The band experiments with intricate genres in music like folk, trip-hop, jazz, and ambient textures and uses folk instruments as an essential part of their band…reports Sukant Deepak
As Jaipur prepares for the 17th edition of the Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF), the Jaipur Music Stage (JMS), which will run concurrently with the festival has unveiled its line-up of performers.
JMS will present a diverse array of artists from the Indian subcontinent including singer, songwriter, and poet Alif (Mohammad Muneem) will be performing on the first evening. He is the recipient of multiple awards, including the Dada Saheb Phalke Film Festival Award for the single Lalnawat, IRAA Award for the single Like a Sufi, and the IIMA Award for ‘Best Folk Song’ – ‘Ride Home’.
The evening will also feature The Tapi Project, comprising Yogendra Saniyawala (acoustic & bass guitar, lyrics, composition), Swati Minaxi (voice), Gaurav Kapadia (drums) and Biju Nambiar (keyboards, bass, and drums).
The band experiments with intricate genres in music like folk, trip-hop, jazz, and ambient textures and uses folk instruments as an essential part of their band.
The second evening of JMS will feature Prabh Deep, a Delhi-based multi-faceted artist. While ‘Class-Sikh’ was a deeply autobiographical project, Deep showcased his ability to craft intricate and vivid narratives that spoke to larger audiences in subsequent releases. This can be seen on his ‘K I N G’ EP and his critically acclaimed ‘Tabia.’
The second evening will also feature a performance by The Revisit Project, a group that unravels the complexity and rigor of jazz with a distinctive and characteristic twist. Their music combines a solid groove, old-school funk, and rhythmic jazz.
The final evening will witness singer-songwriters Harpreet and Salman Elahi. Harpreet is a versatile artiste who sings original musical compositions in Hindi, Punjabi, Bengali, Assamese, Rajasthani, and Haryanvi. Mumbai-based musician Salman Elahi writes and sings primarily in Urdu and Hindi, and believes in using his music to express his thoughts about life and self-discovery.
The evening will also showcase the band When Chai Met Toast (WCMT). The band consists of vocalist Ashwin Gopakumar, guitarist Achyuth Jaigopal, keyboard player Palee Francis, and drummer Pai Sailesh.
This program makes available NCPA’s archival recordings to lovers of Indian classical music. We have planned a session based on the rarely heard recordings of the legendary vocalist, Madurai Shanmukhavadivu Subbulakshmi…reports Asian Lite News
Indian music with its rich legacy of over three millennia, has always had a place of pride in the realms of art and culture. The NCPA embraces the diversity of Indian music and continues to feature a wide spectrum of artistes ranging from emerging to established performers. The consciously curated programming includes classical, and semi-classical to devotional, light, regional, folk and cross-over music. The unique thematic element associated with each property makes it exclusive. Over the past decade, the NCPA’s Indian music festivals have been appreciated by artistes as well as audiences worldwide.
Upcoming Events in December 2023:
Music Mirror: A-6 AKASH GANGA
What: Documentary screening on Annapurna Devi with English subtitles
Where: Godrej Dance Theatre
When: Friday, 1 December – 6.30 pm
Duration: 81 minutes
Entry: on a first come first served basis.
About the music screening: Annapurna Devi, fondly called “Maa” by her disciples, was a legendary surbahar exponent and an unparalleled Guru. Daughter and disciple of the celebrated Allauddin Khansaheb who founded the Maihar-Senia gharana, she was destined to rule the world of music but in the 1950’s, she shuttered her music in silence, refusing all recordings and concerts.
Nityanand Haldipur, her disciple, sets out on a journey to tell her story. Cutting through the myths that have surrounded her, he attempts to find an answer to the question – can a musician exist without an audience?
Nirmal Chander has worked in the field of non-fiction since 1996 as an editor, director and producer. A recipient of three National Film Awards, his documentary Moti Bagh was submitted for the Oscars in 2019
The screening will be followed by a Q&A session with the director.
Nad Ninad: From Our Archives
Listening Session on the Artistry of Dr. MS Subbulakshmi
Guided by RK Shriramkumar, supported by Amritha Murali and Sriraam Subbaraman
When: Thursday, December 7 – 6.30 pm
Where: Little Theatre
Entry: on a first come first served basis.
About the show: This program makes available NCPA’s archival recordings to lovers of Indian classical music. We have planned a session based on the rarely heard recordings of the legendary vocalist, Madurai Shanmukhavadivu Subbulakshmi (1916 –2004), some of which were specially recorded for our archives during 1978. MS Amma, as she was popularly known, was a naturally gifted musician who grew up in an environment conducive to learning the nuances at a very early age from doyens of the Carnatic (South Indian) world. Starting her career at the young age of 13, she went on to become one of the most celebrated exponents of Carnatic music, besides acting in a few films. Eventually, she came to be recognised as the iconic voice of devotion in the Independent India.
The event will be guided by the eminent violinist, RK Shriramkumar, who has had the privilege of accompanying the legendary vocalist in live concerts as well as for some commercial recordings. Based on this association, he will share his valuable insights into the music of MS Subbulakshmi. His presentation will include recordings and live demonstrations.
