Monday, February 15, 2010
"The charm of Rajasthani folk" (original title)
Times of India, 12 February 2010,
The music of Rajasthan is beyond tourist hotels,” says Aditya Bhasin, the man behind Rajasthan Roots.
Addy as he is popularly known as says, “We aim at taking folk beyond tourist lodges by bringing folk to a multicultural platform and creating contemporary music that appeals to varied musical tastes and age groups.” In town to perform at the Delhi Festival today, Rajasthan Roots is a group of folk musicians who work towards creating internationally palatable sound.
So does that mean they are into fusion music? “Not at all,” says Addy. “We are even averse to using the word, fusion, as we are not forcing instruments on it. There’s no forced usage of drums as we aren’t attempting half-folk, half-rock. But yes, to give it an international edge we do use bass guitar and saxophone to make the sound warmer as well as add a vibe to it,” he adds.
But aren’t Rajasthani folk songs already very popular locally as well as globally? “Only a few folk songs, you can actually count them on your fingers,” says Addy. “Songs like Nimbuda and Hichkee being the examples. The reason behind that is that very few communities like Langas and Manganiyars have been promoted the world over, where as the rest don’t even get a chance to move out from their hometown. We need to work at the grassroot level to popularise the actual Rajasthani music,” he says.
Talking more about their kind of music, Addy says, “Rajasthan had a very strong Sufiana tradition, and people love the Sufi element in our group. Ours is basically a contemporary interpretation of old Rajasthani folk songs and lyrics. And in our interpretations we try and represent all the forms and tastes – folk songs, bhajans, dohas, etc, so that it can have a wider connect.”
About performing in Delhi, Addy says, “Delhi is a great place to perform. People here have a taste for music and we always get a tremendous response for our kind of music.” He adds, “Oh! Dilli ki junta is simply amazing. They understand folk music, sometimes I feel like their ears are tuned to this kind of music. I believe this time too, they will groove to our music.”
"Fusion band recreates desert magic"
Times of India, 13 February 2010,
NEW DELHI: Delhi braved the evening downpour and traffic jams to see fusion band Rajasthan Roots, who brought alive the traditional song and dance of the desert state in a scintillating performance at Sathya Sai Auditorium on Friday.
On Shivratri, the evening opened with `vaare jano ve', an ode to the gods entering the courtyard. The band created an interesting amalgam of the sounds of the traditional morchang (a percussion instrument also called the organic trance), dotara (a small four-string guitar), bhapang (single-string instrument), flute and nagara which were blended with the saxophone and electric guitar. "Rajasthan is a state full of emotions and colours. We are going to present the different colours of Rajasthan,'' said Aditya Bhasin, who has brought this collective of folk musicians
together to promote the performing arts of Rajasthan.
The next to come was a solo performance by Kutle Khan on bhapang, which is reflective of the traditions of the Mewat community near Alwar. As the crowds swayed to their beats, the band introduced them to `sona champa', a Rajasthani classic, with beats of the saxophone woven into the traditional sounds and then the `shivrangini' on the flute.
The band, performing at the Culture Curry series organised by The Times of India as part of the ongoing Delhi festival, also showcased some original creations by the folk artists work of Rajasthan Roots with hundreds of musicians from the state to provide them a platform to preserve their heritage and culture. To give the music a wider appeal, the effect of modern instruments like the electric guitar and saxophone are added to it. These included `angoothi' written by Kutle Khan and his version of the classic Dum Mast Kalandar.
As the evening heated up, the band played the classic Ali Maula, Io Banjare, which represents the gypsy spirit in Rajasthan, the famous chari dance from Kishangarh and the Baba Ramdev Song of the kamath community near Bikaner.
The evening ended with "India's favorite Sufi song'' Dum [or Dam] Mast Kalandar.[See Nusrat Fath Ali Khan performing it http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EQjRg5WiliA .] But the audience wanted more. As the band thanked the crowds and got up to leave, cheers of `one more', `one more', filled the air. And Rajasthan routes happily obliged.