Monthly Archives: January 2011

Lucid Recess wins TFA award

There seems to be no stopping this band from the Northeast. Still riding on the success of their second album, Guwahati-based alternative metal band Lucid Recess won the prestigious Toto Awards for Music (TFA) in the beginning of this month. Having been among the final shortlisted bands last year, the boys from Guwahati made the final cut this year and walked home with the prize money of Rs. 50,000.

The jury for the awards comprised of Amit Saigal, founder of Rock Street Journal (RSJ), Siddhartha Menon (Events and Promotion Head, RSJ) and Amyt Datta (veteran guitarist of bands like Skinny Alley and Pink Noise). Unanimous in selecting the winner, the jury said, “This is a progressive band that achieves an unfailingly high professional standard. They get full marks for the passion that comes through in their music.”

Formed in 2004, Lucid Recess comprises of brothers Amitabh Barooa (Vocals and Bass), Siddharth Barooa (Guitars and Backing Vocals) and Partha Boro (Drums). They have released two albums – Carved in 2007 and Engraved Invitation in 2010 and have played shows in some of the major cities in India – Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkata, Gurgaon etc. One of the most original and creative bands of the country, they have also played in The Great Indian Rock festival in 2008 and 2010. The TFA award is a major achievement for the band as they have become the first group from the region to be bestowed with the honour.

The Toto Funds the Arts (TFA) is a non-profit trust set up in 2004 in memory of Angirus ‘Toto’ Vellani, who was intensely passionate about music, literature and film. The TFA awards are given each year in three different categories – Music, Creative Writings (English and Kannada) and Photography. The TFA award for music recognized exceptionally talented bands and musicians, spanning all genres and languages, with the only condition being they are below 30 years of age.

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Experimental music concert in Guwahati

Rock music lovers of Assam had a bit of variety at their disposal this month. The reason being a unique experimental music concert that took place at Shilpgram in January. Organized as part of the fifth anniversary celebrations of the cultural amphitheatre, the event saw performances by Lokageet artistes from Tripura, Phuningding and Abiogenesis. Omar Kamut Collective, another experimental outfit from Arunachal Pradesh, had to unfortunately back out at the last moment.

Talking about the musical evening, NEZCC director Som Kamei said that the concert was an attempt to reach out to the youth and to give a new platform to musicians. He said, “Music is always evolving. With such a rich storehouse of music traditions and forms, we cannot afford to get stuck. These kind of concerts help give a platform to all those artistes who are trying to promote our folk music and traditions.”

With the mercury levels plummeting to an all-time low in the city, there were apprehensions about the turn-out. But the ethnic food court and huge bonfires that were set up all over the venue turned out to be a huge draw and many people were seen sampling the best of music with generous helpings of food and wine. So if you are into events and wondering about just how to get the crowds in, a combination of Northeast Indian music and cuisine may just work out for you!

Confluence of Cultures in Shilp Utsav 2011

Mega cultural extravaganza for Shilpgram’s fifth anniversary

Guwahati is all set to witness one of the greatest confluences of cultures that make up the rich and diverse Indian fabric. The 5th edition of Shilp Utsav 2011 has been scheduled has been scheduled in Shilpgram for the next five days. With more than 200 folk artistes from across the country sharing performances space with regional performers and the best of folk and fusion music, besides loads of sumptuous ethnic delicacies to tickle your taste buds, Shilp Utsav 2011 truly promises to be a stellar ride!

Shilp Utsav is celebrated every year in the Shilpgram premises to mark the foundation day of this premier cultural amphitheatre of the region. Besides folk and fusion dance and music performances, a major highlight of this year’s 5-day cultural extravaganza would be the handloom and handicraft mela. The mela will see artisans from all over the country setting up stalls to market their indigenous craft items.

All the Zonal Cultural Centres of the Ministry of Culture will be participating in this year’s carnival, transforming the city into one of the best platforms for inter-cultural exchange. The folk dance performances for Shilp Utsav 2011 includes Orissa’s Sambalpuri dance to be performed by troupe from the EZCC (East Zone Cultural Centre troupe), Uttaranchal’s Cholliya and Haryana’s Ghoomar dance to be performed by cultural troupes from NZCC (North Zone Cultural Centre), Gujarat’s Siddhi Goma dance to be performed by troupes from the WZCC (West Zone Cultural Centre) and Lavanil dance of Karnataka and Kalaripayat dance of Kerela to be performed by the SZCC (South Zone Cultural Centre). The craft stalls will see products being displayed by artisans from the Northeast as well as the different Zonal Cultural Centres of the country. A food court vending delectable ethnic cuisine will also be set up during the ethnic carnival.