Born in an illustrious family of violinists, Shriramkumar was trained by his grandfather, RK Venkarama Shastry. Besides performing solo concerts at home and overseas, he has had the honour of accompanying several doyens of Carnatic music. Marked by the gayaki style of violin playing, his music is recognised for its soul-stirring quality. Furthermore, he is also renowned as a skilled composer for several music and dance productions featuring celebrated artistes. With his innate musicality and vast experience in the world of music, Shriram Kumar is rightly regarded as a fine orator and an illustrious Guru. The list of awards and accolades received is equally impressive.
In this presentation, he will be supported by his disciple, Amritha Murali, who is also a talented vocalist. Sriraam Subbaraman will lend rhythmic support to mridangam.
Citi NCPA Aadi Anant: From here to eternity
The 13th edition of the Citi NCPA Aadi Anant festival seeks to celebrate the vitality of the guru-shishya tradition
About the Show: As trendsetters in their respective fields, Citi and NCPA stand committed to uphold the Indian heritage. Together, we are proud to present the thirteenth edition of ‘Citi NCPA Aadi Anant Festival’ with five events spread across two cities: Mumbai and Delhi.
This edition of the festival features presentations that include artistes of four different generations coming together to showcase genres from classical (art) and semi-classical, to folk and other lighter forms that collectively define the broad spectrum of music traditions in India.
Come, join us and explore the exciting soundscapes from here to eternity!
#Aadi Anant Concert 1 – Ft. Zakir Hussain, Sabir Khan, Debopriya Chatterjee
When: Saturday, 9 December – 6.30 pm
Where: Tata Theatre
Duration: 90 mins approx
Performed By Zakir Hussain (tabla) with Sabir Khan (sarangi) & Debopriya Chatterjee (bansuri)
About the show: In this presentation, Hussain will showcase the versatility of the tabla by performing solo pieces as well as exploring the sonic space together with the other two instrumentalists, leaving aside the conventional hierarchy of either one of the instruments. The spontaneous improvisations are bound to lead up to a musical dialogue that will take the listeners on a journey moving from classical to lighter genres, showcasing the capability of Indian instruments to express myriad shades of sound and emotion.
#Aadi Anant Concert 2 – Remembering the Divas: Gauhar Jaan, Begum Akhtar, M. S. Subbulakshmi, Shobha Gurtu, Noor Jahan, Kishori Amonkar
An NCPA Presentation
Conceived, curated and presented by Kaushiki Chakraborty & a group of musicians
When: Sunday, 10th December – 6.30 pm
Where: Jamshed Bhabha Theatre
Duration: 90 minutes approx
Age Suitability: 6+
About the show: Besides presenting some memorable compositions associated with these six divas, the ensemble led by Kaushiki Chakraborty will also attempt to present some new compositions, keeping in mind the individual style of these divas.
Renowned for its curated line-ups of artists from around the world, Echoes of Earth showcases a diverse range of genres, including Electronica, Jazz, Indie, Afrobeat, Funk, World music, Folk, Soul, and House Techno…reports Asian Lite News
Echoes of Earth, India’s Greenest Music Festival, is thrilled to announce its 6th edition, set to take place on December 2nd and 3rd, 2023.
Known for delivering unique live music experiences, the festival has become a celebration of music, art, culture, and conservation efforts. This year, the festival is proud to showcase a stellar line-up of music headliners and installation artists.
The festival’s theme, ‘Ensemble of the Wild’, highlights the interconnectedness of India’s richest biodiversity hotspot, the Western Ghats. It aims to emphasize the delicate balance and harmonious relationships between flora, fauna, habitats, and ecosystems, showcasing the crucial role each species plays in maintaining the balance of nature through thought-provoking art and educational workshops.
Joining the festival this year are the talented installation artists Haribabu Natesan, the Aravani Art Project, and Siddharth Karawal. Haribabu Natesan, renowned for his unconventional artwork, including the notable “Make in India,” has captivated audiences worldwide. The Aravani Art Project is a transformative art collective led by transgender women and cisgender women, who focus on creating a safe space for artistic collaboration and expression.
Hailing from Baroda, Siddharth Kararwal is an artist whose work challenges conventions and sparks discussions. With a penchant for pushing artistic boundaries, he has become a prominent figure in the contemporary art scene. Kararwal gained widespread attention with his controversial piece Divine Bovine. Siddharth, fondly known as Tidda, has been a valued member at Echoes of Earth. Karawal has been with Echoes of Earth since its inception and has been instrumental in the iconic Amur Falcon and Himalayan Ibex Stage.
Since its inception, the festival has been working with a variety of artists to transform urban scrap and waste into larger-than-life stages and art installations. Besides its commitment to upcycling and recycling, Echoes of Earth is actively working toward becoming a carbon-neutral, zero-waste event. The two-day event over the years has becomes more than just a music festival; it is a celebration of the community and the environment we inhabit.
Renowned for its curated line-ups of artists from around the world, Echoes of Earth showcases a diverse range of genres, including Electronica, Jazz, Indie, Afrobeat, Funk, World music, Folk, Soul, and House Techno. The line-up for this edition includes top-tier artists such as Sid Sriram (US), Len Faki (Germany), three-time Grammy Award winner Tinariwen (Mali), Jitvam (US/India), Mezerg (France), Parra for Cuva (Germany), Mansur Brown (UK), 8 Kays (Ukraine), and Giant Swan (UK), along with other popular acts like Modern Biology, Matsumoto Zoku Band, Sahil Vasudeva, and many more.
