Saagara is a confluence of two different musical worlds, uniting five dynamic virtuosos on a single stage. The project has a stellar cast featuring Waclaw Zimpel, Giridhar Udupa, Bhargava Halambi, K Raja, and Mysore N Karthik. It is the meeting of two of the world's oldest systems of music - Indian and European.
Saagara which literally translates to 'Ocean", essentially means boundless, or infinite. Symbolising the vast expanse of music and all the systems that add upto it, Saagara is in its deepest sense, a union of two musical forms just like how two different streams of rivers unite to become a part of the bigger ocean. Initiated by Zimpel and Udupa during a casual jam in Poland, Saagara took shape after Zimpel's debut visit to India and collaboration with Udupa. Later, the rest of the members Halambi, Raja, and the latest - Karthik joined the wagon.
Saagara draws its western influences through Zimpel's rendition of different musical traditions like Jazz, Folk, and Contemporary classical music. The Indian influences come through Udupa and Karthik, who are bringing together authentic grooves and sounds from one of India's oldest forms of music - Carnatic Music. Udupa's rhythms are an amalgamation of Carnatic music's most prominent accompanying instruments- ghatam (Udupa), khanjira (Halambi), morsing, thavil (Raja), and konnakols. Their grooves breeze through a gamut of classical and folk rhythms, with intricate yet complex structures which perfectly compliment Zimpel's and Karthik's duet.
Saagara debuted in 2015 with their first eponymous album under Polish music label 'MultiKulti' which swept audiences across Poland and had the International Press raving about them. To their credit, they have been nominated under the "Folk Album of the Year 2015" category at Polish Radio, Poland. Saagara has also performed at the Witold Lutoslawski Concert Studio of Polish Radio, Warsaw; Wroclaw Philharmonic Hall, National Forum of Music, CK Zamek- Poznan, NCPA Mumbai, and Lviv Philharmonic Hall- Ukraine. They have also performed at the Jazztopad Festival in Wroclaw featuring Trilok Gurtu, Krakow Jazz Autumn Festival, and Jazz Bez Festival, Ukraine. With the second album they are also bringing experimental electronic music to the table.