Music lovers will also have reason enough to rejoice as the best of world music awaits them in Shilpgram during Shilp Utsav. After all, it’s not every day that one gets to watch performances by acclaimed experimental groups like the Omar Kamut Collective from Arunachal Pradesh, Phuningding or Phu baba – the rocker sadhu from Karbi Anglong, internationally acclaimed experimental rock band Abiogenesis and indigenous folk fusion musicians from Tripura, to name a few. All these musicians sharing space on the same stage is sure to be an experience worth remembering!

Set up under the aegis of NEZCC, under the Ministry of Culture, Government of India, Shilpgram was set up to act as a platform for showcasing the rich art and culture of the region and to provide room for cultural exchanges, besides providing marketing facilities for the indigenous craftsmen and artisans of the region. The amphitheatre was dedicated to the people by Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh on Janaury 16, 2006.

Shilpgram was visualised as a village that would serve a common platform for all the member States of the North East Zone Cultural Centre to showcase their art, crafts and folk traditions, and also to provide a permanent meeting space for the craftsmen of the region where they can share, display and embellish their techniques through workshops, classes and seminars.

NEZCC Shilpgram has 45 exhibition-cum-sale counters, 8 pavilion blocks and 4 traditional food stalls, besides artiste dormitories, canteens, multi-purpose open air stage and an auditorium. The exhibition-cum-sale stalls are meant to act as permanent sale and display counters of artefacts created by artisans of the member States. The pavilion blocks, which offer facilities for crafting of products, are leased out to artistes, weavers and craftsmen of respective States.

Shilp Utsav is celebrated as the annual foundation day of Shilpgram. Shilp Utsav 2011 will be the fifth foundation day celebration for Shilpgram.

Ulup’s art exhibition in Delhi

Gallerie Ruki in Delhi was recently the pride host of an exhibition of paintings by noted Assamese artist Debananda Ulup. The exhibition was inaugurated by eminent art critic and poet Padmashree Keshab Malik on January 6, 2011 and the same continued till January 12 last.

NRL quiz reaches its grand finale on January 19

The internet encyclopaedia ‘Wikipedia’ has an interesting observation about the Quizzing scene in India. It says “(Quizzing in India) is quite popular, and has developed its own, unique flavour. Quizzing in India is different from American and British quizzing in that it is diverse, with different genres catering to different geographical regions, age groups, interests, etc.” Is it interesting? In India the quiz interests changes from place, it is this elements that keeps the scene really interesting.

After States like West Bengal, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, one of the hottest zones for quizzing in the country is Assam – a State which has given stiff competition to all the other regions vying to win the crown of hosting the best quizzing talents of the country. The spirit of quizzing continues to live on with the organisers with quizzes not only remaining a feature of college or university festivals in this region.

But to take the quizzing scene to all new high, Numaligarh Refinery Limited (NRL) is now taking the mammoth task to popularise the spirit of quizzing in Assam through its CSR initiative. The NRL quiz is being organized in eight zones covering all the districts of the State. Twenty-four teams from the zones will now compete in the finals to be held at Pragjyoti ITA Centre for Arts on January 19. Besides other attractive perks, the winner will receive a prize money of Rupees Five lakh – the highest ever for an inter-institutional quizzing event in the country.

NRL Corporate Communications Manager Madhuchanda Adhikari said, “The idea underlining the inception of NRL Quiz is not only a CSR activity but also to promote knowledge, the habits of reading, among the youth and to provide a platform for the quizzers. The quiz has prizes not only for the participants but for all those who come and perform in the event. It is an effort to merge fun with knowledge.”

NRL was established in 1993 as the outcome of the Assam Accord. While the primary function of NRL is to utilize the abundant hydrocarbon resources of the State, the socio-economic welfare of the region is imbedded as an integral part of its corporate philosophy and organizational culture. Adhikari further said, “The company sees education as one of the primary focus areas of the NRL’s CSR policy for the long term development of the State. With programmes like Gyandeep, Prerona and Dronacharya Awards, we have been working at the grassroots level but we now want to extend our ambit throughout the entire State with the NRL quiz.”

“The idea of amalgamating corporate social responsibility and education by NRL is indeed laudable. The Company will definitely make a difference by focusing on the long term development of the State,” said Barry O’Brien, one of the best stage presenters in the country, who is conducting the grand finale of the NRL Quiz.

So be there in ITA this Wednesday where the best of quizzing awaits you!

