A brief moment of silence seized the open-air atrium at VIT University on Friday.

As the 14-member student group from VIT Chennai ‘Stresscode’ built the momentum with their drums, djembes, tambourines and plastic buckets for the rest of the audience to join in, the air grew heavy with the vigorous, high-powered, yet rhythmic thumps and thuds on the second day of Riviera, 2014, a student-driven sports and cultural fest organised by VIT University.

A group of students with unusual props in the audience arranged themselves around the semi-circular atrium, and within moments , not only shed their inhibitions but made music together. And, their choice of instruments? Inverted buckets, claps and whistles.

The front row of the atrium was lined with students armed with buckets, and soon they all broke spontaneously into song and dance, while the rest of the audience cheered them on with their drum, or rather bucket beats.

“Anyone can be part of the ‘drum circle’”, said Vishnu Surendranath, co-ordinator of the group. Their idea is to help people beat stress and shed their inhibitions through inclusive and collaborative music. Listening to the booming music, curious students walked in only to become indistinguishable from the group.

“It was a lot of fun. I never thought buckets could change my mood,” said Pranali Ravikumar, a student. From sumo-wrestling to paintball, from antakshari in Kannada and Tamil to western music and obstacle races, day two of Riviera 2014, packed in a host of distinct events.

On a warm morning, Madras University student G.S. Krishnakumar was absorbed in recreating a peacock on his friend, S. Pravin’s hand as part of the ‘Body Art’ event. Down the road, S. Saikrishna and his 12 friends from Sastra University were calling attention with their booming voices to issues relating to the responsibility of the media, freedom of speech and social awareness and participation through their street play.

On the second day of the ‘DJ-ing Workshop’, students tried their hand at music production, after getting to work on a professional turntable on Thursday.

They were being guided by Dwane and Siddharth Bohidar from Surgeffectz on Friday. Artistes Shreeram Chandra, percussionist Sivamani and his band, Vijay Yesudas, Swetha Mohan, Haricharan and Stephan Devassy were slated to perform for an eager audience at the pro-show on Friday evening. The Hindu is the media partner for Riviera 2014.


Music, marathon set Riviera mood February 7, 2014