Mumbai music fest celebrates mysticism from across the world

Updated: Nov 24, 2017, 19:25 IST | Dhara Vora Sabhnani

A festival that celebrates living traditions and mysticism from across the world, will transport you to a spiritual realm

A trip to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya this weekend guarantees a soulful sojourn from the city. As a dedication to their ongoing exhibition, World: A History in Nine Stories, performance curation company Banyan Tree will present the 17th edition of Ruhaniyat. The two-day festival is known to bring lesser-known international musicians, who are carriers of living traditions and works of great saints, to the city.

Music for the soul

"This year, we have woven the concept of Vasudhaiva Kutambakam or the world being one family. The international collaborations help transcend man-made boundaries such as caste, creed, language and religion. It symbolises unity of all and unity with the divine," says Nandini Mahesh of Banyan Tree.

Balalaika ensemble
Balalaika ensemble

Ruhaniyat is also known for its collaborative sets that have seen Bulgarian polyphonic singers perform with folk artistes from Rajasthan. The list of artistes for this edition include the temple priests of Palani (Tamil Nadu); Sindhi saraiki performers Ismail Para and group; Tannoura, the dancing dervishes from Egypt; qawwali singers; Kashmiri mystics Abdul Rashid Hafiz and group; Sakine Ismailova and group, who are mugam performers from Azerbaijan; and the Balalaika ensemble of Russia, who will also perform with Nandesh Umap from Maharashtra.

Buba Kuyate
Buba Kuyate

Another interesting artiste is Buba Kuyate from Gambia. He belongs to the Griot community, whose traditional role is peace-making between warring communities. Ismailova will also share the stage with Baul singer Parvathy Baul.

Nandesh Umap
Nandesh Umap

Nandini mentions that the Ismailova has a deep voice while Baul has a high-pitched fine voice, which will be an interesting confluence. They will present a visual contrast with their traditional ensembles.

Parvathy Baul
Parvathy Baul

These contrasts, she feels, will highlight their similarities and the theme. "Her tradition [mugam] has a lot of yearning, which is called 'pukaar' in Hindi, and baul has similar attitude of longing. Even though the expression and rhythm pattern is different, the heart is similar and hence, the performance will be a dialogue between these two cultures. Something magical will come out of this," explains Baul.

On : November 25 and 26, 6.30 pm
At : CSMVS, Fort.
Log on to : ruhaniyat.com entry Rs.750 onwards


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