artists Minna Raskinen flanked by Jukka Tolonen
(left) and Kamal Sabri of India who are to perform
at Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata
FUSION IS what
the world calls it. But "contemporary" and "world" music
is how this group of musicians like to describe it. That
they play instruments that carry the tag of being "traditional"
in a musical world that is fast moving towards the modern
area of "ready-made" popular packages is something that
does not really bother them. Striking the right notes
is, after all, what these musicians do best.
It is not often
that one gets to hear the melodies of the sarangi mingling
with the pulsating tunes of the guitar, the rhythmic beats
of drums and tabla and the captivating and soothing notes
of the kantele.
Which is what
probably makes, "Striking Notes", a presentation from
the house of the Embassy of Finland and Indian Council
for Cultural Relations different.
the Kamani Auditorium this Saturday, the musical presentation
will see some of the world's best musicians sharing the
stage. Featuring Finnish artists Minna Raskinen, Jukka
Tolonen, Markku Ounaskari and India's Kamal Sabri, Ustad
Shafaat A. Khan and Pandit Anindo Chatterjee, the extravaganza
will have both solo and synchronised compositions and
will travel to Mumbai and Kolkata later.
For Minna, Who has been playing Finland's oldest folk instrument
kantele since the age of 10 adapting to the Indian tune
was not really easy. "Although I did learn Carnatic music
for a few months, I found it difficult to adapt to the Indian
classical format. When we started working on this performance,
the biggest challenge was to find a meeting point for our
music," the singer reveals.
Tolonen, the first brush with Indian classical music was
only natural. The self-confessed Beatles fan simply followed
George Harrison's passion for India and discovered the rich
music of the country. He may not share the same enthusiasm
for Indian culture as Harrison, but when it comes to blending
the West with East, he knows it only too well.
As sarangi player
Kamal Sabri likes to put it: "We have done our best and
created the compositions with an open mind. Hopefully it
will be liked".
And as Minna adds:
"There will be always singers who will use their talent
for purely commercial gains. But not everyone is like that.
It is important for us to ensure that traditional music
does not die out with death of the old masters."