India can quintessentially be called the musical capital of the world. A musical country with a variety of music from different regions, and a distinctly rich legacy of artistic and cultural traditions.
Vibrant folk melodies and rhythms have influenced the evolution of Indian art music, with Rajasthani folk music being well known. This year’s Living Traditions festival is presenting folk fusion by two globe-trotting community of Rajasthan — Manganiars and Langas.
Suvarnalata Rao, of NCPA, which is organising the event, says, “The genres that we look at in Living Traditions are not really mainstream, in the sense that not everyone is familiar with the repertoire which is actually part of musicians’ hereditary repertoire.”
Among these groups there is the rich storytelling tradition of what they call vartas and kathas, which is a blend of narration and song. Western Rajasthan also shares with Sindh oral epics such as sassi punnu and umar marvi. Besides it has its own similar oral epics or ballads such as the Dhola Maru, Rupande ri Bel, and so on.
Singing is accompanied by instruments, like the Sindhi sarangi, kamaicha, and murli. All this and more will be presented by 11 artistes in the two-day festival, providing a glimpse into the myriad forms of these performances, often defined as oral epics or heroic ballads.
"This will help acquaint urban audiences with India’s vast and dynamic folk traditions,” adds Rao.
When and Where: March 1-2, 7.00 pm, NCPA