CALL OF THE VAL­LEY

India Today - - LEISURE - —Anurag Ta­gat

It’s not easy to get there. It took a flight from Mumbai to Guwahati via Delhi, then a 12-hour Tempo Trav­eller ride through day and dark­ness for this writer to reach the Ziro Fes­ti­val of Mu­sic in Arunachal Pradesh in 2014. But every­body—artists, me­dia and fes­ti­val­go­ers—was blown away by what could well be the world’s most re­mote cel­e­bra­tion of mu­sic.

Started by Arunachale­se gig or­gan­iser Bobby Hano and Delhi guitarist Anup Kutty (from rock act Men­whopause), the Ziro Fes­ti­val of Mu­sic—held Septem­ber-end ev­ery year—has gained cred­i­bil­ity since the first edi­tion in 2012. That’s be­cause they’ve not only man­aged to de­liver a large-scale, multi­genre fes­ti­val in a re­mote val­ley but also con­vinced renowned artists to turn up: Lee Ranaldo (from Amer­i­can rock band Sonic Youth), Ger­many-based Ja­panese krautrock au­teur Damo Suzuki, and Shye Ben Tzur and the Ra­jasthan Ex­press, to name a few.

“The first edi­tion was mad,” says Kutty. “It was a small idea, but ev­ery one of us was just so con­vinced that it would work that even the tough­est of hur­dles seemed to come with so­lu­tions. There were tor­ren­tial rains, land­slides and most of us had never re­ally done any­thing like this be­fore, but ev­ery­thing just mag­i­cally fell into place.”

For their sev­enth edi­tion, held be­tween Septem­ber 27 and 30, Ziro hosted Ja­panese in­stru­men­tal rock band MONO, UK jazz whiz Nubya Gar­cia and more. Over the years, Ziro’s cu­ra­tors have suc­ceeded in invit­ing not just emerg­ing artists but also the must­see fes­ti­val crowd pullers. This year, that in­cluded rap­per Prabh Deep, Ker­ala’s art col­lec­tive Oo­rali, and ghatam artist Sukanya Ram­gopal. All worth the trek for a fes­ti­val, we dare say.

MITJA KOBAL

11 MONOThe Ja­panese band have a way with mu­sic that doesn’t re­quire lyrics or vo­cals—chan­nelling in­cred­i­bly cin­e­matic, poignant rock as though they were an orches­tra

2 PRABH DEEPWith the re­lease of his de­but al­bum ‘Class-Sikh’ last year, the Pun­jabi rap­per emerged as the genre’s most so­cially con­scious, street-smart word­smith 2

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