BENGALURU: Picture a group of 25 artists, performing with Shreya Ghosal at Palace grounds in 2010, facing a crowd of 15000 people. This was the most memorable experience for Rhythm of Rajasthan troupe. They collaborate with various folk performing artists of Rajasthan and performed at least five times in the city since. Many of the songs combine Hindu and Muslim elements, reflecting the diversity of Rajasthan’s population and its history.
Abdul Rasheed Langa and Yasin Khan Langa, are the lead singers, Aslam Khan Langa is the vocalist and plays the Sarangi, Faruq Khan Langa and Kasam Khan play the Dholak.
“Our musicians have no fixed time to learn. Whenever they have a music session at home, kids always watch and learn. It is a natural process. Currently, we are trying to setup a guru shishya system (master-disciple) solely for rare folk instruments such as Sindhi Sarangi (Lute), Algoja (double Flute) and Kamaicha (snake-charming dance),” says Abdul Rasheed, about the troupe which has performed around 150 international shows in approximately 22 countries including US and Canada.
The group started performing from 2005, with their first international performance in Tehran at Fajar International music festival, Iran.
“No training was required, as folk music is like our mother tongue, we learned but we were never taught. It is similar to learning about our family, language and culture,” Yasin says, adding that they perform in Hindi and Urdu.
The project was conceived in Jodhpur, Rajasthan by Nitin Nath Harsh, a folklore promoter of Rajasthan. He has been working with hundreds of folk artists from the state for the last 18 years. He began his career with the legendary folklorist, late Padam Bhushan Komal Kothari.
Accordingto Abdul, the biggest challenge is to communicate with lyrics and avoid popular demands for commercial music.
“Sometimes we have to fulfill the crowds demands but the audience should understand that our traditional music is centuries old and survived
so far with the patronage of villagers. Sadly, nowadays we see a rapid loss of traditional folk songs, limiting their content to a fixed pattern,” he explains.
Their goal is to assemble the best folk performing artists of Rajasthan, so as to come up with different performing art genres and showcase their talent at national and international platforms.
The team will be performing in Bengaluru in blueFrog on April 26 at 8.30 pm.