Music Liberation Union (MLU) is a community of music lovers that has been giving a platform for music enthusiasts to display their talent on a public platform for the past seven years. There is no hard and fast rule, as the community gives equal opportunity to both beginners as well as proficient musicians. Their 11 session that took place on Urban Haat on March 8 had many new elements and performers coming from as far as from Manali and Baroda.
This was the first time an MLU session was held at Urban Haat's amphitheatre but the setting was quite apt, as asserted by many of the performers. With the sun setting and birds chirping, it was similar to a backyard jamming session except with a lot of crowd. A total of nine performers, many of them first-timers, enthralled the crowd that consisted of youngsters as well as adults. One of the attendees said, "I was here to shop but heard some instruments playing and thus decided to sit back and watch the performances."
Bands such as 'Monsoon Sky', 'Zephyr' and 'Thomas & Rajan' captivated the crowd with some soulful Hindi, English and Sufi tracks while those with interesting names like 'Circle of Fifths' and 'Eternal December' brought in some rock music which got the crowd kicked up and asking for more. The evening also saw solo performances by Rohan Dasgupta and Varun Singh.
There were many new elements that were brought in this session that started at 4pm and continued till 9pm. Sumit Kumar Singh, Kartik and Abhishek's performance introduced the audience to new instruments like the didgeridoo and the rainstick. The former is a wind instrument developed by Australians and the latter is a hollow tube filled with pebbles that creates a sound that is similar to rain. An interesting aspect of this gig was the interplay of foreign and traditional instruments like tabla to give some enriching Indian classical music.
Sumit Kumar Singh also gave a deeper insight into some more unique instruments like the morchang, khartaal, djembes and the khanjeera along with body percussion.
What followed was a 'gyan session' which was a blues workshop by Sunny D'Souza, the lead guitarist and vocalist of the band-Overdrive Trio with 16 year old guitar prodigy, Kush Upadhyay.
What made the musical evening worth attending was MLU's founding principle of promoting original works of budding musicians. "The lyrics and composition are the artistes' original creations.
However, some of them also play covers on audience requests," mentioned Debashree Banerjee, one of the organisers. It is also interesting to note that the community does not have any stipulation pertaining to genres. "They can either come and present any number of or any one genre or a fusion of two," she added.
The session conveyed the true motto behind MLU's existence- of accommodating all forms & genres of music on a common ground in an unbiased manner to a gathering of people who appreciate the same.