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Rahman to rock Stanford Music Fest

The weeklong annual Stanford Pan Asian Music Festival will commence on February 11, writes Shalini Narang.

india Updated: Feb 09, 2006 14:12 IST

The weeklong annual Stanford Pan Asian Music Festival commencing on February 11 will feature AR Rahman on February 14 representing the popular contemporary Indian music scene.

"Many people can't believe he is coming and are very excited. Several groups of Stanford students, including members of Noopur-Stanford's Bharatnatyam association; Raagapella- Stanford's all-male Hindi a cappella group singing popular Hindi songs with a mix of Western hits and the south Indian classical singers will perform some of his works including Ghanan, Ghanan; Alai Paayuthe Kanna; and Vande Mataram," says Jindong Cai, Artistic Director of the festival.

"Classical Indian music is so rich. I wanted to introduce it from different perspectives including traditional, classical, contemporary and popular, like Rahman," says Cai about the impetus behind calling a popular Bollywood music composer in an academic institute's festival.

The other artists performing in the premier institute's festival include Farid Ayaz Qawwali Ensemble from Pakistan, Sufi rock artist Salman Ahmad of the rock band, Junooni, Hindustani Classical Sitarist - Kartik Seshadri, tabla player - Swapan Chaudhuri and Carnatic Morning Ragas vocalist Sanjay Subrahmanyam.

The festival will end with the North American premiere of Songs of Five Rivers by Britain based composer Naresh Sohal, with soprano Nikki Einfeld presented by the Stanford Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Cai, on Saturday, February 18.

The festival will also include a symposium on Sufi music. The primary purpose of the festival is to illuminate diverse cultures for its audiences.

"It is my sincere belief that the best way to understand other peoples is through their art and their culture. Unfortunately, though our world is ever more globalised, these are often overlooked in favour of reportage on problems, conflicts, and differences. I hope this year's Festival can be a small contribution to motivating us all to better understand the music and people of South Asia," he said.

16th Cinequest Festival

Four movies representing the vast panorama of lives and times in India or of the Indo American Diaspora will feature at the prestigious 16th Annual Cinequest Film Festival of San Jose.

The selected entries will not only be telecast via the traditional distribution mode of cinema houses from March 1 to 12 but also via pod casts and free video downloads that can be watched on home TVs, computers, cell phones and other handheld devices worldwide.

The movies encompassing the Indian panorama include Deepa Mehta's Water, that has the honour of being the closing night movie; It's a Mismatch, a romantic directed by Ajmal Zaheer Ahmad; Money and Opium directed by Joel Palombo presenting the story about people who must survive and define themselves in lost, evolving and colliding cultures and The Gold Bracelet directed by Kavi Raz about the tragic and tender tale of courage and compassion of the protagonists of an Indo-American family set against the backdrop of the September 11 tragedy.

Cinequest is Northern California's premier motion picture institute presenting the annual Cinequest Film Festival of international films, digital media forums for movie lovers, maverick film artists and students, Cinequest Online -- a film marketing and distribution site; Cinequest Digital Studio; Youthquest and Cinequest Screenwriting Competition. The festival also focuses on showcasing new films by independent filmmakers.

The Ultimate Film Festival Survival Guide has named the Cinequest Festival as one of the top ten Film Festivals in the world.

Getting films to fans via both traditional and non-traditional means is a keystone of the organization's mission.

Last year, it delivered 1,25,000 secure downloads of films around the world, and for this year, the institute is targeting 4,00,000 viewings.

Besides the movie screenings, this year's festival will also feature the Day of Forums to focus on the five critical aspects of the movie-making process.

The forums include the Day of the Writer, Day of the Producer, Day of the Cinematographer, Day of Post and Day of Distribution.

Each of these forums will present experts in these fields to inspire, educate and fascinate both filmmakers and film fans.

Presentations will include live brainstorming workshops between established Hollywood producers and experts from Palm Incorporated to troubleshoot and solve problems of taking the product from the large screen to a mobile platform.

Other experts will demonstrate the effect of new technologies on varied areas in the movie-making process and how smart filmmakers are utilising the latest tools for their productions.

First Published: Feb 09, 2006 14:12 IST