Fusing the greats for the sake of world music
When east meets west, perhaps the best fusion happens. One never knows when the greatest creation comes out of the finest blend. Probably pursuing up this chain of thought, the British Council ( BCL) presented Folk Nations Concerts, a platform bringing together folk musicians from United Kingdom ( UK) and India.
The UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities, BCL has of late brought to India a series of uniquely woven concerts. The programme highlighted folk culture across the UK and India through musical notes. The three- city India tour witnessed a string of performances by diverse elements. Comprising renowned musicians Patsy Reid ( Scotland), Hannah James ( England), Georgia Ruth ( Wales), Saurav Moni ( India), Suhail Yusuf Khan ( India) and James Mackintosh ( Scotland), this offshoot of Folk Nations is something to watch out for on the international stage.
As a project, Folk Nations was ideally devised to foster creative exchanges and collaborations between traditional artistes from the UK and the Indian subcontinent. As a result, a weeklong residency followed in February 2013, steered by the British Council and the English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS), wherein a group of UK and Indian folk musicians was invited to share their folk music traditions and heritage, apart from coordinating and immersing themselves into an exercise of intense music making.
The six- member ensemble first travelled to perform at Celtic Connections and London’s Alchemy Festival at the Southbank Centre. The band represents a tapestry of both UK and Indian folk flavours that speak of the rich cultural heritage of these regions as well as their place in the contemporary music industry.
Recently audiences in Delhi, Kolkata and Shillong got to witness the result of these collaborations among musicians from Scotland, England, Wales and India. To conduct these concerts, the British Council had partnered with the Indian Council for Cultural Relations ( ICCR) and the Government of Meghalaya, Department of Arts and Culture.
Shedding light on the benefits that Indian artistes may gain out of this effort, Vivek Mansukhani, Director, Arts India at the British Council, says, “Artistes from both the nations are profiting from this collaboration. The Folk Nations project, which began two years ago in 2012, has been providing a space for musicians to develop a dialogue and learn from each other’s culture and musical traditions. This in turn also nurtures collaborative efforts and hopefully inspires new endeavours in their future.”
Here’s wishing the troupe paves the path to success in the times to come.
Folk musicians from the United Kingdom and India at the Folk Nations Concert.