Tiwa community finally on theatrical map

Towards the latter part of last year, the cultural milieu of the Tiwa community of Assam received a shot in the arm with the staging of Ma Posmoda, the first play in Tiwa language. Ma Posmoda is significant from several aspects, primarily because of its emphasis on projecting the social and cultural heritage of the Tiwa community. The director, to further his objective, has used many as three traditional folk dance forms of the Tiwas, besides other folk traditions, in the play.

Developed around a story by Lasty Mithi, the play has been scripted, conceived and directed by Samiran Deka. The translation has been carried out by Merilin Madar and Dany Amsong. The play was staged during the Lankhan Puja festival of the Tiwas.

Recognized as a Scheduled Tribe within the State of Assam, the members of the Tiwa community reside along the Assam-Meghalaya border in Northeast India. They are divided into two sub-groups. The Tiwas were earlier referred to in ancient literature and colonial texts as the Lalungs. Though different opinions exist as to the migration of the Tiwas to their present day habitat, the Asomiya buranji recounts the important role played by the Gobha Roja in facilitating trade between the hills and the plains. The historic role of the Gobha Roja and the Tiwas as mediators between the plains and hills in Central Assam is enacted every year during the age-old Jonbeel mela – the only market in the world where barter is still the mode of economic deals!

Based on the ever-popular and simple “hurt-revenge” theme of plays that never seems to fail, the storyline of Ma Posmoda is weaved around the socio-cultural history of the Tiwa community. A group of young Tiwa boys, while taking shelter in a shamadi (youth shelter) and discussing their own activities, encounter an old man who is much loved by them. The old man narrates to them an old story that had been passed down the generations.

In his narrative, the old man talks about the love story of Mahasingh and Lokumuthi, both of whom loved each other a lot but who had to sacrifice their personal happiness in front of their duties towards their motherland. While both of them were preparing for their marriage engagement in the traditional way, the Maan (soldiers from Brahma) attached the village. Mahasingh urges the rest of the villagers to put up a brave resistance but unfortunately, all of them meet their end in the battlefield and the Tiwas succumb to the might of the Maan. Filled with loss at her lovers demise and also to save her motherland, Lokumuthi vows revenge against the Maan. Armed with bamboo sticks and after applying mustard seeds all over her body, she goes out to the battlefield and defeats the enemy.

Talking about this historical venture, the director Samiran Deka says, “Theatre is an area which remains largely unexplored in the Tiwa realm. We have woven this story around the socio-cultural heritage of the community. Besides various folk art forms, we have used three primary folk dance forms, Lankhan Mishowa, Yangli Mishwa and Panthai Salowan.

Now this is what I call a fresh beginning, really.

A BRIEF TAKE ON LIVE MUSIC SCENARIO OF NORTHEAST INDIA


Live performances are held literally throughout the year in the Northeast, though the density of prevalence is more during the winter months. While the venues of live performances were earlier limited to a few specific areas in the region, the major cities like Guwahati and Shillong, it has now spread across the region with more and more smaller towns trying to host live performances at regular intervals. But while Shillong is currently witnessing a downwards trend, Guwahati has emerged as a major destination for live music performances. The main centres for live music performances in the Northeast are Assam, Meghalaya and Nagaland (State-wise break-up given).

Besides the occasional music concert, traditional festivals where music is invariably a part have become major revenue-generating occasions. Nagaland has the annual Hornbill festival and the much-hyped Hornbill national rock competition, Meghalaya has the Autumn festival, Manipur has the Sangai festival, while a number of festivals are held in Assam also.

While a lot of new venues has come up for live events in all these States, clubs still continue to be the major hub of live music performances in the Northeast, especially Assam. The major clubs spread across major cities and towns of Assam play host to a number of prolific musicians and artistes at frequent intervals. Specific festive occasions like Diwali, etc continue to be major revenue-generating occasions for these clubs, while the year-end celebrations are huge affairs. In Guwahati, the major clubs are India Club, Guwahati Gymkhana, Guwahati club, Guwhati Town Club, Guwahati Raquets and Billiards, etc.

Seasoned event organizer, musician and founder of Springboard Surprises Keith Wallang feels that the live music scene has really not picked up in the Northeast. “There is nothing special about the live music scene here in Northeast India. A lot of people are trying to change things but it’s not yielding any results. Till now, we have not been able to develop a circuit for even our local musicians to play.”

The States of Northeast Indian have an abundant pool of talented and creative musicians though the respective governments do not have any clear cut policy for music till now. Given the abundant talent, it is surprising that no steps have been taken by the governments of the respective States to develop this pool of musicians and give it the shape of an industry. As Keith says, “The situation is really bad because we might have just tried to take the pool of talent and creativity that the Northeast has for granted.”

