BANGALORE: Music has a different meaning for each individual. While Jimi Hendrix said Music is my religion, Plato said Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything. Music has grown with time and branched out to various genres and sub genres. And, one genre of music that has always been present since the early days of blues is Acapella. Acapella music could be defined as vocals only or solo or group singing without the aid of any musical accompaniment. The word capella means ‘from the church’.
Acapella was seen in churches as a form of prayer or cultural performances during the prayer meets. This form of music evolved too, when it crossed borders with Gregorian chants such as ‘victimae paschali laudes’ and ‘Regina coeli’ that were sung by monks in churches without the aid of any musical instruments. However, this didn’t have any melody. It was enjoyed for the tone. This kind of singing evolved into Barbershop and doo wop style of acapella music, with four part chords and ‘by words’ in harmony by small groups against a rhythmic melody.
After, the popularity grew, this form of music was seen in the mainstream music scene in the form of pop music. Songs like The Lion Sleeps Tonight, from the movie Lion King and Billy Joel’s Nearly a Cappella became wildly popular. Soon this form of music grew to greater heights. Our city, has been blessed with various music genres and after a series of metal concerts and Hard Rock gigs, Maneesh a Sri Lankan is making a platform of this kind of music in the city. Said Maneesh, “The start of my musical life began at the age of three when I stepped on to the stage of one of the oldest and most prestigious theatres in Sri Lanka — The Lional Wendt. However this remained a hobby and I did not let my academics suffer as a result of my passion.”
Maneesh has undergone extensive training in piano and has also won several awards including All Island Awards and gold medals at the British federation of music festivals for seven years for Western music both solo and group. His efforts gained him a scholarship in Bangalore and he is presently studying at St Joseph’s College (Autonomous).In the city, he created a group called Vocal Enigma. “We are the choral group of the performing arts society of St Joseph’s College (Autonomous). This group consists of young enthusiastic Josephite’s and students of other colleges and a few working professionals who help with the instruments in the songs which need accompaniment, ” he further added. The group has performed over 40 shows all across the city, in various events and college fests. He said, “This form of music has now found its way into almost every choral event. Rarely do we see a choir show go by without groups performing acapella music. Be it a performance, a competition or a festival of any sort.”