With four intricately designed stages, the festival promises an unforgettable experience for music enthusiasts and those alike. The festival, featuring experiences like the Kids Zone and Pet Zone, is designed for everyone. Attendees can enjoy food stalls, a sustainable flea market, and a café at Echoes of Earth.
Roshan Netalkar, Founder and Festival Director of Echoes of Earth, expressed his vision for the festival, stating, “We are thrilled to announce the arrival of the 6th Edition of Echoes. With the foundation of a strong and credible community established over the past few years, the responsibility now lies with us to elevate our theme and experiences. This year, our focus is on celebrating the Western Ghats’ animals, birds, and the ecosystems that sustain us. Nature has always inspired us, and the responsibility to do more is paramount. Recognizing our audience’s growing love for talent, this year we’re putting an added spotlight on art. It’s not just a visual delight but also blends seamlessly with our audience’s changing tastes. We are also very grateful to WWF – India, Felis Films, Bangalore International Airport, and Hasirudala Innovations, for their meaningful partnerships. All these elements seamlessly converge to create a festival that celebrates the world of music and the world around us.”
In terms of the partnerships, this year too, the festival continues its association with Walkers & Co., and Johnnie Walker Refreshing Mixer Non-Alcoholic beverages. As many are aware, the brand’s stirring rally cry “Keep Walking” is a call to those who are looking to create an evolved path for the future. This mission statement found an echo in the festival’s theme of “Ensemble of the Wild” which focuses on efforts of individuals to protect our fragile ecosystem. Speaking on the partnership with the festival, Shweta Jain, CBDO, Premium, Luxury, Craft, and Reserve – India and South Asia, Diageo said, “Walkers & Co.’s association with Echoes of Earth is part of our vision to partner with creators and bold boundary pushers who, through their music and art, are raising awareness about our planet, and the need for purposeful consumption. And we, at Walkers & Co., like to enable and provide a platform to a generation of Walkers who work for the collective progress and go where few have before.”
Vineet Sharma, VP Marketing – South Asia, AB InBev says, “Echoes of Earth, embodies our purpose of inspiring consumers to disconnect from routine and reconnect with nature through unforgettable experiences. We are deeply devoted to conserving and celebrating the natural world, and our participation in this festival underscores this dedication. Echoes of Earth is pioneering a more sustainable and eco-conscious approach to lifestyle events, and we take pride in partnering through our brand Corona, with this environmentally friendly music festival as we toast to more mindful celebrations,”
Echoes of Earth’s 6th edition promises an extraordinary celebration of music, art, and nature like never before. Be a part of this immersive experience by joining us on December 2nd and 3rd, 2023.
Venue: Embassy International Riding School, Bangalore
Gwalior serves as an exemplary example of living cultural heritage and it houses one of the biggest annual music festivals of India; The Tansen Sangeet Samaroh to celebrate the rich culture of Madhya Pradesh…reports Asian Lite News
UNESCO has included Gwalior as the city of Music under the Creative Cities Network (UCCN). 55 cities from all over the globe joined the UCCN. Gwalior was acknowledged for its strong commitment to harnessing culture and creativity as part of UNESCO’s development strategies, and displaying innovative practices in human-centred urban planning.
The project was led by Madhya Pradesh Tourism Board in cooperation with the Municipal Corporation of Gwalior, Gwalior Smart City Development Corporation Limited, Raja Mansingh Tomar Music & Arts University, music artists and other stakeholders. The Network now includes 350 cities in over one hundred countries, representing seven creative fields: Crafts and Folk Art, Design, Film, Gastronomy, Literature, Media Arts and Music.
Since 2019, continuous efforts have been made including multiple stakeholder consultations and a dedicated feasibility study of the city to map the potential for UCCN membership followed by the drafting of the application. Gwalior serves as an exemplary example of living cultural heritage and it houses one of the biggest annual music festivals of India; The Tansen Sangeet Samaroh to celebrate the rich culture of Madhya Pradesh.
Principal Secretary Tourism and Culture Department and Managing Director, MP Tourism Board Sheo Shekhar Shukla (IAS) quoted ‘Inclusion of Gwalior by UNESCO under the creative cities network is definitely a big shot in the arm which goes a long way to tell the whole world about the cultural richness of Madhya Pradesh. Gwalior being the city of Tansen, BaijuBawra, the birthplace of Dhrupad Music form and Gwalior Gharana, which are world known for musical practices and traditions which are alive even today, have been very persistently conserved and preserved and now on the occasion of Madhya Pradesh Foundation Day, it has been recognised by UNESCO by including Gwalior as a city of music.
I am sure the whole world will sit and take notice of the richness and a depth of the cultural diversity, cultural richness of Madhya Pradesh in general and Gwalior in particular. This will also go a long way in boosting international tourism in the city of Gwalior and also bringing them to showcase best of the architectural and heritage assets.
It is a great opportunity for Madhya Pradesh and we are very thankful to UNESCO, Minister of Culture, and Government of India and to the city of Gwalior and all the people who have ever, in anyway associated with Gwalior. As a city of music, It is a massive achievement for everyone who is concerned with music and Gwalior.
