Sounds From a New Dawn


IMAG­INE a moon-lit sky, a full moon shin­ing bright as sil­ver in the cor­ner of an azure sky, play­ing out a con­trast of shades, a stage made of colour­ful bio-degrad­able yarns re­sem­bling the Taj Ma­hal, the sounds of mu­sic ebbing and flow­ing, fondling the neu­rons of your brains, and charg­ing the air. Add the ro­man­tic scenes of Udaipur to that! That is Se­her for you. The com­pos­ite sounds come from artistes all over the world, some per­form­ing in In­dia for the first time at the Se­her World Mu­sic Fes­ti­val—a brain­wave of San­jeev Bhar­gava, which is now inch­ing to­wards its third edi­tion next year. “A lot of fac­tors go into con­sid­er­a­tion, in­clud­ing ne­go­ti­a­tions, to pull off a fes­ti­val like this,” says San­jeev on a sunny af­ter­noon—a wel­come change in the harsh­ness of the win­ter. Yet, the mer­cu­rial drop doesn’t mar the ex­cite­ment of the crowd Gandhi Grounds wit­nesses in the evening. Peo­ple come in hordes, ex­cit­edly, most of them stay­ing till the end, which is al­most mid­night. The fes­ti­val has a strong back­ing from Va­sun­dahra Raje, the CM of Ra­jasthan. And, the evening and morn­ing venues care­fully re­flect the mood of the mu­sic be­ing played. San­jeev has plans to make Udaipur a cul­tur­ally vi­brant des­ti­na­tion by adding this fes­ti­val that cel­e­brates di­ver­sity in mu­sic. This year, day one wit­nessed Ko­cani Orkestar—a Balkanic gypsy band from Mace­do­nia, a cap­ti­vat­ing per­for­mance of Niyaz fea­tur­ing Azam Ali that in­tro­duced us to the spir­i­tual world of Elec­tro Sufi mu­sic and African songs by Monoswezi, end­ing with a per­for­mance by Kailash Kher. On Day 2, au­di­ences were left mes­merised by an en­er­getic per­for­mance by the South African band, Hot Wa­ter, which did a lot of bounc­ing and jump­ing on stage, only to end with some Kan­nada and Hindi mu­sic by Swarathma, which un­for­tu­nately ran into a bit of tech­ni­cal dif­fi­culty. The fi­nal day saw some trance therapy by Of­fic­ina Zoe who played with en­vi­ous vigour, de­fy­ing their me­dian age,

... Lon­don Com­mu­nity Gospel Choir

... Swarathma

... Of­fic­ina Zoe

... Niyaz & Azam Ali

... San­jeev Bhar­gava

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