Sing your heart out

Updated: Apr 06, 2020, 09:52 IST | Prachi Sibal | Mumbai

With this web initiative, learn a folk song every week while you repurpose kitchen items for instruments

The Urban Folk Project in performance. Pics/Facebook
The Urban Folk Project in performance. Pics/Facebook

In these times, when performances and storytelling have moved online, Bangalore-based Urban Folk Project, known for its productions like Yellamma and Other Stories, is taking it a step ahead. Now you can do more than plug in and listen to a song. With their weekly Web Folk Sessions, you are encouraged to pick up an instrument and learn a folk song that you can sing along. Don't have an instrument or a shruti box? Download a tanpura app or repurpose good old kitchen utensils to keep to a beat. The lyrics are provided on each post and singer (and one half of Urban Folk Project) Shilpa Mudbi Kothakota will take you through it all.

The first episode released on March 26 features a Marathi lullaby that is mellow, heart-warming and easy to sing along. This is followed by a rural Kannada song of hope and then a traditional baby shower song. Kothakota is careful to provide context and translations while also encouraging participants to add their own bits to them. So, the song of hope quickly receives a Coronavirus interpretation. You are also encouraged to try out these lyrics in your own language. Instructions on rhythm though are few and far apart and we wished this was as much a learning exercise as a listening one.

Shilpa Mudbi on the web session
Shilpa Mudbi on the web session

Each session is five to six minutes in duration and manages to pack a lot of information and music in this time. While the closet musician in you might want to take a leap and give this a shot, at the end of it, it is Kothakota's rustic voice that keeps you glued and wanting more.

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