The fourth edition of the Baajaa Gaajaa music festival starts today in Pune and promises to be a melting pot of different musical traditions in the country. Aiming to bring together regional folk, classical and even western artistes on a common platform, the three-day affair takes pride in its inclusive nature.
“We are not an elitist space. The idea is to give a panoramic view of the diversity in Indian music. In fact, sometimes I feel that three days are not enough to present the exceptional variety,” says Shubha Mudgal, who along with tabla exponent Aneesh Pradhan, curates the annual cultural extravaganza.
One of the highlights of the fest will be a performance by Australian percussion Ben Walsh, who will perform on his Wheel of Drums — a set-up that features eight drums arrange in a fashion similar to a ferris wheel. Ask him about how he conceptualised this unique percussion apparatus and he replies, “It started 11 years ago when I thought of playing drums that are arranged upside down. I wanted to use my body as a pendulum and dance among drums,” says the musician.
Endeavouring to serve as an interdisciplinary space, the festival will also host discussions among filmmakers and musician-composers such as Amol Palekar, Imtiaz Ali and Debojyoti Mishra, Shantanu Moitra. “Theatre and cinema have a strong link with music and it’s a pity that we work in isolation. We are trying to bridge that gap,” says Mudgal.
Besides performances by regional artistes, the festival will also host a tribute to the late icon, Amit Saigal, who was widely recognised for his contribution to independent music in India. The tribute concert, Songs For Papa Rock, will feature bands such as Adil & Vasundhara, Pinknoise and Soulmate. Dhamaal will feature 50 drummers from Manipuri in a unique performance at the festival.
Baajaa Gaajaa Music Festival will be held from Feb 10 to 12 at Pune. Entry free, passes available at www.baajaagaajaa.com