Joint Director, Planning, Madhya Pradesh Tourism Board, Prashant Singh Baghel highlighted ‘Through the designation to the UCCN, we envision the realisation of the city’s goals towards achieving overall sustainable development with music as the key driver. This includes the creation of new economic and artistic opportunities for the local youth; making the city an education hub for music, cultural infrastructure development, linking of the music sector with tourism, urban renewal and mobility and enhancing access to arts and culture.’
“AARAMBH” represents a true global collaboration, with Abby V, based in Toronto, and Ricky Kej, a world-renowned composer-producer, joining forces to create a musical masterpiece that transcends borders and time zones. The album is also featuring acclaimed guest vocalists KS Chithra, Jonita Gandhi, Pratibha Singh, Sivaangi, Sona Mohapatra, Antara Nandi, Benny Dayal and Asad Khan on sitar. Release Date; 24 November, 2023. Available from groundbreaking UK-based imprint Sufiscore.
In a musical journey that transcends continents and time zones, the young master vocalist Abby V and the three-time GRAMMY-winning, Billboard #1 composer-producer, Ricky Kej, have forged a remarkable friendship that results in awe-inspiring musical creations. Their latest venture, “AARAMBH,” is a full-length album produced exclusively for Sufiscore, a UK-based, South Asian-focused music media platform.
This album showcases the Toronto-based sensation Abby V lending his extraordinary voice to a captivating collection of compositions by Ricky Kej, including a mesmerizing cover of the iconic Lennon & McCartney classic, ‘Yesterday,’ featuring the accomplished Asad Khan on sitar.
“AARAMBH” represents a true global collaboration, with Abby V, based in Toronto, and Ricky Kej, a world-renowned composer-producer, joining forces to create a musical masterpiece that transcends borders and time zones.
The album is a splendid fusion of musical genres, seamlessly blending Indian classical music, electronica, strings, beat-based ambient music, and more. This diverse palette of musical influences promises a unique and immersive listening experience.
Abby V, known for his exceptional vocal prowess as an Instagram and YouTube sensation, takes center stage, showcasing his extraordinary vocal talent that harmoniously complements Ricky Kej’s compositions. Their collaboration promises to deliver musical magic that will captivate audiences worldwide.
A standout feature of “AARAMBH” is the enchanting cover of ‘Yesterday’ by Lennon & McCartney, where Abby V’s emotive rendition is enhanced by the skilled sitar performance of Asad Khan. This reinterpretation of a classic song promises to be a highlight of the album.
Joining Abby V on various tracks are an array of renowned Indian vocalists, resulting in beautiful duets that further enrich the album’s sonic tapestry. The involvement of these esteemed artists ensures that the album boasts a star-studded roster.
“AARAMBH” is a testament to the power of musical collaboration, bringing together the talents of Abby V and Ricky Kej, who bridge the gap between cultures and genres to create a musical masterpiece that is both diverse and harmonious. With the promise of an iconic cover and star-studded duets, this album is set to be a remarkable addition to the world of music, captivating audiences with its fusion of Indian classical music, electronica, and more.
The album is also featuring acclaimed guest vocalists KS Chithra, Jonita Gandhi, Pratibha Singh, Sivaangi, Sona Mohapatra, Antara Nandi, Benny Dayal and Asad Khan on sitar.
“The heart of the album is traditional Indian classical music,” says the Bangalore-based Kej from the road in Nashville, Tennessee. “But the instrumentation is very modern — it’s in a palette that will appeal to people who listen to many kinds of music. We’re taking Indian classical music to listeners that would not normally listen to it.”
“A lot of my learning and training has been in Indian and Western Classical music,” says V. “I’ve sung in English, Latin, German, a lot of Hindustani and Carnatic music, and a lot of what I present online is an amalgamation of styles. I want to present it so it’s not restricted to a certain part of the audience. This album truly stands for that.”
Sufiscore is not just a traditional label but a YouTube channel amassing millions of views of songs from the Asian and South Asian markets. By celebrating new creative processes with leading musicians adapting to adversity as they continue to explore global fusion, Sufiscore is opening doors to international collaborations wherever musicians are in the world. Through live-syncing, remote recording and other practices, Sufiscore seeks to usher in new ways of making and consuming music online.
In addition to the work of Abby V and Ricky Kej, Sufiscore has released such albums as Inheritance by vocalist Pratibha Singh and Unbounded – Abaad by sitar virtuoso Purbayan Chatterjee, who is joined by Singh as well as Béla Fleck, Gary Husband, Jordan Rudess, Zakir Hussain, Antonio Sanchez and more. AARAMBH releases on the 24th November internationally through Sufiscore.
Music composer, lyricist, and singer, Avinash Vyas (1912-1984), left an indelible mark on the world of Gujarati Sugam sangeet (light music) through nearly 10,000 songs that he composed during the course of his career…reports Asian Lite News
Indian music with its rich legacy of over three millennia, has always had a place of pride in the art world. The NCPA embraces all the major strands of Indian music and continues to feature a wide spectrum of artistes – from up-and-coming to top-ranking and living legends.
