Captivating 3D opens Aussie show

Captivating 3D opens Aussie show

A 16th century fort played canvas for 21st century technology when the light show opened the Oz Fest at Purana Qila. From the entry to the performance area, the lights transformed the whole of Purana Qila complex into a visual treat.

Prior visitors to the monument were ecstatic upon seeing it in its new avatar. More lay in story as the Sher Mandal Observatory came to life through 3D light projections by AGB Events otherwise better known as producers of Sydney’s Vivid Light Festival at the Sydney Opera House. The light effects created a perfect backdrop for musical performances that the evening had in store.

The Oz Fest which will last four months, kicked off with a showcasing of Australian culture in India by Australian Prime Minister, Julia Gillard who said, “We bring my country’s biggest ever festival to your country to showcase our contemporary culture.” She also announced the Ravi Shankar World Music Scholarship, named after the Indian sitar maestro, at Victoria University. “This scholarship represents everything that India and Australia share. Pt. Ravi Shankar took Indian culture to the world,” Gillard remarked.

The long winding speeches gave way to an unusual performance by virtuoso Mark Atkins who played the didgeridoo. The didgeridoo is an ancient indigenous Australian drone instrument resembling a long wooden horn that produces deep primal sounds like that of the gongs.

The stage was then taken up by iconic aboriginal Australian vocalist Gurumul Yunupingu. The blind musician’s voice had an immensely calming effect on the audiences who were left gasping for more. Gurumul sang songs about ethnic myths, legends, spirits and cross-cultural connections of his native land accompanied by his musicians. Named as the most important voice from Australia by the Rolling Stones magazine in 2011, Gurumul’s voice was truly magical and the audience was left asking for an encore!

But the best was saved for the last as twice Grammy Award-nominated Anoushka Shankar played some cheerful and rhythmic compositions. Her first rendition was a short classical piece composed in Raag Tilang and was a combination of Hindustani and Carnatic music in teen taal. The second was composed in Raag Vachaspati and Raag Adi. Both compositions have been created by her father, Pt. Ravi Shankar on separate occasions.

As the performances continued to soothe the audiences, the 3D effects in the backdrop created beautiful patterns of paisleys and vines of flowers at every strike of musical chord. Look forward to some great performances, exhibitions and more as the fest rolls on for next few months across Indian cities.

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