One world, many music: Fifth edition of fusion music festival in Mumbai

  • Nishtha Juneja, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Oct 13, 2014 14:27 IST

For a while, the one criticism of Indian classical music was that it refuses to embrace change. But for a few years now, fusion music has been gaining momentum, thanks to artistes like Rakesh Sharma, Gino Banks, Sheldon DSilva and Ravi Iyer.

Be it Indian classical musicians collaborating with players of western genres for a jazz recital, or pop vocalists trying their hand at folk beats, now is a great time for music lovers and performers alike. And, the fifth edition of One World, Many Musics (OWMM) is yet another platform that promises some interesting collaborations.

This year, the two-day festival will feature folk, classical and contemporary music. Blending genres like traditional folk and western jazz, sitar player Purbayan Chatterjee, percussionist brothers Fazal and Taufiq Qureshi, and singer-composer Papon, among others, will perform fusion compositions.

Purbayan Chatterjee (right) at a classical concert

Chatterjee, who will mix jazz and folk beats with Bollywood numbers, believes that striking the right balance between the traditional genres and creating something contemporary is the biggest challenge for him.

"In a highly commercially driven market, it's almost impossible to be able to follow your heart, but that's what I've always strived towards," he says.

Hailing from a musical background, Papon (his father is renowned Assamese folk singer, Late Khagen Mahanta) is well rooted in the folk genre. Drawing inspiration from international artistes like Pink Floyd and Frank Zappa, he will perform with his rock band, East India Company.

"I want to make sure that one doesn't lose the essence of the music forms they are working with. One must understand the nuances of each form before combining them to make new music. My band was one of the first to experiment with electronica and folk music, and now, I will try venturing into a territory I haven't explored earlier - ghazals," says Papon.

One World, Many Musics will be held on October 17 and 18, at NCPA, Nariman Point, from 7 pm.

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