Musical feast featuring Indo-Romanian artists celebrates cultural diversity

Published - May 13, 2024 12:19 am IST - PUDUCHERRY

Bansuri exponent Bhaskar Das and Romanian pan flute performer Narcasia Baleanu at a recent concert at Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth.

Bansuri exponent Bhaskar Das and Romanian pan flute performer Narcasia Baleanu at a recent concert at Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth. | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Soundscapes from the Carpathians and the Himalayas showcased the defining musical traditions of India and Romania at a recent concert held under the auspices of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR).

Noted bansuri exponent Bhaskar Das partnered with pan flute performer and vocalist Narcasia Baleanu, from the region of Mehedinți on the banks of the Danube river in Romania for “Suflet - Soundscapes from the Carpathians and the Himalayas” at the Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth (SBV).

The event was co-hosted by the Royal Embassy of Romania in association with Alliance Francaise de Pondicherry (AFP) and represented an international music collaboration that aims to forge a cultural bridge between Romania and India.

On a tour to select cities, these concerts showcase a confluence of traditional wind instruments such as pan flute and bansuri, with the accompaniment of tabla and keyboard, with the artists presenting modern reinterpretations of Romanian folklore masterpieces as well as new compositions that bring Romanian and Indian music together.

For the SBV show, Amit Mishra joined the duo to provide percussion accompaniment, while Azhar Warsi rendered keyboard support.

The dignitaries who attended the performance included Daniela Mariana Sezonov Tane, Ambassador of Romania to India, Nepal and Bangladesh, Nihar Ranjan Biswas, Vice Chancellor, SBV and Laurent Jalicous, Alliance Francaise Director.

Delineation of ragas

Bhaskar Das, son of Pandit Gopal Das, among the Indian clarinet pioneers, and a disciple of flute maestro Pandit Bholanath Prasanna, curated the hour-long aural experience which demonstrated the intersecting of rigid grammar, rhythm calculus and high aesthetics of the Indian classical music tradition that is based on delineation of ragas in intricate set-pieces.

According to a spokesman, the music of Romania too shares a common framework related to resonation in the same musical scale, as exemplified in the case of pentatonic scales that could either be hemitonic (with semitones) or anhemitonic (sans semitones). The folklore of Romania is as rich and diverse as that of the subcontinent and forms a strong base in ethnomusicology. The concert featured a confluence of Indian and Romanian musical traditions and a celebration of the beauty and diversity of the two cultures, he said.

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