The range of genres is equally diverse – from pure classical, and semi-classical to devotional, light, regional, folk, and cross-over music. The unique thematic element associated with each property makes it exclusive. Over the past decade, NCPA’s thematically curated Indian music festivals have been appreciated by artistes as well as audiences worldwide.
Avinashi Avinash: An NCPA presentation in association with the Kilachand Foundation & Ashwin C. Shroff
Music composer, lyricist, and singer, Avinash Vyas (1912-1984), left an indelible mark on the world of Gujarati Sugam sangeet (light music) through nearly 10,000 songs that he composed during the course of his career. Having had the privilege of being groomed under the legendary sarod maestro Allauddin Khan of Maihar, he went on to compose around 1,200 songs covering a wide range of subjects and moods for over 190 Gujarati films.
Some well-known films for which he scored music were: Mahasati Ansuya (1943, with Allarakha), Gunsundari (1948, in Gujarati and Hindi), Bhagyawan (1953), Andher Nagari Chaupat Raja (1955), Grihalakshmi (1959), Mehendi Rang Lagyo (1960), Hawa Mahal (1962), Taqat aur Talwar (1972), Santu Rangili (1976), Maa Baap (1977), Garvi Nar Gunaratan (1981) and Kanku ni Kimat (1983), amongst others. Besides using mainstream male and female singers, he was equally comfortable working with new talent.
In fact, he was instrumental in introducing Geeta Dutt to Gujarati films. This presentation will showcase a wide range of his songs in Gujarati along with a garba sequence, providing a glimpse of the versatility of the award-winning music composer.
When: Friday, 6th October- 6.30 PM
Where: Tata Theatre
Duration: 2 hrs
Age Suitability: 6+
Compere: Mukesh Joshi
Name of the artistes: Ashit Desai, Hema Desai, Alaap Desai & others
One World Many Musics: Celebrating Artistic Plurality
The world that we live in is buzzing with myriad traditions and musical forms across various indigenous cultures. It is natural that various musical styles from around the world tend to influence each other, leading to newer forms that keep evolving.
This festival, showcasing varied musical forms, reaffirms the peaceful co-existence of cultural and artistic plurality in the world. With this event, we celebrate the power of music as a healing force that promotes cross-cultural understanding and reminds people of all cultures and religions that we share a common humanity.
#Dipesh Varma Collective
Led by Dipesh Varma (percussion & djembe), the ensemble includes Sridhar Parthasarthy, a senior percussionist (mridangam, Kanjira, morsing), along with a younger team comprising Sandeep Mishra (sarangi), Harmeet Singh (tabla), Abhay Nayampally (guitar) and Amit Padhye (harmonium & keyboard). Besides having a mix of artistes trained in North and South Indian music traditions, the ethnic diversity of instruments adds to the appeal of the band.
The collaborative endeavour of the band strives to blend purposefully some conventional Hindustani and Carnatic melodies and rhythms with contemporary elements, resulting in an exciting sonic experience.
After having met at music circles in Kerala, the quartet—comprising Ashwin Gopakumar, Achyuth Jaigopal, Palee Francis, and Pai Sailesh—went on to form the pop band, When Chai Met Toast. Debuting with ‘Joy of Little Things’ in 2017, followed by hits like ‘Believe’ and ‘When We Feel Young’ and others, the band has established its identity which can be described as a mix of indie folk and alternative rock. Having performed at numerous concerts worldwide, today, the band enjoys a wide following among global audiences.
NCPA-HSBC Music Workshop – Understanding live sound, its fundamentals, and possibilities. Supported by HSBC A free online workshop on Zoom by Ashwin Jyoti
With the advancement in the technology that is available today to control and influence the sound, it becomes imperative for all personnel involved in a live event to have some basic knowledge about the fundamentals governing the live sound as well as the possibilities for enhancing the sound quality in such a scenario.
This workshop is aimed at not only musicians but also technical personnel like budding sound engineers who have aspirations to join the live sound industry.
The session will specifically deal with issues related to the behaviour of sound in real-time, during a live stage performance. It is designed to introduce participants to various devices used, such as microphones, speakers, mixers, etc., that influence the quality of sound. The role and impact of each of these devices will be explained and demonstrated with the help of live ensembles of vocal and instrumental music. This will enable participants to understand how to achieve the best sound during performance, within the given acoustic conditions such as the architecture of the hall and the size of the audience.
Ashwin Jyoti has trained in audio engineering and has vast experience in managing “live” sound. Having worked with a variety of PA systems, he specialises in setting up sound and rigging PA for huge audiences, both indoor and outdoor. An amateur singer himself, he has knowledge about mixing events across various genres. Presently, he heads the team for live sound at the NCPA.
Reminiscing the artistry of Gauhar Jan, Janki Bai, Zohra Bai & Begum Akhtar by Chandra Chakraborty. Accompanied by Farooq Lateef Khan (sarangi), Sudhanshu Gharpure (harmonium), Tejas Burse (tabla).
The contribution made to Indian music by talented women of the courtesan community is indeed laudable. Although society at large preferred to ignore their contribution and even sought to abolish them from the performing space, research points to the ways in which these songstresses overcame social taboos and logistical challenges of recording and contributed immensely to the documentation and propagation of traditional classical and semi-classical repertoire.
