Of Concerts And Cine-Concerts
As a country, India offers a rich cultural landscape which is just as diverse as its geography. Small wonder then that the country is a fertile terrain for diverse musical traditions that have evolved over millennia. With increasing globalization, these musical traditions are being cross-pollinated with different genres of music from around the world. The result is an ever-increasing array of musical expression which is turning the very definition of what constitutes Indian music on its head.
Alliance Française du Bengale recently piloted a series of performances by the Neel Sarkar Project and cine-concerts by Les Mélodies de Nirbaak for the network of Alliances Françaises in India. Comprising of the same set of musicians, the two tours are two different embodiments of the possibilities offered by the intersection of Indian and global music. The group consists of Neel Sarkar, Sushruta Goswami, Pierre Antoine Lasnier, Pritam Sengupta and Andrew Kay. While Pritam Sengupta and Andrew Kay having studied latin and jazz music respectively, the others specialize in traditional Hindustani classical music.
The Neel Sarkar Project is an evolving platform for freethinking musicians to collaborate and find musical expression for their thoughts and feelings. The main aim of this project is to find new ways for stories to tell by interpreting traditional and classical Indian musical trajectories within an ambient context of global jazz harmonies and rhythmic structures. Drawing from philosophy and poetry besides music, it aims to create a palette that would be a blend of mix media musical textures and different kinds of genres from all around the world like latin, pop, jazz and flamenco.
Les Mélodies de Nirbaak, on the other hand, is a blend of films and original compositions by the group. These film concerts include 4 short films by Georges Méliès namely A trip to the moon, Bluebeard, Joan of Arc and Kingdom of Fairies. Les Mélodies de Nirbaak is the brain child of Pierre Antoine Lasnier, who composes and directs the project and whose desire is to take the concept a step further by including mute Indian films, with the help of The National Film Archive.
Both these projects represent not just the evolution of Indian music but also a new form of storytelling via music. It is for this very reason that they were part of the World Music Day celebrations at several Alliances Françaises in India. The Neel Sarkar Project performed at Chennai (June 21), Pune (June 25), Delhi (June 29), Dehradun (July 1), Chandigarh (July 3), Amritsar (July 7) and Kolkata (July 8). Les Mélodies de Nirbaak performed in Mumbai (June 23), Pune (June 26), Dehradun (July 1), Chandigarh (July 3) and Amritsar (July 7).
Written by Aarushi Rameshchandra (Editorial Intern, AF Magazine India-Nepal)
Edited by Siddharth BHATT (Rédaction AF Magazine Inde-Népal)