|The Octet Cantabile, one of
the foremost singing sensations hailing from Chennai, is a group of eight
mixed voices that had its inception in 1994. With each member of the group
having undergone varying levels of musical education individually, the
synergy that such training has produced has stood them, in some good
They sing different kinds of music - ranging from the classical (the
music of Bach, Mendelssohn and Mozart - even a mass by a Renaissance
Spanish Composer, Padilla) to the contemporary (country gospel, from
reggae to rock and some highly complicated arrangements by the Kings
Singers and the Swingle Singers) and everything else in between. With all
their singing involving the music being set in at least four parts, they
sing both in English and in the local languages. Their rendition of
Keerthanais (Tamil devotional songs) in harmony is as unique as it is
pleasing and has thrilled the hearts of everyone who hears them. A
cappella singing is their forte - but appropriate accompaniment is used
as and when needed. While music forms an integral part of the presentation
by the Octet, the focus, however is God - and desire to spread the
Gospel of peace and love through their singing.
Receiving great adulation wherever they perform, the Octet Cantabile has
sung in various parts of the Indian sub-continent. Spreading their wings
overseas, they have captivated audiences in a couple of highly successful
concert tours of Malaysia and the United States of America. Their concert
repertoire is always tailor-made to suit audiences - and the whole
experience is as rich as it is varied, with songs sung to recorded tracks,
interspersed with a Capella numbers or those accompanied by acoustic
guitars. It is to their credit that they are the only group in India
that has cleared the Advanced Level in Ensemble singing - an examination
conducted by the Trinity College of Music, London - with distinction.
They have released some of their music in the form of audio cassettes and
CDs, which is sold the world over. Some of their albums include
"Keerthanai Arpanippu" - Volumes 1 and 2 are collections of Tamil
keerthanais;"Simply Acoustic", songs rich in harmony, and sung to the
accompaniment of hollow guitars and shakers."A Christmas Rhapsody"
- released in December 2007 - is a collection of Christmas carols and
keerthanais. They are currently working on a collection of Church Anthems,
which would be released soon.
The leader of the group is Paul Augustine, a young, vibrant, gifted and
highly qualified musician. His passion is harmony, and has a very clear,
unique style that can be seen in all of his arrangements of songs
presented by the Octet.