There is no doubting the fact that film music has come to dominate the music scene in India to a great extent. As a result, regional music often finds itself jostling for space and attention. Now, to give prominence to traditional Maharashtrian music, a two-day cultural event, Living Traditions, is being organised at a city venue.
In the past, the event has featured regional tunes from states such as Assam, Bengal and Gujarat, among others. "I associate folk music with the roots of any community. But somehow, we don't have enough festivals where folk musicians get a chance to perform in front of an urban audience," says Suvarnalata Rao, curator and head of Indian music at the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA), Nariman Point, that is organising the event.
Headlining the act will be musician Vijay Chavan - son of lavani singer Sulochana Chavan - who will head an ensemble of folk musicians. When asked about the process of zeroing on the musicians, Rao says, "I was mesmerised by Chavan's performance during one of his concerts earlier this year. So I asked him if he wants to be part of this festival. As far as the rest of the artistes are concerned, we are well-connected with regional groups across various cities."
While Chavan's expertise lies in playing the dholaki, which is considered to be the premier folk instrument of Maharashtra, other musicians will play diverse folk drums such as the dimdi, sambhal, dhol, etc. According to Rao, "there is a specific drum that is used for different music forms."
The audience will also get to witness different drum presentations with folk forms like bharud, powada, lavani, gondhal at the event.
To add to the ambiance of the festival, the audience will be served Maharashtrian delicacies such as Vada Pav and Missal Pav, along with tea and coffee.
You can attend Living Traditions on March 13 and 14, at the Experimental Theatre, NCPA, Nariman Point, 6.30 pm onward.