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African rhythms resound at music meet

Staff Reporter

“Emergence of fusion music created the necessity to understand world music”

Photo: K. Murali Kumar

FOR THE LOVE OF MUSIC: S.N.S. Murthy, president, Indiranagar Sangeetha Sabha; Sri Ramakrishnananda Saraswathy Swamigal of Sri Vidya Peetam, Rishikesh; N. Murali, Managing Director, The Hindu, and president, Music Academy, Chennai; and ethno-musicologist S.A.K. Durga, at the valedictory session of the International Music Conference and Festival 2008 in Bangalore on Tuesday. —

BANGALORE: “At a time when we look to the West for everything, it is refreshing that the Indiranagar Sangeetha Sabha has an international conference on ‘Africa Meets Asia’ that has brought in scholars and music artistes from 14 countries to participate in the comprehensive meet,” said N. Murali, Managing Director, The Hindu, and president, The Music Academy, Chennai, in his valedictory address at the Indiranagar Sangeetha Sabha on Tuesday.

Hailing the organisers, Mr. Murali said: “It is heartening to see technocrats, scientists, police officers and chartered accountants come together to form an organisation to promote music and dance and have a colossal cultural exchange as this, where African and Asian interplay saw cross rhythm and polyrhythm rubbing shoulders with the nuances of Indian pace setters.”

The aim of the week-long conference, organised in association with the Centre for Intercultural Musicology, Churchill College, U.K., was to promote the exchange of views among musicologists, musicians and composers from the Asian and African diaspora on their musical treasures.

The meet had renderings and discussions on compositions, and encompassed interactive sessions on traditions, music concepts and the rapid changes that have taken place in the last five decades. Featuring composers’ sessions, scholars’ sessions and live concerts, the last few days saw the central theme covering African and Asian music traditions and the exciting interactions with respect to exchange of interesting instruments in cross-cultural shows.

Mr. Murali reiterated that it was the emergence of fusion music that created the necessity to understand world music and this ‘global connect’ is necessary for tapping the commonalities of culture.

“Our cross-cultural music programmes have hourglass-shaped drums, Korean drums, and square and circular drums which are aspects of curiosity in every show,” he said.

“Music is paramount for human existence and a potent force for peace and harmony,” said Sri Ramakrishnananda Saraswathy Swamigal of Sri Vidya Peetam, Rishikesh, at the valedictory session. The Sabha announced that henceforth there would be a Triennial International Music Conference and 2011 would feature India meets East Asia.

Sabha president S.N.S. Murthy was felicitated. Vice-president R. Balasubramaniam, Sabha functionary Govinda Prasad and ethno-musicologist S.A.K. Durga, spoke.

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