Songs of Kabir seeks to revive ancient oral traditions
This Diwali, documentary filmmaker, Shabnam Virmani and translator, Vipul Rikhi present Songs of Kabir, an evening that will explore folk traditions and music from across the country. The duo will be singing some of the musical and poetic treasures they have encountered during their work with the oral folk traditions of Bhakti, Sufi and Baul poetry. The singing will be accompanied by traditional, stringed folk instruments.
Virmani has been part of the Kabir Project which aims to bring to life the work of mystic poets from 15th century northern India, such as renowned names like Gulabi Nath, Jalalluddin Rumi and Amir Khusro, apart from Kabir. It all began when Virmani decided to do an artist-in-residency project at the Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology. The project boasts four documentary films and several audio CDs and poetry books. “We worked closely with folk singers from across the country and are building an archive of their music,” says singer Rikhi, who will also be performing tomorrow.
For this particular event, they have brought together folk songs from the regions of Malwa in Madhya Pradesh, Kutch in Gujarat as well as music from Rajasthan and Bengal. The themes of the tunes are evocative and speak of fundamental truths of human life. The pieces are not just restricted to Kabir but include other poets such as Gorakhnath, Dharamdas, Brahmanand, Meera and others.
The venue, Chavadi, is a culture cafe space. “Bengaluru certainly has an audience for such music.” says Priyanka Raja, partner at Chavadi, adding, “The idea was to be an alternative events space and events like this promote our idea of community.”
Tickets (Rs 300). At Chavadi, Bannerghatta Road. Details: 41107272
— Anagha M