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Folk goes beyond borders

Folk goes beyond  borders
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Words and languages are not barriers when music runs in your soul. British Council’s collaborative programme Folk Nations is a proof of it. With an amalgamation of tunes from Wales, Scotland, England and India, Folk Nations left the audience wanting for more. The event was organised by The British council and Indian Council of Cultural relation (ICCR) at the Kamani auditorium on
Wednesday evening.

In early 2013 British Council and the English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS) ran a residency workshop in Kolkata inviting a group of UK and Indian folk musicians to share their folk music tradition and collaborate in a week of immense music making. What emerged was a group of six gifted musicians -  Patsy Reid (Scotland), Hannah James (England), Georgia Ruth (Wales), Saurav
Moni (India), Suhail Yusuf Khan (India) and James Mackintosh (Scotland).

Their group represents a delicate weaving of UK and Indian folk that speaks immediately to the cultural heritage of these regions as well as its place in the contemporary music industry.

Be it Suhail Yusuf Khan’s beautiful folk song Rangi saari gulabi chunariya re with Patsy Reed’s Scottish tunes in perfect sync to it, or Hannah James melancholy number The Three Ravens, with Suhail’s Indian alaaps, the folk music of different countries interwoven together left the audience amazed.

Attar Singh, an advocate, who had come to Kamani auditorium to witness the show said, ‘It is a very good initiative. It’s exciting to listen to music from different lands and how they have been interwoven with Indian folk. The approach is non-traditional but the music is traditional from each of these nations.’

The audience, which consisted of many British expatriates, were tapping their feet and clapping along when Saurav Moni performed his song written on a heady draught of Bengal, Allah megh de, Paani de, Chhaya de Tui. The engaging evening ended with Saurav Moni’s song of rowing of the boats Haiyyo re haiyyo with Hannah James performing a tap dance to the tune. Songs of love and death, of romance and life sung in different languages and with foreign tunes left the audience moved. The performance will be repeated on the 17 October in Kolkata and in Shillong on the 19 October.

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