Stringing together some melodies

Stringing together some melodies

Music concert

Unique: Toumani Diabate

Organised by the ICCR, this performance was part of an ongoing initiative to bring together legendary musicians of our country with those of other countries, and fuse their different styles of music.

After a resounding success in Mumbai and Delhi, it was now Bangalore’s turn to catch a glimpse of Toumani Diabate, who hails from Mali, Africa. He thrilled the crowd with his unique 21-string harp, an instrument called the kora which produced rich, soulful notes.

The fact that he was playing with such legends such as Vishwa Mohan Bhatt on the ‘mohan veena’ and Salil Bhatt on the ‘sathvik veena’ simply added to the beauty of the performance.

Speaking about the concert, Salil Bhatt said that both he and his father were very pleased to be playing here. He also joked, “I would like to thank all of you for sacrificing 250 TV channels, and coming here to support our music.”

The evening’s performance was divided into three segments; in the first segment, Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, Salil Bhatt and Prithviraj, on the tabla, took to the stage and treated the audience to a medley of wonderful tunes. Their evocative recital lasted for around half-an-hour. All three musicians played in perfect coordination with each other, and their music never got repetitive. Vishwa Mohan Bhatt displayed a complete mastery over his instrument, and played with a speed and skill that impressed all who had gathered there.

After this, a representative of UNAIDS read out a short speech on behalf of Toumani Diabate. He said, “It’s amazing to be here in this country of music, art and culture.” He also touched upon the topic of AIDS eradication, stating, “After 30 years, the AIDS epidemic isn’t over yet — but the end is in sight.”

The second segment of the concert was a solo performance by Toumani Diabate, on his kora. The African player stunned the audience with his skillful manipulation of the instrument. Since the harp had 21 strings, it brought a certain depth into the melodies he played which couldn’t be found in a normal string instrument. The tunes he played were complex and rich, with a soulful undertone.

After his solo performance, all three musicians took to the stage and played together, impressing one and all with their coordination and fusion music.

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