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Stirring Vivaldi in slums

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MUSICAL INTERACTION Sara Michieletto
MUSICAL INTERACTION Sara Michieletto

Violinist Sara Michieletto enjoys taking music to kids in slums

I t is rarely that kids in slums get a chance to hear Western chamber music, and much less to interact closely with Western classical violinists.

But Venetian violinist Sara Michieletto, more used to giving concerts at carpeted auditoria across the world has been providing that wonderful experience to kids at the slums in Gandhi Nagar.

Sara Michielleto has been living in Chennai for the last two years for the Venice-based La Fenice Theatre's project ‘The Strains of Violin in India' to get underprivileged children in slums in Chennai to experience chamber music. Of course, she flies in between to Venice and other places to give concerts.

How does playing for these kids feel? “Exciting,” she says. “I play a passage from say, Vivaldi, and then, I ask the kids how they felt on hearing it. The idea is to help the kids connect with their emotional selves.”

The kids slowly open up. Through an interpreter, of course.

So, how has the Chennai experience been? “Great. The best aspect of this city is its people. I find them warm, strange, pleasant and even mysterious”.

However, she feels repulsion when she sees people take advantage of younger or weaker people. What has she gained from initiating kids in slums into a new world of music?

“The experience has created many changes in me, at different levels. For instance, I have started to nod swinging my head, the one thing I never expected to do. At a more mundane level, I have learnt how to make delicious masala tea, with cardamom and ginger, and I will go on making it even when I return to my country!”

Her favourite haunt in the city? “Amethyst,” she smiles.

HEMA VIJAY

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