Staff Reporter

This year’s theme is the plight of the Adivasis

Festival aimed at creating a sense of fellowship

BANGALORE: A jugalbandi between modern and traditional music will take place at the open-air amphitheatre at the Fireflies Inter-Cultural Centre when its annual music festival gets under way at Dinnepalya off Kanakapura Road at 6 p.m. on February 23.

High and low notes will reverberate through the night except for short breaks till seven in the morning.

Since its inception, genres of music ranging from Baul, qawwali, Hindustani to Carnatic, fusion, jazz, folk, sacred and mystical music have drawn crowds, the numbers increasing each year. At last count there were over 2,000 people.

This year’s festival theme is the plight of the Adivasis. “We want to emphasise the beauty of tribal culture, their sense of inter-connectedness, their respect of the earth and their worldview, which meshes them with nature,” says Siddhartha, the spirit behind the Fireflies Inter-Cultural Centre.

“We need to understand the inter-connectedness of human beings with nature, and tribals represent that,” he said. The presence of the connection between humans and the earth will be strong as the performers play under a banyan tree, overlooking a large pond and surrounded by a variety of plants and trees.

Fireflies is an eco-ashram open to all secular and spiritual traditions involved in creating social change and environmental action. The festival falls right in line with the centre’s aim of bringing together a community of friends who revere the earth as their first mother. “This festival is an effort to create a sense of fellowship, to create good vibrations, to link music up with the context here in Bangalore and in India and the world and to address issues related to peace and environment,” adds Siddhartha.

Included in the list of over 10 bands are Emergence, an acoustic Indo-fusion band from the International Township of Auroville; Glenn Rogers guitarist/composer from Australia who is adept at a variety of styles such as Hindustani, classical, western classical, Brazilians, euro jazz, bebop and 20th Century classical; R.K Padmanabha from Mysore, Esperanto, a Bangalore-based band seeking to transcend cultural lines with its hypnotic notes; and Oikyotaan, combining traditional and modern sounds to create a new genre incorporating folk music with innovative sounds and textures; folk songs of Kabir from Malva by Shabnam Virmani and Dipta Bhog; qawwali by Salim Bhai and group; Swaratma led by Vasu Dixit; alternative grunge band 777, Karnataka’s own folk form Puje Kunita and many more.

Passes, priced at Rs. 250, are available at Reynolds Inc. and Sudhir Medicals in Jayanagar and at the venue on the day of the show. For details, call 99725-04006.