Celebrate plurality in music

Electronica meets mandolin at NCPA's One World Many Musics festival that begins this week. Are you listening?

When you listen to various forms of music everyday -- in advertisements, promos, films, radio -- do you ever stop and wonder about the cultural influences of those forms and the number and kind of of instruments used in them? NCPA's event One World Many Musics that starts on December 15, seeks to celebrates just that.

Gaurav Raina (left) and Tapan Raj of Delhi-based band Midival
Punditz will perform on the first day of the One World Many
Musics festival at NCPA; (inset Mandolin maestro U Shrinivas will
perform on the second

This edition of One World Many Musics brings together Midival Punditz, one of India's first electronic bands to hit the international scene, Mandolin maestro U Shrinivas and Tabla and flute player Shrikanth Shriram, popularly known as Shri, best known for his traditional Indian style combined with rock, jazz and DnB.

Conceptualised by Dr Suvarnalata Rao, NCPA programming head (Indian Music), the third edition of the festival will be held over two days. Rao kickstarted the festival in 2009, since she felt that NCPA did not showcase the country's rich musical tradition. She also wanted to draw attention to the country's new talent that merged various forms of world music with traditional music.

"NCPA promotes excellence and there is a lot of new music and artists in the country that we needed to showcase. We need to look for new avenues to deliver good quality entertainment to people," says Rao.

This year's mix of performers drives home her point. On the first day of the event, Gaurav Raina and Tapan Raj of Delhi-based band Midival Punditz will treat audiences to  a performance that will feature an innovative addition -- a video background that is synchronised with the music and captures real-time images and clips of the band performing on stage.

The second day will feature Padmashree recipient U Shrinivas, who delivered his first public performance at the age of nine. Shrinivas is also known for his performance as a 14 year-old with Miles Davis and his All Star Band at the West Berlin Jazz festival in 1983, leading the audience  to ask for a repeat performance.

Shrinivas plays the mandolin and revives an inconspicuous member of the Western orchestra (yet, alien to Carnatic music). His performances have given the mandolin a respectability in classical music. He will be accompanied by Shri, who merges high energy of the drum, tabla, flute and bass with throat percussion. The collaboration of the two maestros will give the audiences an electic mix of sound that most aren't likely to forget for a while. Get your tickets well in advance because as per Dr Rao, the first two editions of the festival were completely sold out. 
At: December 15 and 16, NCPA, Nariman Point
Call: 66223737

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