While there are innumerable reasons to visit Goa, this time you can head there for a completely different experience. Starting today, Goa is set to reverberate to the eclectic sounds of two music festivals — World Mouth Harp Festival and Great Live Music Festival. Not just for music buffs, these musical events will also help jaded, overworked souls forget their weekday blues. So, pack your bags to embark on this musical journey
World Mouth Harp Festival, Arambol Beach
On earlier occasions, you must have planned vacations in Goa for its scenic beaches, nightlife, vibe and culture. This time, however, you can unwind with soulful music at the second edition of the World Mouth Harp Festival — a congregation of Indian and international mouth harpists with the beautiful Arambol beach in the backdrop.
Members of Toporkestra
In 2013, world harpist Neptune Chapotin and his friends created magic by bringing together 40 artistes from India and abroad to participate on stage in Goa. This month, the festival is back as an even bigger platform.
“It’s is a participant-powered platform created for the purpose of connecting musicians. They choose to attend it out of their own desire to be part of the project. The festival does not maintain a focus simply on mouth harps, but rather it explores World music, wherein each presentation of music includes the mouth harp among other instruments,” says Chapotin, stressing that the aim is to establish popular recognition for the mouth harp as a contemporary and versatile instrument within any musical genre.
Members of the KC Loy Quartet
The line-up will showcase a blend of Indian and international bands and solo performers. Among Indian artistes are three groups of traditional musicians from different regions of the country: Karnataka, Assam, and Gujarat. From Karnataka, there will be the seven-member Carnatic Morsing Ensemble presenting South Indian mouth harps in various scales that are played in unison and known as a Morsing-Tarang.
The Assamese duo comprises traditional Gogona (bamboo mouth harp) players, and four Folk musicians of Kutch (Gujarat) will perform with varied instruments like Morchang and Surando (a six-stringed, intricately carved instrument that resembles a peacock).
Music buffs at the last edition of the music fest
“The Surando is nearing extinction; only one instrument remains in India, a 150-year-old specimen. There is only one musician capable of playing it, and he will be performing for the first time in Goa at our festival,” announces Chapotin.
Finally, when we quizzed Chapotin on his venue selection, the organiser promptly replied, “Goa is a place with an extremely international vibe.
Arambol Beach — one of the northernmost beaches of Goa — has evolved over the years into a seasonal accumulation of creativity with people from countries all over the world. With all these creative people — performing artistes, musicians, dancers, jugglers and healers — there is always something happening in Arambol. Thus, when a performance gets organised, there is also a supportive crowd that comes to see it making Goa an ideal choice.”
Till January 31
AT Blue Pyramids Skaksa Beach Shack, Arambol Beach.s
Log on to www.mouthharpfestindia.worldharps.com
Great Live Music Festival, Baga beach
Who said Goa is only about Electronic Dance Music? This weekend, head to Baga Beach to enjoy the best of Jazz and Rock from Russia and India. Starting January 31, the Elliot Ground at Baga Beach will host Rock and Jazz musicians from both the countries as part of the Great Live Music Festival.
Baga beach where the Great Life Music Festival was held in 2013
The festival, in its second edition, will see Indian bands like Indian Ocean, Parikrama, Junkyard Groove and Heretic jamming over two days with Latvian band Brainstorm, and The Matrixx, Dolphin and Shiva from Russia.
Over the last few years, Goa has come to be known as an Electronic Dance Music destination, thanks to festivals like Sunburn among others, and the Great Live Music aims to add Rock and Jazz to it.
“The festival is a cut above others, it is a unique project that merges two great cultures and brings together world class Jazz and Rock musicians from Russia and India,” says festival director Ksenia Goryaeva.
The festival, which seems to be calling for a return to the basics that defined open air jamming sessions in the 60s, will not only present music to its visitors but also offer a great experience away from the regular clubbing scene of Goa, which is also the core philosophy behind the festival.
“Goa is famous for its beaches and sunsets, both of which forms a part of this festival; the venue for the festival is right on the Baga beach. And the festival starts at 5 pm, which means visitors will not only get to enjoy great Jazz and Rock artistes, but also a beautiful sunset that defines Goan beaches,” signs off Goryaeva.
From January 31 to February 1, 5 pm onwards
At Elliot Grounds, Baga Beach, Goa.
Entry R2,500 (general);
Log on to glmfest.com
Email russianhouse firstname.lastname@example.org
Another reason: Craft beer in Goa!
Thought Goa was a beer paradise? This news might make you want to do a re-think. While Mumbai got its first micro-brewery late last year, Goa too got one, recently — SinQ Brew.
On offer are 15 international varieties such as American Ale, Canadian Light, Irish Stout, Vienna, Porter and Dark Ale. And these home brews are available at R200 per glass. So, on your next trip to Goa, make sure to make a stopover for a new tipple experience!
At Sinq Brew, SinQ Beach Club, opposite Taj Holiday Village, Sinquerim, Candolim, Bardez.
How to get there
By Road: One is to head towards Panvel from Mumbai (Sion-Panvel Expressway) and continuing on the Asian Highway 47 / National Highway 4 till you reach Nipani Gadhinglaj Road. Join the Mumbai-Goa Highway to reach Goa. Turn right at Xell Bastora Ghandyar Road passing through Calangute-Mapusa Road.
For Baga Beach: Turn left on Aguada Siolim Road.
For Arambol Beach: Turn right on Aguada Siolim Road passing through Querim - Arambol - Agarwada Road and Bhagvati Temple.
By air: Direct flights are available from Mumbai’s domestic airport to the Dabolim airport, which is located 50 km away from Baga Beach and 58 km from Arambol beach. Pre-paid taxis are available from the airport to reach Baga and Arambol, respectively.
By Rail: The nearest railway station for Baga (18 km) and Arambol (20 km) is Thivim.