    ASSAM

The main centre for live performances in Assam is Guwahati, whiles shows are also held occasionally in a few small towns like Nagaon and Diphu.

Gateway to the Northeast and the biggest city of the region, Guwahati – the capital of Assam – is presently the hub with most live performances being organized here. The scene is doing much better than earlier with the emergence of a lot of new event managers and the coming of a host of new corporate houses ready to sponsor such initiatives.

Main challenges: Lack of venues in the city and lack of sponsors for big events.

Changing audience tastes: While live performances in the earlier days in Assam were limited to Bihu songs and performances of popular music, performances by Hindustani classical, Indi-pop and Bollywood musicians have also become popular in recent times. There is an audience for matured music in Guwahati though that again is very small and most often than not, these events go unnoticed. Though there is a huge audience of rock lovers, this particular genre has not been exploited to its fullest here.

Venues: The lack of proper venues in Guwahati is a major problem in the organization of open air live concerts. While the existing venues are indeed being used, more facilities need to be extended by the administration towards the hosting of live performances.

The most popular Assam Engineering Institute playground has now been closed by the administration citing security problems. The other venues are Shilpgram, Indira Gandhi stadium at Sarusajai, College of Veterinary Science ground (Khanapara), which are located a bit on the external arteries of the city. Rabindra Bhavan and Pragjyoti ITA Centre for Performing Arts are the two other centres for live performances.

The government’s role on live performances is questionable as security measures often prove to be a major hurdle for organizers. This apart, the State government has no clear cut policy for live performances.

    NAGALAND

At present, the State of Nagaland is one of the most vibrant among the Northeastern States as far as live performances are concerned. A lot of concerts are being held here on a regular basis with a lot of support from the government. The main centre for live performances in Nagaland is Dimapur although the capital city of Kohima hosts the much hyped annual Hornbill National Rock contest – which is a big draw for rock musicians from all over the country.

Live music scene

Nagaland is a State that has witnessed the oldest insurgency movement – the Naga separatist movement – of the country. With all the factions of the underground outfit at loggerheads with each other, the situation had not been exactly conducive for hosting events. But over the last four-five years, the ground situation here has stabilised to a huge extent and a lot of events are now taking place here.

The State has a highly vibrant live music culture with gigs and performances being held in the place on an almost regular basis. In many ways, there also make up for the lack of big scale music events. There are many restaurants and cafes in the two main cities of Dimapur and Kohima that are dedicated to live music performances. Some of the prominent music cafes of Dimapur are Jumping Bean Cafe, Cafe Destination, Cafe Hiyo, etc, while Dream Cafe is a popular music destination in Kohima. As such, music has been a high source of revenue for the local entrepreneurs of the State. The setting up of the North East Zone Cultural Centre (NEZCC) of the Ministry of Culture in Dimapur has also helped this State. A lot of events take place at the behest of this funding agency.

Such a vibrant culture has helped a lot of experimentation and innovation, which has led to maturity in the tastes of the audience. The vibrancy of this State’s music culture can be gauged from the fact that Dimapur witnessed the highest ever audience turn-put for a rock concert in this part of the world when a 35,000 + audience (moderate estimate) stormed into the Mr. Big Reunion Concert last year.

The main challenges facing the music scenario here is improvement of the law and order situation and more corporate and financial support. This is because despite the vibrancy, it is still difficult for musicians and event organizers here, and in other parts of the Northeast, to survive on the basis of live music performances alone.

DDSC stadium and the NEZCC ground in Dimapur, Indira Gandhi stadium and local football ground in Kohima are the main venues for major live performances in Nagaland. The IMC Lobby and Town Hall is also another favourite venue for shows in Dimapur, while the State Academy Hall is a favourite venue in Kohima.

Music is an art form that comes naturally to the Nagas. The huge potential of the music industry in the State is something which the government wants to exploit. Accordingly, Nagaland is possibly the only Indian State which has formed a separate government department called the Music Task Force (MTF) to exploit the huge talented pool of musicians here and also to support and promote the local musicians. The Hornbill National Rock contest has, within a very short time, become a most loved festival in the country and has plans to go international in the next few years. The Hornbill National rock, with a total prize money of Rs. 10,00,000 (Rs Ten lakhs) is possibly the only Indian rock show with the highest prize money for local talents.

At its current pace and if the support of the administration continues, the live music scene in Nagaland is only bound to improve in the days to come. A lot, however, depends on the law and order situation on the ground.