Naturally endowed with tuneful and delicate voices, coupled with systematic training and arduous practice, they became custodians of an unusually large repertoire ranging from Khayal, thumri, dadra, tappa, and hori to ghazal. With a unique combination of beauty, brains, and musical talent, they ruled the world of classical and semi-classical Indian music in the early 20th century.
An intensely captivating Yakshagana titled Devi Mahatme-Mahisha Vadhe was presented to a fully packed auditorium at the Nehru Centre recently.
Jointly organised by Sanskruti Centre for Cultural Excellence and KannadigaruUK, the program encompassed powerful performances by the artists of Yakshadhruva Patla Foundation Trust which has been making efforts to preserve and promote this ancient art form in India and abroad.
After the traditional invocation at the beginning and opening words by the Deputy Director of TNC Sanjay Sharma, an uninterrupted rapturous 90-minute dance drama was presented that received a standing ovation at the climax.
The Himmela team (Patla Satish Shetty, Padmanabha Upadhyaya, Chaitanya Krishna Padyana) and Mummela team (Prof. ML Samaga, Chandrashekhara Poojary, Mahesha Maniyani, Prashant Shetty Nelyadi, and Mohana Bellippady) have mesmerised the audience with their high-powered performances.
Felicitation to artists by Captain Munish Chauhan of the British Armed Forces, Sushil Rapatwar of Sanskruti Centre, and Dr Lakshmi Vyas of Hindu Forum of Europe, followed by the vote of thanks by Ganapati Bhat of KannadigaruUK concluded the interesting evening.
Post-event, Captain Chauhan opined, “The evening was nothing short of extraordinary, the musicians transported us to a different realm while the dancers conveyed the essence with grace and precision. The story of Goddess Durga’s valorous battle against Mahishasur serves as a powerful reminder of the eternal struggle between right and wrong.
It reaffirms our commitment to upholding the values of justice, courage, and righteousness in our pursuit of a better world. It resonated deeply with me as a military officer, as in the armed forces, we dedicate ourselves to safeguarding society and eliminating the forces of evil. It was a privilege to be part of this event and it has left a lasting impression on me.”
PM’s maternal uncle of Punjabi heritage said all relatives have been asked to come to Delhi to mark his arrival…reports Asian Lite News
Rishi Sunak is expecting a warm welcome in India. Not only at the G20 Summit but also by his family. Britain’s prime minister has Indian ancestors and strong ties to the country.
The 43-year-old, who is said that he is proud of his Indian roots, was born in India to parents who immigrated to the UK from East Africa. His wife, Akshata Murty, is the daughter of Narayana Murthy, India’s billionaire tech czar, and philanthropist and educator Sudha Murty.
The Daily Telegraph reported over the weekend that Prime Minister Sunak’s relatives will host a feast with flower bouquets and “non-stop dancing” to Punjabi music.
Dr Gautam Dev Sood, 65, a maternal uncle of the UK prime minister of Punjabi heritage, said all relatives have been asked to come to the Indian capital to mark his arrival. “It is a great honour for us that he is visiting his ancestral land,” Dr Sood told the newspaper.
Subhash Berry, Rishi Sunak’s paternal uncle, added, “We can’t divulge exact details but a plan is in place to welcome the (British) prime minister. We are gearing up for a night of non-stop dancing, mostly to the lively beats of the traditional Punjabi music, although I imagine we might also groove to a few English tunes along the way.”
The newspaper notes that Rishi Sunak is unlikely to attend the event because of an intense work schedule between Friday and Sunday for the G20 summit and bilateral talks on its sidelines. Rishi Sunak, 43, was born in Southampton to parents Yashvir and Usha.
The British leader will be accompanied on his first visit to India as prime minister by his Indian wife, Akshata Murty. While Sunak has extended family in northern India, Murty’s relatives mostly live in Karnataka.
When asked if he discusses Indian politics, technology, or the challenges he encounters running the United Kingdom with his in-laws, Rishi Sunak told PTI that it is cricket that they talk about. His daughters support India when it comes to cricket, just as they support England when it comes to football.
“It’s very important to keep politics separate from family, but of course my wife and two daughters very much guide my values, as do my parents and parents-in-law,” he added.
“I am, though, incredibly proud of my parents-in-law and what they have achieved — going from nothing to building one of the world’s largest and most respected companies, which employs thousands of people in both India and in the UK,” Sunak said.
“It is wonderful to be able to travel to India for the G20 with Akshata, and hopefully we will get a chance to visit some of the places we went to when we were younger – we’ll both be very busy the whole trip though,” he said.
The British premier is looking forward to meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi and discussing how India and the UK can work together to address numerous global concerns.
According to reports, a bilateral meeting between Sunak and Modi is expected on the sidelines.
“My ministerial colleagues who have visited India in the past year have all returned with a renewed enthusiasm for the UK-India partnership,” he said.
“Beyond the work of the G20 itself, it has been fantastic for so many people to see the breadth and depth of India by travelling all over the country for meetings and discovering the unique cultures on display all over India,” he added.
“When I meet Prime Minister Modi again this week it will be an opportunity to speak about some of the global challenges we face, and the huge role that the UK and India have to play in addressing them.”
He described India as an “indispensable partner” of the UK across all spheres of bilateral cooperation during a Cabinet meeting with his top team at Downing Street this week.
