Sunday, March 20, 2011

An Evening Soiree with Johannes Möller, Biplaw Singh and AHIMSA at Live in Concert performance in Kolkata presented by the SIDDHA Group

19th March, 2011, Kolkata: It was an evening soiree that music lovers in Kolkata will remember, not because it was on the eve of Holi, the festival of colours, but because it was a splendidly organized event, to recreate the culture following a great tradition of Indian classical music performances blended with the very best music from the West, a platter that’s hard to miss since colours express the zest for life and the beauty of the sound.

“She is the golden bridge, the wonderful fire,
She is the Force, the inevitable Word,
The magnet of our difficult ascent,
The Sun from which we kindle all our suns,
The Light that leans from unrealized vasts,…” (Book III: The Book of the Divine Mother, Canto II: The Adoration of the Divine Mother, Savitri- Sri Aurobindo)

One might wonder the relationship between the above lines from Sri Aurobindo’s epic poem Savitri, and between the opening musical performance by Johannes Möller but, this is not very hard or difficult to gaze since Johannes, currently one of the finest of young talents in classical guitar worldwide, and also the 1st prize award winner of the prestigious GFA Concert Artist Competition in 2010, chose the moment to open the evening’s performance by playing his self-composed musical reverie ‘Song to the Mother’. It came at a critical time when the world was shocked by the triple action forces of Earthquake, Tsunami and a major Nuclear Radiation threat that had rocked Japan a week before, Johannes explained that the music goes to the Mother at three levels: the motherly love one finds at home; the mother earth and thirdly the cosmic mother and the divine force that operates since the beginning of creation. A rounded applause by a full learned festive crowd, so symptomatic of Kolkata, was quickly followed by another of his own compositions, this time ‘Ananda’ to reiterate that the creation came out of the self-delight of the Lord/the Creator, from bliss it came and poured into a pitcher of bliss. To crown the day, his last composition was ‘Rasa-Lila’. Partnered with Biplaw Singh, one of the finest classical guitarists from Asia and the best in India, this was a confluence of the east-west musical genre, the two guitars creating the smooth elastic sound that not only touched the hearts and evoked the senses, at the same time, it was a reveling aesthetic disposition of the musical sublime that permeates the levels of experiential love.

Biplaw Singh’s own solo performance was a treat to the ears, and also to the eyes, because the Spanish musical pieces he played from Isaac Albéniz and Francisco Tárrega brought before the audience the images of the sun, the sea, the Mediterranean, and, of course, the lost romanticism that enthralled its pioneers in the 18th and the 19th century. This was something profusely captivating, it brought the virtuosity of the guitarist and went further to recreate the multi-cultural high-print of Kolkata’s lifestyle- the minds of its people and their thought-processes that had served the city to be what it is- the city of joy, then, now, and in the times to come.

The opening performances by Johannes and Biplaw were followed by Ahimsa, a four-piece world music ensemble. With Munich- based guitarist Matthias Muller and South Indian musician S. Radhakrishna who played a majestic stereophonic double violin supported ably by percussionists Udai Mazumdar and R. Yogaraja – their music blended the Carnatic music with Western Jazz that prompted a trip into territories of complex beautiful improvisations, the musical texture, if we may call it, was precise and innovative sometimes reminiscent of Shakti with John McLaughlin. In an other way, its an Interstellar Overdrive, a travel into realms of spacious consciousness where music is fluid and ever recreated by the illumined mind of its players. Their whole endeavour was refreshing, another hallmark of great musical expressions, here, the fascinating merged into brilliant musical overtures which the mind can only seize through its contemplative ears and meditative hearing. Of course, it was sheer entertainment, and as Littlei, the organization that produced the show confirmed, that it was just the beginning and not the last of surprises that await kolkata’s ardent music lovers.

The programme sponsored by the Siddha Group was hosted by Calcutta Classical Guitar Society and partnered by The Calcutta School of Music and RED FM 93.5 took place o 19th March, 2011 at 27, Ballygunge Park, Kolkata.

- Joy Roy Choudhury, ArtVantage, UK-India,
ArtVantage Projects: ART & MUSIC: Change Returns Success, Pink Floyd, Syd Barrett & Art:
Charles Baudelaire & Debussy & Art:

Useful Information:
Programme presented by Siddha Group:
Produced by Littlei :
Hosted by Calcutta Classical Guitar Society:
Event Partners: The Calcutta School of Music:

Radio Partner: RED FM 93.5:

Johannes Möller Website:
Ahimsa Website:

ArtVantage Website:

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