Music

Sounds from India’s heart

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24bgmMuseum1   | Photo Credit: 24bgmMuseum1

The Museum of Folk and Tribal Musical Instruments showcase at the ‘Echoes of Earth’ Music Festival salutes the country’s rich indigenous culture

While the USP at most music festivals are the headliners, international bands and artistes, what sets this weekend’s ‘Echoes of Earth’ apart is that it is India’s first ecologically-crafted music festival. The festival has tied up with the Eastern Zonal Cultural Centre (EZCC), Ministry of Culture’s Vadya Vithika – a museum of folk and tribal musical instruments.

The museum will present a glimpse of music from India’s past. Professor Omprakash Bharti, the director of EZCC, Kolkata Ministry of Culture for Vadya Vithika, talks of the museum’s showcase with MetroPlus.

“This museum comprises rare stringed, wind and percussion instruments used by the indigenous tribes of India. The fact that Bangalore will witness such a collection for the first time is quite a thrill. We are happy to collaborate with Swordfish Events & Entertainment in Bangalore for this endeavour at the Echoes of Earth Music Festival.”

The EZCC is an autonomous organisation and apart from the musical instruments museum, there is also has a museum of performing arts in the offing. The current instruments project is expected to grow with a more divergent display of musical instruments.

He adds that the museum’s speciality is folk and tribal instruments of people belonging to different tribes of India. “The instruments are rare as the indigenous tribes are the sole owners and players of these instruments. To give a better idea about how different and unique they are, a performance by the artistes will be showcased with the presentation. Also, traditional artistes will demonstrate how they make these instruments.”

The showcase will feature around 40 - 50 instruments from various parts of North Eastern India including Sikkim, Assam, the Himalayan region and more. “Few of the noteworthy mentions are Tengbok, from the Lepcha Community of Sikkim, Roshwem, from Tripura, Sarinda, from Assam, and Gayne Sarangi, which is a common instrument from the Eastern Himalayan Zone, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh,” says the professor.

“The instruments are not only a display of tradition, but also a reflection of the community itself. The ideology of tribes, communities and their living can be traced with these tools. Visitors at the festival will witness the wide range of unique art works and also learn about the diverse ethnicity and culture of the tribes and communities of India. This is invariably the most important thing people will experience.”

On how the collection came into being, Omprakash says, “The EZCC organises more than 300 festivals every year with the aim to promote folk and tribal arts. Through these festivals, we were able to contact traditional artists and collect their authentic musical instruments. Apart from this, workshops to make various rare musical instruments were conducted. Eminent national awardees in the field of traditional folk and tribal music have also donated their musical instruments for display.”

Check out the Echoes of Earth Music Festival on November 27 and 27 at the Embassy International Riding School.

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Printable version | Apr 7, 2020 10:23:01 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/music/Sounds-from-India%E2%80%99s-heart/article16687150.ece

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