Unfettered, uninhibited and untiring -- these are just some of the shades music at the third edition of the Citi-NCPA Aadi Anant festival is likely to have. This year, the festival, which will be held at the National Centre of Performing Arts (NCPA), explores the theme, ‘Boundaries and Beyond’. It will celebrate cross-cultural collaborations between some of the best musicians of our times. Legends including Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia, Zakir Hussain, Ranjit Barot, George Brooks and Rashid Khan will merge Western and Indian music and explore indigenous traditions of Indian classical music, too.
Dr Suvarnalata Rao, head, programming (Indian music), the NCPA, says, “‘Aadi’ means the beginning and Anant, the timeless, the eternal and the one that has no end. The festival seeks to celebrate the vivacity with which artistic traditions keep redefining and rejuvenating themselves, thus the theme ‘Boundaries and Beyond’. The festival will showcase works that are deeply embedded in the tradition, and yet seek to reach out into the infinite depths of artistic traditions, fostered bythe current socio-cultural environment.”
Rao adds that, through the exploration of the theme of ‘Boundaries and Beyond’, the artistes will attempt a musical dialogue across disciplines. “The exploration of new soundscapes will lead to a fiesta of unheard melodies and pulsating rhythms, which is sure to take listeners into a world of masterful innovation,” she explains.
This year, Hussain will collaborate with world-renowned jazz musicians: veteran saxophonist and composer George Brooks, Afro-German bassist Kai Eckhardt, Egyptian pianist Osam Ezzeldin and Cuban drummer Dafnis Prieto. Hariprasad Chaurasia will explore and connect various strands of music traditions. Starting with folk tunes, he will then move into the world of ragas, offering a glimpse of journey from folk to classical, semi-classical and cross-over.
Chaurasia says he is most excited about his presentation, which will connect various strands of music traditions starting with folk tunes, to the world of ragas and cross-over music through the interesting blend of bansuri, pakhavaj, tabla and guitar. His performance will allow the audience to trace the evolution of music from folk to classical and connect the two forms, too. “The two forms have been connected since the origin of classical music. The ragas that govern the development of classical melodies are born out of regional folk music. When given a glimpse of the evolution of music from folk to classical, listeners can not only understand how one evolved from the other, but also find the similarities and make possible connections in future pieces that they hear,” says Chaurasia.