Eastern Beats Music Society has announced the launch of its highly ambitious and a first-of-its-kind Pan-Asian music project ‘Rhythms and Aromas of Northeast India’. Under the project which is being held with the support of North Eastern Council, Shillong, the society is calling for auditions from talented artists and musicians from the 8 states of Northeast India to be a part of a unique exercise which will culminate with the 4th Guwahati International Music Festival 2020.
Eastern Beats Music Society is a prominent socio-cultural organization working for promotion of Northeast culture and establishment of new vistas with other countries, especially Asia.
The first state-level music audition for artists from Assam and Nagaland will be inaugurated in Dimapur on December 30 by ICCR Guwahati Regional Director Madhur Kankana Roy in the presence of Theja Meru, Adviser, Task Force of Music and Arts, Government of Nagaland. After Nagaland, auditions will be held in Aizawl on January 4, Shillong on January 7 and Ukhrul, Manipur on January 10, 2020.
‘Rhythms & Aromas of Northeast India’ is being held in multiple stages across the entire region where local talents will be identified, mentored, groomed and provided a stage to perform alongside celebrated artists of the region and other parts of the country. The mammoth three months long exercise also includes a unique music conference where stakeholders of the music industry will be invited to deliberate on latest musical trends as well as the business side of music.
To be held in the format of a festival promoting Northeast India through its rich and diverse music traditions, the objective of the project is to nurture and celebrate the rich musical talent and ethnic cuisines of the region, and use it as a means to foster people-to-people connectivity with ASEAN and other Asian countries. In the grand finale to be held in the last week of February, the artists will perform alongside music legends of Asia, and the best of the selected Northeast artists/ bands will also walk away with prize money of Rs 1.5 lakhs.
A brainchild of Northeast-based writer and cultural activist Aiyushman Dutta, the initiative will have multiple-pronged benefits as it will help identify and groom upcoming musical talents of the region, document the musical landscape of the region and also establish new cultural relations with our neighbouring countries and countries in Far-east Asia through music and food. “The project also seeks to look at music as an industry and focuses on the creation of a vibrant musical eco-system,” said Dutta.
Dutta added that a team of co-ordinators from all the north-eastern states have been working tirelessly to identify new progressive musical talents and groups. “Once the artists and bands are selected, they will get the unique opportunity to interact and get mentored by the veterans of the Indian music industry and learn about the latest trends in the industry. We are also inviting a few journalists and news channels from our neighbouring Asian countries to our final event. As such, this will definitely be a big platform for the artists, besides helping create positive stories in the global media about Guwahati, Assam and the Northeast as a whole,” he said.
The Guwahati International Music Festival was mooted way back in 2010 in order to provide a platform wherein musical maestros from across the globe can share stage and collaborate with our indigenous music and cultural practitioners. The society’s President Peter Todd Baruah said, “In the first three editions, the festival has helped create new vistas for cultural collaborations of our topmost Northeast folk exponents with the finest of musicians from Goa, Nepal, UK, US, Germany, China, Bangladesh, Thailand, etc. In the fourth edition, we have tried to provide a platform for the budding artists from the region to share stage with the maestros through these unique auditions.”
Organized by the Eastern Beats Music Society, the Guwahati International Music Festival involves a medley of music workshops for students, lecture-demonstrations by veteran artists and musical concerts by master performers. A number of global maestros have performed in the previous years of the festival. Among the artists who have performed in GIMF, mention can be made of Bickram Ghosh, master percussionist and Music Director of the Hollywood blockbuster ‘Matrix’ Greg Ellis (USA), Padmabhushan awardee Buddhadev Dasgupta, veteran harp player Brendan Power (United Kingdom), Nepali rock legends Abhaya Subba and Steam Injuns (Nepal), radical Baul singer and poet Mac Haque (Bangladesh), Ralf Kamphuis (Germany), Rishii Chowdhury (United Kingdom), Edwin Fernandes (Goa), Scavenger Project (Mizoram), Hornbill International Rock Competition 2019 winners UDX (Nagaland), amongst others.