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Folk funda: Revive your old connect with native songs at this folk music fest

This event will enliven the oral tradition of narrating stories through folk songs via both formats, traditional and contemporary.

art and culture Updated: Aug 17, 2018 19:39 IST
Henna Rakheja
Henna Rakheja
Hindustan Times
Folk,Lok Sangeet,Habitat
Singer Vidya Shah has curated IHC Lok Sangeet Sammelan this year. (Photo: Manoj Kumar/HT)

O luk chip na javo ji, mane deed karao ji
Are kyu tarsavo ho, mane shakal dikhao ji
Thaari sharaarat sabb jaanu mai chaudhari
Mahaarey se lavo na pangaaji main jehan lagi
Mhare hivdhe me jaagi dhaunkani...

These lyrics of a popular Rajasthani/Marwari folk song remind of the popular background score of TV serial Balika Vadhu. It puts in mind the music from kartal and bhapang, and one is filled with praises for the folk genre.

Folk music’s oral heritage and its heavy influence on other genres including Indian classical will be explored at the upcoming event, Lok Sangeet Sammelan 2018 — The Folkway.

The event will explore the rich, nuanced textures of folk music from different parts of India while presenting its contemporary avatar. “Folk has the quality to tell different stories; and there are contemporary ways of looking at folk, too. Today, youngsters are bringing folk into the band music format,” says Vidya Shah, curator of the event.

Shah, who is a known Hindustani classical musician, has earlier experimented singing folk music, when in Madhya Pradesh. But this is her maiden attempt at curating a folk music festival. “The performances in The Folkway are like dialogues. For instance, my performance with Prof Smita Jassal titled Her Unsung Song will have a conversation between Smita and me. The folk songs and narratives I will present are from Eastern UP and Bihar. These songs are sung by women, and are about subjects ranging from cooking and relationships to patriarchy,” adds Shah.

Members of the band Folk Lok.

The conversational aspect of folk music will also be witnessed in the Bhilali (tribal) songs by Adharshila -- a young band of tribal students from Sendhwa near Indore -- and in the songs by the collective Folk Lok.

“We will present folk melodies from various parts of India with a contemporary twist. But, the contemporariness will only be to the extent that we retain the original melody of folk, and just add a sheen to it so that the urban audience can enjoy. So, if you are from the hills or the desert, and living in an urban space, our music will revive your childhood memories from your native place,” says vocalist Ravishankar from Folk Lok -- a combination of three bands namely Ravishankar’s Dhwani Collective, Bhargav Ojapali and Mountain Music Project.

The finale will be a performance titled Interpreting Sita: Songs from Mithila, by Pt Girish Chandra Mishra from Madhubani and Soumya Jha.

Catch It Live
  • What: Lok Sangeet Sammelan 2018
  • Where: The Stein Auditorium, India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road
  • When: August 18 and 19
  • Timing: 7pm
  • Nearest Metro Station: Jor Bagh on Yellow Line and JLN Stadium on Violet Line

Interact with the author at Twitter/@HennaRakheja

First Published: Aug 17, 2018 19:39 IST