Meghalaya to strum its way into Guinness | india | Hindustan Times
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Meghalaya to strum its way into Guinness

india Updated: Sep 22, 2007 11:44 IST

A band of more than 2,000 guitarists is set to perform a record-breaking strumming session here in October to top the current Guinness Book of World Records' guitar ensemble of 1,700.

The proposed guitar ensemble titled 'Rhythms of Meghalaya' is scheduled to be the opening item at the 10-day long Autumn Festival beginning on October 26 in state capital Shillong.

"Almost every second or third person in Meghalaya knows how to play the guitar and owns one and so it should not be a problem to assemble 2,000-odd guitarists for the event," said state Education Minister and Meghalaya Tourism Development Forum chairperson RG Lyngdoh.

Guitarists would perform Bob Dylan's classic number "Knocking on Heaven's Door" for the record-breaking session.

"This is a very popular number with three chords, besides the lyrics match our state, which is also known as the abode of the clouds," Lyngdoh told IANS.

The participants would rehearse at least a week ahead of the big event.

"We have already invited an adjudicator from the Guinness," the minister said. The previous Guinness world record for the largest guitar ensemble was set in the US with some 1,700 guitarists performing.

Last year, during the annual Autumn Festival a band of about 7,951 drummers in Shillong had set a new world record for the largest drum ensemble by performing for more than five minutes in perfect rhythm.

The previous Guinness world record for the largest drum ensemble was set in February 2005 by Po Leung Kuk a charity organisation in Hong Kong helping orphaned children which assembled 7,727 drummers.

"We are trying to promote the region through music...last year it was the drum circle and this time the guitar ensemble, and maybe the next year something different," Lyngdoh said.

"We would like the world to change its perception towards the northeast. The northeast is not just all about insurgency and negative things, we too are capable of thinking positive and doing good things," M Lansing, the Forum's vice chairperson, said.

India's northeast is known to the outside world as a land of rugged beauty and constant turmoil with ethnic conflicts and a myriad insurgencies claiming an estimated 50,000 lives since the country attained independence in 1947.

The guitar ensemble apart, the Autumn Festival would have events like a vintage car show, fashion parade, traditional sports like archery, kite flying, fishing, besides local songs and dances.

"This would be a gala carnival and we expect people from both India and abroad to take part in the festivities. The drum ensemble last year has already brought Meghalaya to the notice of the outside world," Lyngdoh said.