perfectly ok in it as everything else doesn’t make sense!” He is not too interested in the music around him today but indicates that he is open to finding something good. Reluctant but he tells me that he finds Sky Rabbit's music as good music in the scene today.
As I dig deeper, nothing that he talks about his life with music seems like a counterpoint. The clarity in his approach is inspiring. He expresses a desire to connect with his music and wants to build a good body of work. He talks passionately about teaching at “Future Hope”, a school for underprivileged children. Recently, he and his band-mates helped a classroom full of kids learn and perform a Ritornellos song for their annual day. “The kids make my day. Watching them progress so quickly to learn instruments...that is where it’s really at!”, stubbs his ciggarette and roars "enough work for today, let's get out!!!"
Listen to The Ritornellos and watch this video below:
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