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Music, lyrics and more

Music lovers and connoisseurs, have something to celebrate. Tomorrow, India’s first music expo, Baaja Gaaja, will begin in Pune, uniting the music industry. Rochelle Pinto tells us more...

music Updated: Feb 05, 2009 20:44 IST
Rochelle Pinto

Music lovers and connoisseurs, have something to celebrate. Tomorrow, India’s first music expo, Baaja Gaaja, will begin in Pune. The brainchild of couple, Shubha Mudgal and Dr Aneesh Pradhan, the expo is uniting all branches of the music industry under one roof.

According to Mudgal, the idea evolved from the need to promote non-commercial music. As major record labels are apprehensive of signing on artistes offering alternative music, the flavour of diversity depends on independent labels.

Jalsa of 1871
“Instead of an exhibition we thought it would be fun to interact through seminars and workshops,” Mudgal explains. “The public can mingle with everybody, from instrument dealers and craftsmen to music documentary makers.”

With the presence of big ticket names like Indian Ocean, Raghu Dixit and Pentagram, was it a conscious effort to avoid promoting only classical musicians? “I think classical music has enough platforms. There’s so much to Indian music besides that. However, we would have liked to see more participation from the north-east and the south. It would have really served the concept of appreciating diversity,” sighs Mudgal.

When asked which Baaja Gaaja event she is looking forward to the most, she smiles, “We are staging a recreation of a musical jalsa which originally took place in 1871. It was an amalgam of artistes brought together by the Parsi community. It will be a renaissance of sorts.”

With an expected crowd of 3,000 to 7,000 people daily, and inquiries regarding hotel accommodation, Mudgal doesn’t regret the decision to hold the event in Pune, instead of Mumbai.

Says Mudgal, “Our venue partners, Ishaniya, have been very co-operative and we are lucky to have a state-of-the art, multi-venue facility at our disposal. Mumbai wouldn’t have been able to support us in the same way.”

Common voice
And what is the long term vision for an event of this magnitude? Mudgal agrees that the biggest reward would be to create a common voice among artistes of various genres and to stimulate unique collaborations. “We would also like to host it in different venues, perhaps even go international depending on its success. To find a collective wisdom is probably the best result we could hope for.”