BENGALURU: This Saturday, Bengalureans got a chance to witness a message of peace that was carried out through the medium of music, thanks to a performance by the South Asian Symphony Orchestra (SASO), which was conducted at the JN Tata Auditorium in Malleswaram. Nirupama Rao, who is the co-founder of the South Asian Symphony Foundation, recalled how a little over a year ago, her husband and her were motivated by the idea of using music as an instrument and enabler to bring the people of the South Asian diaspora together.
“This orchestra shares our hope and aspiration to see us doing more together to create harmony and a feeling of fellowship among countries,” she said. The orchestra showcased a set of tunes with an ensemble of cellos, violas, flutes, clarinets, bassoons, trumpets and percussion instruments played by a diverse collection of artistes from Nepal, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Thailand, Kazakhstan, Singapore and many others from the South Asian diaspora. The four-hour set witnessed a unique set of compositions, executed under the guidance of conductor Alvin Arumugam.
“It’s a huge testament to the language of music, which is universal and moreover a huge testament to the human spirit. If musicians can put aside their differences and create something beautiful in five days, then all the world leaders can achieve peace as well,” said Arumugam. A section of the programme, called Songs Of Peace, witnessed compositions with the likes of I Dream A World, Peace Is My Dream and Ekla Chalo Re and also saw a piano concerto by soloist Julian Clef from Kerala. “I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience and we have had people from different backgrounds coming together with different styles to make a piece of harmony,” said Clef.
In memory of Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary, the event also paid tribute to him with a special piece titled Ideas Of Freedom, which was composed by Anand Antonius Nazareth and Rao, who researched the music Gandhi liked just for this piece. “It’s been a life-changing experience meeting musicians from places I’ve never been to. We have the same understanding of music, which makes it unique and special. Music is the best way to communicate peace,” said Nazareth.