“He [Sunak] said negotiations around a free trade deal were progressing and that he would only agree on an approach which worked for the whole of the UK,” noted a Downing Street readout of the Cabinet meeting on Tuesday.
UK Business and Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch, who returned from a visit to India after talks with Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal last month, also updated the UK Cabinet on the free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations, saying that “India is already one of the UK’s largest trading partners, with a relationship worth GBP 36 billion a year”.
The FTA talks have completed 12 negotiation rounds and according to a joint outcome statement issued at its conclusion recently, ministers from both sides “took stock of the FTA and agreed ways to progress the negotiations”.
Celebrate Labor Day weekend with a trip to DC, where numerous hotels offer special discounts and packages in honor of the end-of-summer holiday…reports Asian Lite News
Celebrate summer’s last big weekend Sept. 1-4 with free events, outdoor activities and cultural experiences in the nation’s capital. We’re taking the work out of making your Labor Day weekend plans. Close out your summer in Washington, DC with the best activities, events and things to do. Here are a number of ways to make the weekend a memorable one.
Take in DC JazzFest
Washington, DC’s star-studded jazz history reigns on with the DC JazzFest, an annual showcase of national and local musicians taking place this Aug. 30 through Sept. 3. This can’t-miss event is the District’s premier jazz festival, serving up a diverse selection of national and international masterclass artists at venues all over the city. Many of the concerts are free, including the Jazz Hop in historic Anacostia on Sept.
Reserve your table for Summer Restaurant Week, Aug. 28 to Sept. 3
Reserve your table for Summer Restaurant Week, which runs from Aug. 28 to Sept. 3. Savor every last bite of summer while taking advantage of specially priced meals, including to-go options and cocktail and wine pairings, courtesy of the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington and 150+ participating eateries.
Enjoy the banks of the Potomac and Anacostia rivers
Take advantage of the waning days of summer and head to one of the many waterfronts in and around the District. Make a splash with plenty of safe, family-friendly outdoor water activities to choose from, including kayak and paddleboard rentals, grabbing a meal to-go and enjoying gorgeous on-the-water scenery.
Take a stroll through a DC park
DC’s outdoor offerings turn the city into a summertime playground. There’s the 2,000+ acres of Rock Creek Park, the Capitol Columns at the scenic U.S. National Arboretum, the neoclassical beauty of Malcolm X Park and more. Additionally, you can check out the gorgeous gardens of Tudor Place and gaze at outdoor sculptures at the Hirshhorn.
Snag a hotel deal while in town
Celebrate Labor Day weekend with a trip to DC, where numerous hotels offer special discounts and packages in honor of the end-of-summer holiday. Options are available for a wide range of preferences and budgets. Some exclusive deals provide convenient access to The Wharf, which hosts DC JazzFest on Sept. 2. Make sure to complement your hotel stay by booking a table during Summer Restaurant Week (Aug. 28 – Sept. 3).
Visit the Zoo and See Giant Pandas
The Smithsonian’s National Zoo and its thousands of animal species make it ideal for a Labor Day weekend excursion. Make sure you secure a timed entry pass beforehand.
Make monumental memories
The National Mall is America’s front yard, where the past, present and future come together. The monuments and memorials, including the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument, the strikingly detailed Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial and the World War II Memorial, honor American forefathers and heroes in majestic fashion. Visiting the Mall is an ideal way to pay tribute on Labor Day weekend.
Savor a meal outdoors
Many of DC’s beer gardens, patios and rooftop restaurants offer great views, wonderful atmosphere and cocktails, making for dining experiences that you can savor during the holiday weekend.
Attend the National Symphony Orchestra’s Free Labor Day Concert on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol
The National Symphony Orchestra’s free annual Labor Day weekend concert returns to the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol on Sunday, Sept. 3. The performance is free to attend and tickets are not required. Seating is first-come, first-served.
Learn about espionage inside the International Spy Museum
Visit the International Spy Museum in L’Enfant Plaza to discover the ins and outs of the espionage trade, from gadgets to strategies to costumes. During your visit, kids will love the Undercover Mission, which allows you to hone your spy skills while exploring the incredibly interactive museum.
The book also influenced Wagner and was planning to work on Buddhist opera called (Die Sieger) The Victors but unfortunately he could not complete it due to ill health…writes Dilip Roy
Nineteenth century Germany saw the emergence of intellectuals both in Arts and Sciences and among them was a Renaissance man called Richard Wagner who was born in one of Germany’s cultural city of Leipzig on 22nd May 1813. Leipzig’s university is also known forits study of Indology like several other major univercities of Germany. It is important to note that Wagner’s brother In law Prof. Herman Brockhaus was the head of Sanskrit faculty under whom many well known Indologists studied among them was a French student called Eugene Burnouf who later published a six hundred page volume called “History of Indian Buddhism.” The book also influenced Wagner and was planning to work on Buddhist opera called (Die Sieger) The Victors but unfortunately he could not complete it due to ill health.
