The Guitar society 2 July 2011
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Independence Rock XXVI Invites Entries
India’s oldest and longest-running rock festival and band competition, Independence Rock, is back again this year. This year’s edition will be its 26th installment. The event’s organizers have announced that they have begun accepting entries for the band competition.
No dates have been announced yet but rumours say that, unlike the last few years, the organizers are trying to hold the festival around its traditional date on Independence Day on 15 August. The announcement also revealed that this year the festival would be coming to five cities across the country – including Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore and Kolkata. This year, for the first time, the event will be broadcast live on MTV India.
Though now tragically cemented in Indian indie legend for the 2005 Gateway of India incident (the festival was shut down by the Mumbai Police an hour before the start), Independence Rock is the big daddy of Indian rock festivals. Every single Indian band worth its salt have strutted their stuff at Independence Rock. Careers were built, scruffy musicians became legends and fans came together in a community based around an “us-against-the-world” attitude.
Through most of its existence, Indy Rock was held every year on Indian Independence Day at the now legendary (though sadly defunct) Rang Bhavan. With the authorities shutting down Rang Bhavan, the festival has now shifted base (and date) to the Chitrakoot Grounds in the Mumbai suburb of Andheri.
Indian Government Felicitates Sri Lankan Musician
Pandit WD Amaradeva
The Indian government has felicitated Sri Lankan musician and Magsaysay award winner Pandit WD Amaradeva for contributing to strengthening the ties between India and Sri Lanka through his music.
Amaradeva, an 85-year-old Sinhalese classical music legend, has been awarded the Padma Shri and is known for blending Sri Lankan folk music with Indian raagas. He learned classical music from Indian violinist Pandit VG Jog and from Sri Lankan legend Dr. Ratanjaikar from Bhatkhande Institute in India.
“Pandit Amaradeva is the living embodiment of how India and Sri Lanka mutually enrich each other,” said Ashok K Kantha, Indian High Commissioner. “Amaradeva was an embodiment of the finest traditions of the cultural interface between India and Sri Lanka.
Santoor Player and Classical Dancer Create New Blend of Music and Dance
Classical dancer Mom Ganguly and Santoor player Kunal Saha from Kolkata have come up with the “Ishara-The Genesis,” a unique way of blending Mohinyattam, Kathak and Mayurbhanj Chhau, bringing together contemporary and traditional music and dance.
“The music used in Ishtara does not have a definite theme,” said Ganguly in a recent interview. “The uniqueness lies in its capacity to make one groove to Indian classical music and feel the peace within, yet throb to the western beats in it.”
The performing duo uses traditional Indian instruments including the idakka and santoor, along with western classical orchestra and African beats. They have already launched caller tunes of “Ishtara” and will be launching a video album in the next few months, too.
“We are getting fabulous response and are also lining up concerts all over India from September,” added Ganguly.
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