Booker shortlisted author Thayil focuses on album, music tour
New Delhi: Noted as a poet and shortlisted for a Booker Prize, Jeet Thayil finds himself repeatedly drawn to music and performance with the writer-musician planning on cutting a music album next.
The author wrapped up a "hectic and fruitful" 3-city tour recently, which saw him read from his 2012 Booker-nominated and DSC Prize winning debut novel "Narcopolis". Accompanied by musician friends, the readings were in nonconformist 1960s Beat poetry style, a different arrangement in each city.
"I am planning to make the tour into a full fledged project under the title 'Still Dirty'. I plan on doing more concerts under that name and across a lot more cities and also to record a solo album," Thayil told PTI in an interview.
Thayil, jammed with Tony Guinard on the bass and Nikhil Vasudevan on drums
for a "spoken word" reading in Delhi. In Mumbai he teamed up with Suman Sridhar, with whom he already has a band called ST while in Banglore the author gave a 45 minute-long performance with Abhijeet Thambe and Rahul Giri.
'Still Dirty', says Thayil, is so named because each time he does a performance it is "still dirty", the musicians and the gig itself "a work in progress" adapting and improvising every single time.
"All of them are friends and we have jammed together before. Each of the shows was very different from the other.
While with Nikhil and Tony we did a spontaneous traditional beat poetry style, with Suman Sridhar it wasn't ST style at all. Similarily, with Thambe it was a different improvisation.
There was no rehearsal we did soundchecks and plunged in," says Thayil.
The author who plays the guitar is a recognised name in the indie music world for his teamwork with vocalist Suman Sridhar with whom he has performed live a mish-mash of Indian classical, spoken word, blues, jazz, '60s rock and roll, psychedelia and electro-pop and also brought out an album titled STD.