Melanie Hardage is an American western classically trained pianist. She writes and performs original music which has been described as “moody and flowing,” and “Rachmaninoff meets Tori Amos in an art museum.” Her training in Western classical music informs her original compositions which include free-form improvisations on a theme, expressive interpretations, and playing with “aplomb and in a virtuosic manner.” Melanie moved to India in 2016 and began collaborating with Indian musicians, namely renowned Indian guitarist, Susmit Sen, which opened a new door for creativity and expression. Featured in Rock Street Journal as a female artist who “smashed gender barriers,” Melanie has represented Amnesty International and Yamaha Music during her time in India. She has been a private piano and voice instructor with studios in New York, Rhode Island, Mississippi and India; and conducted student choirs in both the US and India. Her passion is music and her goal is to create music that makes you feel.
Ms. Hardage began collaborating with renowned Indian guitarist, Susmit Sen, in 2016. This collaboration gave a unique opportunity to explore combining Western classical roots with Eastern scale, form, and beat patterns. Melanie spent a year studying Indian traditional Hindustani classical music to allow for the addition of the Western piano in a way that would complement Susmit’s existing compositions. During this process the duo wrote new music together and continue to record and produce. The music is a mix of call and response, improvisation, and textured harmonies nuanced by their Indian and Western classical roots, respectively. Their collaborative efforts have given both musicians a cross-cultural musical experience and the result has been a fascinating series of dynamic conversations between the guitar and the piano.
The Susmit Sen Trio is comprised of Indian guitarist, Susmit Sen, Indian drummer and percussionist, Nandit Desai, and American pianist, Melanie Hardage. With Susmit’s self-taught and distinctly Indian guitar, Melanie’s Western Classical influence, and Nandit’s Indo-Western rhythmic style, the result is experimental music with elements of jazz, Western classical and folk fused with Indian beat patterns and scale. The Susmit Sen Trio is instrumental music that takes the listener on a transcendental journey.
When Melanie is in India she performs with the Susmit Sen Chronicles Band comprised of Susmit Sen (guitar), Gayathri Natarajan (vocals), Sudheer Rikhari (vocals) and Nandit Desai (drums).
Melanie currently lives in Albany, New York, where she operates a private piano studio including a U.S. and international virtual arm with students as far away as Oman. Additionally, she is an instructor of Applied Piano at Teachers College, Columbia University in New York City, and an instructor of piano at the Guilderland Music Academy in Guilderland, New York. She holds a Master of Arts in Music and Music Education from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts in Music from William Carey University. Pedagogical specialties include constructivist education, multi-modal learning, student-centered learning, improvisation techniques, Western classical, Indo-fusion, and contemporary piano.
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Explore the world of INDIE MUSIC with SUSMIT SEN & MELANIE HARDAGE @ Lorraine Music & Talk Show
Join Lorraine Aloysius & Aubrey Aloysius as they chat with Guitarist and Composer, SUSMIT SEN, Founder of India’s two legendary bands, Indian Ocean & Susmit Sen Chronicles; and Pianist, Performer & Instructor MELANIE HARDAGE while they share their inspiring music and amazing life journey across the globe on this unique Music & Talk Show on Sunday 4-July-2021 @ 5:00 PM IST/ @ 7:30 AM EST