Soumik Datta | Hope Notes


One of the biggest new music talents in Britain.



A rich tapestry of stories, and contemporary Indian music, Soumik Datta‘s Hope Notes is based on the stories of refugees from around the world. Celebrating diverse human voices and weaving them together with music, the show was made in collaboration with refugees from Syria, Afghanistan, Kenya, Bangladesh, Yemen, Cameroon and Uganda.

A sensory feast to challenge social injustice through an uplifting, musical lens, Hope Notes highlights an important part of our history, and shows us how our society deals with vulnerable people.

Soumik Datta is an award-winning musician, producer and television presenter. He plays the 19-stringed sarod and combines Indian music with spoken word, arts activism and electronica. He has collaborated with Beyonce, Jay-Z, Bill Bailey, Nitin Sawhney, Joss Stone, Anoushka Shankar, Arijit Singh, Akram Khan and Shankar Mahadevan to name a few.

Previous highlights include winning the Arts Council England Elevate Award and British Council’s COP26 x Climate commission. An Ambassador of Earth Day Network, Soumik’s work addresses urgent social and environmental issues through songs, music and film. He has presented television shows Rhythms of India (BBC4) and Tuning 2 You (Channel 4) and produced several radio shows for BBC Radio 3.

In a nutshell: what to expect from Hope Notes

Who’s on stage? Soumik Datta on sarod, and his band.
I’ve never heard of a sarod, what is it? It’s a string instrument from the Indian subcontinent. It has 19 strings!
What sort of music is in Hope Notes? It’s contemporary Indian music. By contemporary we mean that it was made last year. You’ll probably hear sounds that you haven’t heard before, but you’ll also find that there are similarities to music you know from the radio – for example, songs that have a verse and a chorus. Listen to this to get an impression.
What will we see? The band with specially designed lighting to set the mood for the music.
How are refugee stories included in the show? Selected bits of recordings of Soumik’s conversations with refugees are woven into the show, so that the voices and music work together. The songs are inspired by the refugees, so you will hear the original stories as well as Soumik’s artistic response.
Curious about what it might look like? Watch the Hope Notes series, which includes scenes from the show filmed at the Southbank.