(From left) Saddik Khan Langa, Asin Khan Langa, Bhungar Manganiyar at an earlier performance
From the dusty blues of the desert region with magical songs of love and loss, to traditional celebratory music played at weddings in rural Rajasthan, and the soulful, transcendent, spiritual and Sufi poetry in the words of Kabir, Mira Bai and Shah Latif - there are many reasons to experience The Asin Khan Ensemble.
The ensemble is being brought to Mumbai under the Sounds of the Soil initiative of the G5A Foundation for Contemporary Culture, which is the organisation's folk music series with the group. Featuring Rajasthani vocalist and Sindhi sarangi virtuoso Asin Khan Langa with two leading percussionists, Saddik Langa and Bhungar Manganiyar on the dholak and khartal respectively, the ensemble intends to wow audiences with earthy rhythms.
Khan Langa was only 10 years old when his father handed him the sarangi. As an 11-year-old, he would perform alongside his father at weddings and other occasions at residences of patrons.
The proficient musician says he is currently collaborating with an artist from Mongolia. "This particular performance in Mumbai is very exciting for me," he adds. "It will be my first presentation with my group. Audiences in this city are exposed to many genres of music.
I hope they appreciate our traditional lok sangeet from the desert too. I have a feeling they will."
The percussionists are happy to perform in the city, and see it as a sign of being recognised for their community's tradition.
"Every endeavour in the field of art and culture, especially in our country where we are besieged with all kinds of challenges, is tough," says Anuradha Parikh, founder director and CEO, G5A. "Some of the challenges were anticipated, while some were reaffirmations based on past learnings. Having said that, at a creative level, the process of curating the series and planning this concert has been an exciting and fulfilling journey. Asin Khan and his group were known to some of us and they came on board instantly."
ON: Today, 7.30 pm to 9 pm
AT: G5A Foundation for Contemporary Culture, Shakti Mills Lane, off Dr E Moses Road, Mahalaxmi. LOG ON
COST: Rs 400