Witness the magic of an all-night music festival

Most musicians adhere to time theory of performance and audiences only get to hear early evening and late evening ragas. But at IGNCA’s festival, one hopes to hear pre-dawn Ragas like Ramkali and Lalit

Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) laudably is the only organisation in Delhi keeping alive an old tradition of holding an all-night classical music festival. The event is now in its third year.

The magic of an all-night festival is unparalleled; the opportunity to hear Ragas that are meant to be performed at the specified time can only happen in an all nighter – from early evening, to evening, to post midnight, to pre dawn, then dawn. Usually, most North Indian musicians adhere to the time theory of performance, and audiences only get to hear early evening and late evening ragas. One hopes to hear now pre dawn Ragas like Ramkali and Lalit.

In addition, at festival like this, there is a certain leisurely pace of performance; mostly the artists realise the audience is not going anywhere so they too unhurriedly unfold their music. It's a time when there are no worldly distractions of phones; one is at ease focusing only on the music.

As in earlier editions of the festival, the music on offer on November 23 is a carefully selected blend of established artists and new comers. The festival starts with the star Carnatic duo of Gayatri Ranjani who are today one of the most popular vocalists we have.

IGNCA has always invited Carnatic artists – the first year featured Vidwan Vikku Vinayakram; last year there was Abhishek Raghuraman. Talented youngsters being given a stage this year include Delhi's sitarist Adnan Khan. Adnan has made a name for himself with his lightening taans and polished layakaari. He is accompanied by Delhi gharana's tabla maestro Ustad Rafiuddin Sabri; in Adnan's humble words "I am really grateful to him for accompanying me on this prestigious platform."

Pravin Godkhindi from Bangalore has not performed in Delhi in a while; he voiced his excitement at playing at IGNCA. Easily amongst the top three flautists in the North Indian classical tradition, Pravin can awe with his ability to hold a note for minutes.

He is also accompanied by another of Delhi's favorite stars, Banaras gharana's Pt Ram Kumar Mishra. Other artists include violinist brothers from Kolkata, disciples of Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, Deb Sankar and Jyoti Sankar Roy.

The festival ends with Pt Sanjeev Abhyankar who will bring in the dawn. One hope, he will also sing the popular Haveli sangeet compositions that his Guru Pt Jasraj has immortalized.

(All Night Festival at IGNCA starts from 7pm and goes on till 7 am; It features 7 concerts)

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