A string between borders
After performances in Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Bengaluru, an India-China musical collaboration will play this weekend for Mumbai fans
The discussion on India and China oscillates between population' economic growth and war. What is the in-between then? This Sunday' you'll discover that music might be a stronger thread to bind the histories of the two nations.
The Saath-Saath project' curated by cultural theorist Tejaswini Niranjana' is a series of cross-cultural collaborations between scholars and musicians. After researching the history of Hindustani classical music in Mumbai' Niranjana went to Hong Kong in 2016 for work. This project was born in 2017. "It was flagged off by taking three Hindustani vocalists to Hong Kong and Shanghai and getting them to collaborate with local musicians. I felt the project would be incomplete if the Chinese didn't come to India. So last year' Zhang Yi' a collaborator from Shanghai who plays the pipa — a lute-like instrument — came to India and started learning Hindustani classical music'" she says.
The project comprising five artistes is finally coming to Mumbai this weekend' with city-based musician Rutuja Lad also being part of it. "We have with us Zhe Lai' a folk singer from Western China and Kimho Ip' a Yangqin player — an instrument like the santoor — from Hong Kong. It's a very heavy instrument so he could not carry it. He's been learning the santoor and will play it like he plays the yangqin with the sticks'" Niranjana reveals' adding' "This is accompanied with the Hindustani musicians singing songs in Cantonese and Mandarin in the Hindustani style."
Saath-Saath: Music Across the Waters is a collaboration of artists from India, China and Hong Kong
Niranjana also points out how when we talk about Indian music' the only thing we can think about in contrast is either Western music or World music. Explaining how this goes against a long historical process' she says' "There were South Asians in China over 1'000 years ago' and they have affected Chinese music. But today' we just work within the nation-state and seem to be at loggerheads with each other. So' this is in a way' invoking past connections."
On: June 30' 6 pm AT Talent Studios' off Veera Desai Road' Andheri West.
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Cost: Rs 200
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