Members of LGBTQ choirs to perform at upcoming Mumbai concert

Updated: Jan 21, 2018, 12:32 IST | Kusumita Das

An upcoming concert performed by members of LGBTQ choirs in Mumbai and around the world will take the audience from feelings of confinement to liberation, through a musical narrative

Rainbow Voices Mumbai in concert in London last year. Pics/ Vincent Illaire
Rainbow Voices Mumbai in concert in London last year. Pics/ Vincent Illaire

As the climate around Section 377 continues to remain in a flux in this country, members of the LGBTQ community in the city are poised to make themselves heard, this time through music. Rainbow Voices Mumbai, India's first LGBT choir will be performing live in a concert titled Mile Sur Mera Tumhara: Let Our Voices Unite. Members of LGBTQ choirs from around the world, will be joining in as well. Among them are artistes from London's Pink Singers, touted to be Europe's longest standing LGBTQ choir. Other countries include Australia, Netherlands, France, Indonesia and the US.

In a time-span of little more than an hour, 10 songs will be played and a narrative is at play through the selection of the songs and their sequence. David Williamson, music director, says, "The theme of Pride India this year is Quit 377, based on the Quit India Movement that Indians initiated against the British in 1942. Through the songs we narrate a tale that moves from isolation to confinement and ultimately, liberation. While the early pieces deal with more somber subjects, we end with the joyous Mile Sur Mera Tumhara, that will be rendered in multiple languages." A choral piece from Beethoven's only opera, Fidelio, is one of the songs selected. "This particular song is what the prisoners [in the opera] sing after being released. They sing about what it is like to breathe," says Bandra resident Williamson, who has been associated with Rainbow Voices Mumbai for four years. Among other selections are songs by AR Rahman, such as Khoon Chala from Rang De Basanti. "That song comes right after the rendition of Sanskrit shloka, Jay Bhavani, which is sung by the entire choir. It's again a song that is aligned to the theme of the concert and marks the end of the first half of the routine. Rahman is a brilliant and a popular composer and the idea is to have a good mix of familiar and niche."

David Williamson
David Williamson

While fun numbers like Choli Ke Peeche and Aaja Aaja find their place in the routine, another track to watch out for would be a mash-up of Coldplay's Fix You and Rahman's Ishq Bina. "Fix You has the most beautiful music arrangement and is a song about courage and strength. Ishq Bina is a love song, and this mash-up in particular is our way of giving back to the Pink Singers of London. They had performed Fix You at the Rainbow concert last year, so this time we are giving that our own spin," he says.

Currently, the choir does not have too many rehearsals left before they get on stage. While the theme of this concert was decided back in October, 2017, the pending Supreme Court verdict on the status of Section 377, makes it an "interesting climate". "Back in 2013, when Section 377 was criminalised, Pride march was cancelled. If at all a decision comes by the time of the concert, that is not in our favour, then, it would make our concert that much more important, in making it a stronger protest," Williamson says.

When: January 27, 7 pm
Where: G5A Foundation, Laxmi Mills, Mahalakshmi
Entry: Rs 500
Call: 24909393

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