Plucking new musical talent
The organisers of Mumbai Guitar Day have taken the event online with a competition to unearth undiscovered musicians
Back in the day — and we mean last year by that, because it's all starting to seem so long ago now — Mumbai used to have its own annual piano and drum events, where city-based veteran Louiz Banks's two sons, Neil and Gino, would organise musical evenings with one eye towards inspiring upcoming talent. They had planned to replicate that IP with a different instrument in 2020. Mumbai Guitar Day was set to launch in June. But that gig didn't take off for obvious reasons. So Neil, who was organising it under his firm Gigatainment, did what everyone else is doing right now — shift all operations online.
The twist is that they have tweaked the format to include a competition. The eye is now firmly towards helping undiscovered musicians who deserve more screen time. "All anyone has to do is send a video of them playing an original composition," says Neil, adding that crisp production levels aren't critical given how everyone's hands are equally tied at the moment. The genuineness of the music is what matters. Covers won't be entertained.
Neil says an as-yet-undecided group of eminent guitarists will then individually judge five shortlisted candidates. The aim is to identify a winner who will share a virtual stage with musical heavyweights when an actual Mumbai Guitar Day event does take place in some weeks. It will involve only online concerts, of course. Neil says, "Going for gigs will take a while. We keep discussing about offices reopening and people getting their salaries. It's not the same for musicians because social gatherings are still far away. Studio work will happen… but for live gigs, we'll just have to keep waiting for the government's announcements."
Till May 30
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