The 2nd Guwahati International Music Festival starts tomorrow

The 2nd Guwahati International Music Festival, which is to be held at Shilpagram in Guwahati, Assam from 23-25 November, 2012 is all embedded to make this year’s festival bigger and more louder than its first edition held in December last year, with over 200 musical artistes from across eight different nations.

Music fans from Indian metro cities like Goa, Delhi and Calcutta can be already seen flocking the city in good number today.  The three day gala event, organized by Eastern Beats Music Society is supported by National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) and Assam Tourism and in collaboration with North East Zone Cultural Centre (NEZCC), Ministry of Culture (Government of India), ITC Sangeet Research Academy, Royal Stag Cassettes and CDs, Kingsberg and NEEPCO.

Mr. Anurag Singh, Managing Director of ATDC said, “In our modern world, festival are no longer limited to an audience of a certain region. It is quite usual that people even travel long distances only to attend such music festivals. In course of their visit, they also visit a wildlife sanctuary or a place of  historical importance. It thus helps promote a new form of tourism- Music Tourism. People come to the city for music and end up touring the state.”

Well-known international musicians such as percussionists Bickram Ghosh and Greg Ellis (USA), Afghan Ghazal singer Harris Khan, progressive Bangladeshi rock musician Mac Haque, Mandolin player Snehasish Mozumder and his band SOM (New York), Sarod exponent Padmabhushan Pt Buddhadev Das Gupta (India), Jazz musician Ralf Kamphuis (Germany), Rishii Chowdhury (USA) etc are all headlining the three-day rock event. A major attraction of the inaugural ceremony will be a Symphony of 100 sitars- a 15 minute show based on the Raag Pahadi and western intruments, to be conducted by veteran Sitarist Hem Hazarika and his son Subhankar Hazarika.

Sangeet Research Academy scholars including Mallar Rakshit, Pt Gopal Mishra, Saket Sahu, Prosun Banerjee etc will also infuse their magic among the classical music lovers of thee region. The list of rock bands line-up from different parts of India include De Nitish Pires Band (Mumbai), Earth Link (Guwahati), Scavenger Project (Mizoram), Melodrama (Nagaland), Jeffery Williams Band (Delhi), UDX (Nagaland), Jupiter Island, Swadhyay, The Mangalz (Delhi) etc will be playing on the final night of the festival, that’s Sunday.

Guru Rewben Mashangva (Guitar, Left) and Edwin Fernandes (Guitar) performs during the second day of 1st Guwahati International Music Festival at Shilpgram in Guwahati on December 3, 2011. (UB Photos)

Talking about this year’s festival, EBMS secretary and creative director Aiyushman Dutta said, “There is something for everyone at the festival- from Indian Classical Music to Jazz, from Bihu to Rock, from Ghazal to Baul- you just name it and it is there! Besides, we are also organizing Rock Rules, a National Rock Competition in association with AIMT which will give lesser known musicians to share the stage with some of the greatest stalwarts of the music industry. ”

Sharing the present socio-political turmoil in the State of Assam, the festival comes at the right time as the theme for this year’s edition is peace. The event will look to provide positive vibes for the region which has been getting a bad press in the recent past due to conflicts and bandhs. As Eastern Beats Music Society’s motto goes, ‘Healing through music’ will be the aim of the event. It will aim to wean away the youth from the negative influence of violence, insurgency, and apathy and to promote a culture of peace and positivism in the region through the power of music.

Like last year, the society will hand over the Eastern Beats Excellence in Music Award to three pioneering musicians of the Northeast for their lifetime contribution in the field of music and preservation of culture. Tangkhul folk musicologist Guru Rewben Mashangva was the first recipient of the award last year.

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