Photo of Snehasish Mozumder - Mandolin

Snehasish Mozumder
Mandolin

In accordance with his family tradition, Snehasish Mozumder, born in 1967, started playing the tabla at the age of 4; first playfully, later conscientiously, he learned from his grandfather, Bibhuti Ranjan Mozumder until the age of 14. At the age of 10 (in keeping with family tradition), the mandolin was added as a second instrument. Here, his grandfather, his father, Himangshu Mozumder, his uncle, Ranjan Majumdar, and the latter´s son, Tejendra Narayan Majumdar, equally took care of instructions.

In 1983, Snehasish Mozumder was then to learn a "serious" instrument of Indian classical music, and so he began with playing the sitar under Pandit Ajoy Sinha Roy. Since Snehasish Mozumder never stopped imitating on the mandolin at home what he had learned on the sitar, Pandit Ajoy Sinha Roy agreed four years later to instruct him directly on the mandolin. After Roy´s passing, Snehasish Mozumder continued his education under Pandit Ajoy Chakrabarty.

As a mile stone in his decade-long struggle for acceptance of the mandolin as an instrument of Northern Indian classical music, in November 2002 Snehasish Mozumder received an invitation from Pandit Ravi Shankar to the Royal Albert Hall (London) to participate in the George Harrison Memorial Concert (Concert for George). The modifications undertaken on his mandolin by Snehasish Mozumder and his special playing technique are increasingly taken up today by following generations of musicians.

 

Dr. Wolf Kalipp, Instructor at the Academy of Music and Theatre in Hannover,
for dipavali in May 2006:

Snehashish Mozumder imparts a completely new dimension of Raga-interpretation in Northern Indian stringed instrument technique. If one is sceptical at first when one hears that a classical Indian instrumentalist avails himself of an European mandolin, which by virtue of its short resonance character is suited for a rather small-mashed plucked, dry play (where for large classical Northern and Southern Indian lute-related instruments one always takes for granted widely oscillating keynotes and fine silvery overtone characteristics in connection with elegant microtone glissando technique of the meends), one experiences truly something remarkable!
Not only does Mozumder accomplish a larger melodic range by skilfully tuning his instrument to a lower pitch, no, in addition a brilliant playing technique marked by fluency, which one appreciates in classical Indian lute-related instruments, is augmented here even more in a pregnant way by the shorter finger board of the mandolin. This suddenly resembles the virtuous play that one is used to from the European violin adopted by the Indian instrumental world. The puzzled listener not only experiences rapid, newly formed passage play in connection with perfected, chased glissando technique but he is also surprised by a simultaneously created sound-percussion combination, which reminds of the short-necked Ud originating in the Arabic-Persian region.
Thus, Snehashish Mozumder manages to evoke a nearly "all-oriental" instrumental sound dimension, which combines a Southern Indian cult-like foundation with Islamic poetical gestures and Northern Indian integrative and newly creative power. This intelligent, innovative and versatile interpreter supplies new, intensive and always exciting extemporated luminance to some classical Raga compositions lost in traditionalism and shows once again how much the young musicians´ generation, inspired by Western sound experiences too, contrive to enchant their listeners in the East and in the West with new stories of a musical "1001 Nights in the 21st Century" from the nearly indestructible world of forms of classical India

 

Press Review - Snehasish Mozumder (Mandolin):

The best 30 minutes ´Raga Desh´ captures the duplicitous emotions that surround Indian monsoon season ... Mozumder´s mandolin creates a melancholy mood perfect for introspection or meditation. - Insite, USA January 1997.

 

Publications - Snehasish Mozumder (Mandolin):