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A Musical Voyage Across Continents

The concert by CROSSROADS presented diverse genres of world music — be it foot-tapping Spanish numbers or Chinese jingles

Published: 10th December 2014 05:58 AM  |   Last Updated: 10th December 2014 05:58 AM   |  A+A-

CHENNAI: It was a journey across space and time, a journey that stirred one’s mind, soul and heart. It was a journey that transcended boundaries of various countries, making the audience listen to spellbinding tunes from around the world.

‘CROSSROADS, a musical journey’ — an instrumental musical concept organised by Sreshta by Sumanth and Company and Brahma Gana Sabha — was held at Sivagami Petachi Auditorium on Monday. The musical journey explored new lands, uncharted waters, gliding down rivers and gargantuan mountains – all through magical and mystical music.

A-Musical-Voyage.jpgThe tunes rendered by the band comprising musicians Embar S Kannan (silent violin),  K Sathyanarayanan (keyboard), Arun Kumar (drum pads), Sumesh S Narayanan (mridangam) and I B Shallu Varun (bass guitar) was inspired by the diverse nature of world music and similarities that are at its heart.

The two-hour concert interspersed some well-known musical works with a few hitherto unheard pieces. The entire recital dealt with a traveller’s crisis, who crosses the globe, at various junctures. The voyager (read audience) ends up discovering that he is actually at the cultural crossroads, in awe of the music that helps him sail through.

The musical odyssey began with the famous patriotic number Vande Mataram. With a perfect unison among members of the band, the performance left the audience enthralled. The band took the audience to Ireland, the land of vitality, tradition, culture and beauty. Later, they were transported miles away to experience the exotic music of China with breathtaking jingles. Next, it was time for some foot-tapping Spanish music, replete with traditional dances and breathtaking tunes. The audience was visibly astonished to discover that dance moves could be heard through instruments like silent violin and drum pads.

The audience-turned-voyagers then reached the Scandinavian shores and partook in mysterious melodies of Norway and Sweden, sated with soothing strains of the countries’ traditional folk music. Soon, the audience found themselves waltzing to the spunky and vivacious beats of Hungarian dance — rhythmic, passionate, and charged with verve and variety. The journey was then punctuated by a musical passage, which offered an expression of the voyager’s thoughts, inspired by the global journey. The pan-Indian musical piece, rendered in raga vanaspati, left the audience with goose bumps.

The band then went on to deliver a number from Brazil — the land of samba and soccer. The journey finally came to a close with a glimpse of Arabian nights. Reminiscent of the caliphate era, the Arabian music took us to the magnificent land of Arabia, still and secret.

The lovers of carnatic music weren’t left out, as the band delivered stupendous melodies in ragas ratipatipriya and charukesi. The performance of the artistes was widely appreciated by the audience, with claps pouring in from all corners of the packed auditorium. The band concluded the concert with vintage Hindi and Tamil film numbers that included famous numbers like Manu Mohana (Seema), Aap Ke Nazro (Unpad), Bole re Pappi Hara (Guddi) and Mandram Vantha (Mouna Raagam). The concert also saw Rangapriya, a student of Embar S Kannan, playing the instrument sur mandal, effortlessly.

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