Music plays an important role for our people, it is a part of our day-to-day lives,” says Rudy Wallang, lead guitarist of Soulmate, one of India’s most successful electric blues band, which hails from Shillong. “My father was a musician and I grew up listening to the radio and attending music competitions. Music for me heals, as well as it cures.”
This Monday — on World Music Day — Soulmate, along with Grammy Award winner, Pt. Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, Grammy Award nominee, former principal chant master of the Dalai Lama, Lama Tashi, Naga traditional music trio Cultural Vibrants, folk music group Tetseos, soloists Asin and Nise, rock band Off and Mumbai’s metal band Medusa will perform in the city at the India Habitat Centre.
The Handshake concert, organised by The Rattle and Hum Music Society and the Nagaland University, is the third of its kind. It took off in 2008, under an informal name, at the Northeast Zone Cultural Centre, in Guwahati, to celebrate World Music Day. The organiser were inspired to take the music forward to Mumbai last year, where Handshake took form and brought musicians from the Northeast to perform for a packed audience at the St Andrew’s Auditorium, in Bandra West.
This year, they have decided to stage a concert in New Delhi. “There are many preconceived notions about mainland Northeast,” says Theja Meru, president of Rattle and Hum Music Society. “Our objective with Handshake is to cut through the prejudice and push for stronger cultural and friendship ties. We hope to grow so that we can create a national front and bring musicians from all quarters together to share the bonhomie.”