Soumik Datta is a British Indian composer and virtuoso player of the sarod – a 19 stringed fretless instrument with a history rooted in ancient Afghanistan, which spread through colonial India to reach global downloads today. He has published six albums to date.
Trained by the sarod legend, Pandit Buddhadev Das Gupta while completing his Masters in Composition at Trinity College of Music, Soumik’s performances bridge the world of Indian classical and contemporary music.
Soumik is an innovative and generous artist, creating fabulous new pieces with other musicians to bring his sarod and to new audiences around the world. His artistic hallmarks are collaborations with other artists: Javed Akhtar, Beyonce, Jay-Z, Bill Bailey, Manu Delago, Akram Khan, Shabaz Hussain, Roopa Panesar, Aruna Sairam, Nitin Sawhney, Anoushka Shankar, Bernhard Schimpelsberger, Talvin Singh, Joss Stone and Shankar Mahadevan, to name a few.
In 2014 Soumik played the first concerto for sarod, composed by Param Vir, bridging the contemporary western music and Indian ragas. In the same year, the Edinburgh Mela and the Commonwealth Games commissioned him to re-score Satyajit Ray’s 1960’s epic Goopy Gayne Bagha Gyne (King of Ghosts). The show has received rave reviews, played by Scottish Chamber Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra and the Moroccan Orchestra.
Soumik co-composed the music for dancer/choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui’s Fractus V, a collaboration between dancers and musicians from Korea to Congo, Japan to England, that raises standing ovations on its international tours.
Soumik has performed in venues on London’s South Bank, Shakespeare’s Globe and the Barbican in London; Konzerthaus, Berlin, OzAsia Festival, Adelaide; New Vision Art Festival, Hong Kong; Singapore Arts Festival; Diverse City, Kuala Lumpur; Fes Sacred Music Festival, Morocco and the Songlines Encounters Festival.
With his brother, photographer Souvid Datta, Soumik has travelled across six states of India, filming and performing with over 100 traditional musicians, many being the last in their musical lineage. Supported by the Bagri Foundation, the Rumi Foundation and Soumik Datta Arts, this collaboration resulted in Tuning 2 You: Lost Musicians of India - a six-part, TV documentary series about musicians in rural India, that has been broadcast on Channel 4, 4OD, Sky Arts, Discovery Asia, Sony BBC Earth HD.