Music aboard 29 C, from Perambur to Besant Nagar

Published - February 03, 2017 01:30 am IST - CHENNAI:

A few school students who had boarded the 29 C bus at Perambur looked on with surprise as Savitha Sriram and Suchitra Balasubramanian began to sing Prabho Ganapathey .

As an outreach initiative as a part of the Urur Olcott Kuppam Vizha, a number of musicians from the city participated in a performing art relay on a 29 C MTC bus through its route from Perambur to Besant Nagar on Thursday evening.

Passengers who boarded the bus in Nungambakkam saw Rapper and activist Sofia Ashraf accompanied by Suren Vikhash on the guitar as a part of the band ‘Mallipoo and the halwas,’ singing songs on voting and their take on pollution. After every few stops, a set of musicians disembarked from the bus and a new set boarded to perform. While musicians rendered Carnatic music and contemporary fusion music with percussion and flute accompaniments, a vocal percussion performance by Chandrashekara Sharma, Akshay Anantapadmanabhan and Sai Subramanian had most of the commuters joining in with claps.

Singer T.M. Krishna, who had initiated the Urur Olcott Kuppam Vizha with environmental activist Nithyanand Jayaraman a few years ago, said the festival this year had worked for taking arts towards transportation systems in the city. As a part of the festival, the Nalandaway Chennai Children’s Choir and the Sargam Choir had performed in the Central railway station a week ago.

“We don’t see many forms of art reach such public spaces which is why today’s relay had a mix of styles and forms,” said the singer, who towards the end of the journey, broke into song and rendered the Bharathiyar song Nenjukkul Needhiyum .

“It is not easy to perform on a bus-given the crowd and the fact that the performers themselves have to shed a lot of inhibitions about singing in a different environment. But the response has been amazing and we are hoping to take it to more such public spaces in the coming editions of the festival,” he said.

Sujay Kumar, a voiceover artist who was travelling in the bus, said it was the first time he had seen live performances on a bus. “We see a lot of college students singing on many days, but this was truly different for us,” said Kabilan, conductor of the bus.

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