Richard Wagner was a genius who combined all the faculty of Arts. Besides being a composer of operas, he was an architect who supervised the building of his opera house in Bayreuth. He was a dramatist who also wrote libretto for his music drama operas, an essayist, a philosopher in his own right and a prolific writer of prose works and has written on subjects such as “Artwork of the future,” “Pilgrimage to Beethoven,” “Opera and Drama,” “Religion and Art” are recognized as some of his important works. Wagner also invented a brass musical instrument called TUBA which came to be known as “Wagner Tuba” which he commissioned specifically to be used for his four part sixteen hour epic opera called the “Ring of the Nibelung.” In one of Wagner’s major prose works, (Die Wibelungen) World History as Told in Saga written in 1848 in which he clearly states that the entire European race including that of the “Nibelungs” originates from India. This belief was further established by scholars of Indology in 19th century Germany such as Humboldt, Novalis, Schelling and Friedrich Schlegel that Germany’s cultural origins actually stems from India.
Wagner influenced whole generation of composers who came after him such as Bruckner, Holst, Mahler, Schoenberg, Stenhammar, Strauss and Zemlinsky and also went on to influence intellectuals such as Nobel laurates Thomas Mann, G.B. Shaw, W.B. Yeats. The philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche described Wagner as a “volcanic eruption of the total undivided artistic capacity of nature itself,” while Thomas Mann hailed him as “probably the greatest talent in the entire history of European art.” The Russian philosopher and an intellectual writer Leo Tolstoy well known for his writing “War and Peace,” a panoramic epic of the Napoleonic invasion of Russia, was one among the great admirers of Wagner. The 19th century French impressionist artist Pierre-Auguste Renoir did the oil portrait of Wagner on canvas at Palermo in 1882 a year before Wagner’s death in 1883 the painting which now hangs in the famous Louvre museum in Paris. Such was the admiration by Renoir for Wagner.
PHILOSOPHY IN RICHARD WAGNER OPERAS:
Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860) in 19th century Germany who revolutionized the concept of philosophical thinking throughout Western Europe and beyond through his epic writing “The World as Will and Interpretation.” The Latin book Oupnekhat (Upanishad) published in 1802 by the French Indologist Anquetil-Duperron was the greatest influence on Schopenhauer’s philosophical thought. He called the opening up of Sanskrit literature “the greatest gift of our century,” and envisaged that the philosophy and knowledge of Upanishad would become the cherished faith of the West. Most noticeable, in the case of Schopenhauer’s work, was the significance of Chandogya Upanishad and Mandukya Upanishad whichare mentioned throughout The World as Will and Interpretation. The composition of Upanishads dates back to 1800 BCE. Schopenhauer also went on to influence philosophers like Friedrich Nietzsche and Ludwig Wittgenstein scientists Albert Einstein and Erwin Schrodinger writers Leo Tolstoy and Hermann Hesse and composers such as Brahms, Mahler, Schoenberg and above all Richard Wagner.In India too there were admirers like Shri Aurobindo, Tagore and Vivekananda who were inspired by Schopenhauer’s philosophy.
Although Wagner was familiar with India’s classical literature like Ramayana, Mahabharata and the works of KALIDASA but the major turning point In Wagner’s creative life was in the mid 1850’s when he embraced both the philosophical writings Arthur Schopenhauer and religious insights of ancient India. Wagner writes in his autobiography (Maine Libe) My life he discovered the philosophy of Artur Schopenhauer by reading his epic work “World as Will and Interpretation” in 1854 he read the book four times and that he was so much elevated, that in the following year he wrote to his composer friend Franz Liszt in 1855 praising “the most oldest and most sacred religion known to mankind” for Wagner, Schopenhauer’s philosophy came to him as a gift from heaven. Schopenhauer’s aesthetics also influenced Wagner’s thinking that music was the ultimate soul of expression which is clearly evident in four of Wagner’s major operas such as Lohengrin, TristanandIsolde, TheRingoftheNibelungs and Parsifal are clearly consistent with Indian thought. In the RingCycle his epic opera to date in it he made use of comparative mythologies that of India, Greece and Germany (Norse) the opera Ring Cycle which is made up of four parts is an allegory, and tells of the struggle for power between the Nibelung dwarfs, the Giants and the Gods.
The first Richard Wagner society was founded in Mannheim, Germany in 1871 since then The International Association of Wagner Societies has more than 26,000 members in 147 societies, belong to International Association of Wagner Societies around the world. The number of groups under the organization’s auspices has expanded considerably in the last fifty years. Today Wagner Societies can be found in all parts of the world including South East Asia in cities like Bangkok, Shanghai and Tokyo also Cape Town in South Africa besides American and European countries. Most of my (D. Roy) articles on Wagner has been published by Australia, New Zealand, London and Scotland Wagner Societies respectively.
Wagner’s opera house in Bayreuth has become a pilgrimage for the Wagner devotees and they congregate from all over the world as the annual festival takes place in the months of July and August and the tickets are sold out months in advance. Bayreuth is also the place where Wagner’s family lived in a house called Wahnfried it also has a library and a museum.
“There are three different types of people who take interest in me, if I am correct: those who know my music, (and they are rare), those who do not know it but love it and those who hate it without knowing it.”
(About the author: Dilip Roy is a researcher on cultural subjects and is a Fellow of Royal Asiatic Society of UK. Mr Roy is an avid collector of non fiction books and classical records among his proud possession is a three CD sets of Upanishads with an introduction by Prof. Julius Lipner and slokas rendered in a classical style by veteran vocalist Pandit Jasraj.)