Yesterday, the members of Dark Project met at Korak’s house. It had more to do with having some fun time with friends (and gulp some food). Inadvertently, we ended up revisiting old songs inside Korak’s jam room.
But before that, I must clear some air. So, here is…
The reason why Dark Project disbanded
Dark Project officially disbanded in 2013. It wasn’t because of bad blood or poor effort on our part. It was when we all realised that in the ecosystem we were trying to thrive, the kind of music we played, cannot be a source of livelihood.
This was when Ugyal decided to return to Kolkata and pursue a Ph.D., while also applying for a government job. He is doing pretty well. He has even bagged a job. The recruitment process is long and it would be a while before he can officially join the department.
Korak is still playing with his fellow students at IISc. His time in Bangalore is limited with his Ph.D. being over, him getting married next year and his desire to pursue a post-doc from abroad.
As far as I am concerned, music is not a priority anymore and I try to doodle with my recording setup whenever I feel like. Truth be told, that forms a negligible part of my cumulative efforts. Sudipto is in a similar scenario. To top it off, he is married and has the usual familial obligations.
We have always struggled with a permanent bassist (like the drummers of Spinal Tap). I guess we had learned to live with that.
Getting back to the reunion, but first, the snacks
Korak had promised to feed me and Ugyal some quality beef dishes. (We left Sudipto out since he doesn’t eat beef.) He was with his brother, Tintin. (Note: Tintin is his nickname; his legal name is Mouktik.) They guided us to a small shop called Kadrey. Now, I must mention that there are a handful of shops in almost every locality, whose locations are like some closely guarded secret. Not that they actually are, but they achieve some sort of cult status. As far as I could make out, Kadrey is one of them.
In case, you want to visit Kadrey, here are the coordinates. It’s not listed and the nearest mark is Mahal Muslim Hotel. The entrance to Kadrey is an upward flight of stairs just before Mahal Hotel.
Sudipto had lost his way after alighting the metro. Korak asked him to just follow the coordinates and get to his house directly.
Re-assembly of defragmented musical passages from memory
After a round of tea and cakes, we made it to Korak’s practice pad. It’s one of those places where we had done quite a number of practice sessions. We have also recorded fragments of our “An Introduction to Dark Project” video in this room.
Ugyal is maestro. Any passage that enters his head gets reproduced verbatim at the drop of hat.
I am not like that. I memorise guitar lines in patterns. There are those that get registered as sound patterns. The more complex ones are registered as visual patterns. Most of these cues were lost in my head. I fumbled like a fragmented file system. In Tintin’s words, I was defragmenting and recalling guitar passages simultaneously.
In the end, we were able to churn out 8-9 of our songs with least amount of effort. Hypothetically, we could be show ready in three days. That’s something!
No Dark Project practice is complete without a post-practice food session. This time that was arranged by Korak’s mom. I had never tried Bombay Duck. I am not a big fan of fish but I liked the preparation.