Song of Soul(SOS) is attempting to document and record the inside story of folk and tribal music of India, a major part of which still lies undiscovered. The way the new generation of rural and tribal people is losing interest in keeping their traditional forms of music alive, the time has come to support them through serious collaborative musical exchanges, workshops and shows that can help them to earn and to look at this art form as a promising yet profitable venture, thus making an effort to save this rich variety of musical expressions from becoming extinct.
SOS is focusing on folk and tribal dance, drama, music, instruments and related matters, including the extent to which these cultures retain the rituals, beliefs and identity of their ancestors, and how modern technology has impacted their value systems and heritage. SOS is documenting the complex patterns of changes in folk and tribal song lyrics, melodies, rhythms, and accompaniment as they pass from village to village and generation to generation.
SOS is preventing extinction of folk and tribal musical instruments which are not available in the market or to the common people, by promoting and disseminating knowledge about them. SOS is making village singers and musicians understand their strengths and introduce their talents at the global level, through various projects, awareness programmes and motivational camps.
Song of Soul presented Kolkata International Music Festival from 15th to 17th November 2012. Rani Singam the most sought-after and accomplished contemporary jazz vocalist from Singapore along with pianist Kerong Chok gave a brilliant performance. Roozbeh Azar the flamenco guitarist from Iran was loved by everyone.He played with Amir Salami on the percussion and Roozbeh Zoorchang on the bass.Be-Being a young and modern ensemble from South Korea enthralled the audience mixing traditional and contemporary art in an innovative and exciting pattern. They presented Li and Sa a combination of music based on Buddhist philosophy.
From December 13 to 15, 2012 Kolkata International Music Festival was attended by more than 4000 people. The most popular and celebrity artist from Israel, Idan Raichel with his 13 member group created magic at the Rabindra Sarobar open air ground. Idan was overwhelmed with the audience response and rated this performance as his best on the India tour.More than 250 Traditional performers performed along with these celebrity artistes.David Bridie and Airlieke from 'Wantok Sing Sing' Australia has a truly endearing way of connecting with the audience.They were excited to spend some time with the Bengal drummers and thoroughly enjoyed the brief collaboration.With its pulverizing log drumming and haunting melodies from Melanesia, Papua New Guinea and Polynesia they were superb.
From 28th November to 1st December Kolkata International Music Festival in association with Live in Series presented Zoltan Orosz the world class accordionist from Hungary and Kailash Ensemble from the Netherlands.As part of our outreach programme Zoltan visited, played and interacted with school children and students of music schools.He also gave short performances at the Deshopriya Park and Madox square to promote this almost forgotten instrument.
Land acquired at Biramdih, Purulia for setting up Eco Cultural centre to promote traditional and indigenous music and dance forms moving towards extinct.The project Sing-to-Live is a space which embraces artsitic collaboration , crossing boundaries by bringing together artists across cultures and genres discovering unprecedented creative expressions.
SING to LIVE (India)
The Indian sub-continent is home to a plethora of music genres, each with its distinctive history and unique form. The prominence of classical music (the North Indian Hindusthani and the South Indian Carnatic), along with the rise of film music, has created lucrative markets for both ‘serious’ and ‘popular’ music forms in India’s urban spaces from the mid-20th century onwards. However, the place and significance of folk and tribal music from rural pockets across several regional states in contemporary Indian music has been either overlooked or underrated. Their histories are undocumented and the complex patterns of changes in song text, tunes and rhythmic accompaniment as they pass from village to village and generation to generation make historical construction extremely difficult. We are at a disadvantage in evaluating the differences in musical sound between tribal and non tribal folk music because of the lack of recordings, transcriptions and useful descriptions. The individual tunes, song texts, drum patterns and musical styles of each tribe are unique as are the steps and styles of their dances. The sound characteristics of the vast majority of tribal music have yet to be analysed and recorded examples are rare.
Contemporary composers occasionally acknowledge the influence of folk music, musicians and instruments on urban music styles; yet, the precise contribution of folk and tribal artists, musicians and composers to the booming Indian music industry continues to be ignored. Moreover, the tendency to equate contemporary Indian music with groundbreaking innovativeness and folk music with quaintness and antiquity continues to relegate rural folk musicians to the status of ‘museum items’ generating a mere curiosity value.