Music

A music festival for the elderly in Bengaluru

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“In the absence of an engaging atmosphere or a fulfilling hobby, there seems nothing to look forward to for people over 60. The ever busy lifestyle of working-children doesn’t allow them to pay attention to their ailing parents. As a result, the elderly start feeling lonely and get into depression. Other mental and physical disorders would soon follow. It’s not a general observation, indeed a personal one,” says Rajmohan Krishnan, who witnessed the struggle of his widowed father to cope with life after his mother passed away in 1991. The wish to provide a joyful atmosphere for his father was always on his mind for which music was an obvious recourse for him as his childhood home in Chennai used to reverberate with it all-day.

“Music was not just nostalgia recreated, it was celebration, a medium to heal and a life in itself. ‘Ekatvam’ (the principle of oneness), an initiative of the Nada Veda Mitram trust thus employs music for the welfare of the elderly,” explains its founder, Rajmohan.

“When my wife Sreepriya and I began working for it, we asked how we could be of help to old age homes nearby. The reply was: ‘there is no dearth of funds, what lacks here is someone’s time.’ Therefore we began forging new friendships and also invited musicians to perform in these spaces. The experience for all of us was magical,” he informs.

After creating pleasant surroundings for the elderly, the need to hold conversations between the young and the old was also needed, the couple felt. They began conducting storytelling sessions with children where grandmothers and grandfathers shared how the world used to be in their times. “One of them even prepared kodubale and gave it to children, explaining how all snacks were made in homes earlier,” recalls Rajmohan, who realised tradition, ethics and ways of life passed down from several generations all of which witness a halt today could also be preserved through these activities with the elderly.

As whole country celebrates spring and the arrival of summer in March, let there be some festivity and colour in the lives of the old too, he thought and conceptualised Ekatvam Holi Music festival that hosts musicians across genres. What Ekatvam was holding as chamber concerts in the last two years now will be organised in a bigger manner at Bangalore Gayana Samaja from March 22 to 24. The three-day festival that attempts to attribute a colour to every note of classical music will have concerts by upcoming and renowned musicians at 4.30 p.m. and 6.30 p.m. respectively on all days.

The festival starts with Sumanth Manjunath’s solo violin rendition on March 22, 4.30 p.m., followed by the inauguration ceremony where child prodigy Rahul Vellal presents his vocal rendition. Apoorva Gokhale presents a Hindustani vocal concert at 7 p.m.

Bhargavi Venkatram renders a Carnatic vocal concert on March 23, 4.30 p.m., followed by Kumaresh and Jayanthi Kumaresh’s violin-veena duet concert.

On March 24, 4.30 p.m. Shadaj Godkhindi and Siddartha Belmannu present a flute-vocal concert. The festival ends with a Carnatic duet by Gayatri and Ranjani. For tickets, log onto bookmyshow.com.


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Printable version | May 20, 2022 1:06:15 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/music/splashing-some-colour-to-life/article26532994.ece