It was a magical evening packed with a unique blend of Indo-Irish musical and cultural traditions. Ragas to Reels — a blend of Indian and Irish musical traditions — saw internationally-acclaimed musicians Utsav Lal and Sam Comerford collaborating in a unique meeting of East and West. From the soulful sounds of the Indian Ragas to the pounding energy of Irish reels, the artistes entered into a musical dialogue and presented a melodious crossover, celebrating the friendship between the two countries. The musical concert, held at Royal Orchid Hotel on Old Airport Road recently, marked the Golden Jubilee Year of the Embassy of Ireland in India.
Presented by the Embassy of Ireland in India and the Royal Orchid Hotel, the evening had Utsav Lal on Piano and Sam Comerford on Irish flute and saxophone, with Durjay Bhaumik chipping in with the percussion bit on tabla.
The evening began with a rendition of Raga Hamsadhwani on the piano which was blended well with Irish folk music on the flute and included improvisations from the artistes.
The traditional raga alaap on the piano was played along with a slow Irish air on the flute.
The artistes introduced several well-known Irish melodies and Indian compositions. Sam had the audience spellbound when he played the popular Irish piece Trathann an toide on the saxophone. Utsav, caught up with the mood on the piano, while Durjay played laggi on the tabala.
The finale which began with the beautiful devotional melody Vaishnava jan to melted into a set of Irish reels and original compositions by the artistes.
Utsav brought strong Raga Khamaj flavours into the piece and Sam played fast reels to capture the attention of the audience.
In addition to Bangalore, the 'Ragas to Reels' tour will hit Goa, Delhi and Mumbai in the next couple of days.
Gerry Kelly, Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of Ireland, spoke about the strong Indo-Irish ties, since the setting up of the embassy in India, in 1956.