Every night IIT-Madras campus will witness performances by different musicians

When they first played an outline of the composition, many in the audience went down the memory lane to the days when strains of Vande Mataram were the first thing one heard on the radio. A spontaneous Shashank Subramanyam on the flute presented an instrumental composition of Nanda Nandana, accompanied by an energetic Anwar Khan, a vocalist from the Manganiyar community who effortlessly raised the tempo of the symphony merging it with a Krishna Bhajan, evoking the tempestuous rhythms of desert dunes.

Rendering subtle lifts to the fusion, were Purbayan Chatterjee on his sitar and Ghewar Khan on the kamancha, a three-stringed music instrument. Soon enough, percussionists Feroze Khan on his Dholak and Chandrajit on Tabla rendered a convergence of beats in tune with the Patri Satish on mridangam, presenting a recital of Sanskrit syllables, expressing the beauty of Krishna dancing on the Kalinga head.

This was the ambience of Raga Desh at the open air theatre of IIT-Madras on Wednesday that had everybody under its spell and also marked the beginning of Saarang 2012.

The group of musicians who performed under the name ‘Spirit of Krishna' enthralled the audience with various compositions blending different styles. The Manganiyars, a community of Muslim court musicians who sing songs of Kabir, Surdas, Mirabai and Tulsidas, and other compositions of Hindustani classical music, were definitely the highlight “Their music is limitless and not bound by restrictions. It was so interesting to see them fit it into the classical framework,” said S. Hariharan, a student in the audience.

After the concert, an Odissi dance recital, combined with powerful visuals, full of rhythmic movements depicted the tantric and Saivite influences on dance as Sutra Foundation from Malaysia presented the ‘Vision of Forever,' of Lord Shiva as the God of contradictions. Over the next five days, as part of Saarang, over 50 different events, including quizzes, debates, art workshops and competitions will be held on the campus. Every night, the campus will also witness performances by different Indian musicians and international music bands. “We approach artists who we think we offer the best variety to the fest. Considering we are all from different parts of the country, different things appeal to us,” said Sanjeev Rao, pro-shows core member of IIT-M. The Hindu is the media partner for Saarang 2012.

Keywords: SaarangIIT-Madras

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