MEGHALAYA

    Whenever we talk about music and the Northeast, Shillong – the capital of Meghalaya – is the first thing that comes to one’s mind. Not surprising because the genesis of rock or pop music in Northeast India is regarded to have taken here itself. It is said that every kid who has born and who grew up here knows how to play the guitar! Sounds like a tall claim but not too off the mark also.

    Gigs and performances are regular occurrences here in Shillong though the frequency has indeed come down in recent times. Yet, despite performances by a few mega international artistes and sporadic rock concerts, the live music scene here is not as developed as is expected from this place. Keith Wallang, who is based in Shillong, says, “The scene here is not satisfactory at all. In fact, it has come down over the last few years. During the insurgency days, the live music scene here was really thriving but after the onset of peace, it has not really been able to pick up.” Meghalaya, like the other States of the Northeast, also witnessed a long spell of insurgency-related violence.

    Keith feels that globalisation and the inroads made by mobile and telecom companies is also another factor for the deteriorating live music scene in Shillong. “Bands here now have to compete with what television channels are offering. Many a times, the quality of shows have not been up to the mark so people are slowly losing interest in live shows.”

    It is not possible to pinpoint only one factor for the present state of live music in Shillong. One of the main reason for this is the lack of venues in the city. There are only one or two venues in Shillong which really cannot sustain the live music scene of a region. For indoor performances, Meghalaya presently has the State Central Library auditorium. For outdoor musical events, there are two venues in the form of 5th Ground, Polo ground and Laban Sports Ground. In the words of Keith, “This is a far cry from the earlier days when each and every locality had a ground for the hosting of live performances.”

    Shillong now witnesses a lot of pub events which are hosted in two local lounge bars called Tango and Cloud 9. But even these places are found lacking. As local RJ AJ, “These events are termed as being pub fests but the space of these lounges are too small for musical performances.”

    Like the other States of the Northeast, the State of Meghalaya does not have any clear-cut and definite policy for live music. Though the government has always endorsed musical events here, many feel that a lot remains to be done by the government. “It is sad but just like all the other States of the Northeast, Meghalaya does not have any policy for live music. There is so much the governments can do for the music scene. For instance, in Meghalaya, the government can help by developing the infrastructure for hosting concerts. I am sure private entrepreneurs will take care of the rest.”

Altaf Mazid’s Chitra Sutram creating waves

The film industry in Kerela recently witnessed the birth of a new prodigy in the form of Vipin Vijay, whose film Chitra Suthram mesmerised film lovers from all over the country in its debut screening. The film also went on to win the Hassankutty Award for Best Indian Debut film at the International Film Festival of Kerela Awards recently.

Instituted by filmmaker Meera Nair, the Hassankutty Award carries a cash prize of Rs. 50,000. Vipin Vijay, who directed the film, said it was quite nice to win the award and it was even nice for his work to be finally recognised by people in his own State. The film is now on its way to foreign shores to compete in international film festivals.

And if you thought that was all, you are mistaken for Chitra Sutram also bridges an amazing ‘South-NorthEast’ connection. The film is a production of Unknown Films – a Guwahati-based film production house led by eminent filmmaker Altaf Mazid, his wife Zabeen Ahmed and Guwahati-based businessman Susanta Roy.

An elated Mazid said he decided to invest his resources in Vipin after witnessing the passion and flair the director possessed. “Vipin is a private person but after conversing with him a few times, I realised his zeal and dedication towards work. I’m extremely happy and satisfied with the result today. I knew Vipin had the quality to shine in his field. I was always confident about him,” said Mazid. He further added, “He is a different kind of filmmaker who leads a very private life and loves his work so much. He has a deep understanding of his subjects. His work has to go according to his emotions.”

Talking about the IFFK Award, Vipin, who studied filmmaking at Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute (SRFTI) in Kolkata, says, “It really feels nice to get such awards. I would like to thank all the people involved with the project.”
An extremely rooted epic narrative, ‘Chithra Suthram’ (The Image Threads), where characters magically appear and disappear sketching the world of three protagonists – Hari, a system analyst and a Net hacker in his own terms known under the nick name of ‘Net Potato’, his Guru (teacher) Black magician grandfather, the evil incarnate, Kunjukuttan Nair, and the third vortex created by Ramani, (enchantress) the “invisible” lady with a scar, a vagabond, a liar, streetwalker and a performer seated mostly on a wheel chair with a web portal of her own, who seeks people to come and watch her performance.

The film has also been selected in the competition segment in the International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) in the Netherlands, which is one of the larger film festivals in Europe alongside Cannes, Venice, Berlin, and Locarno and in Göteborg International Film Festival in Sweden.

“It’s an honour to be selected in the film festivals in Rotterdam and Goteborg. I’m glad that Vipin’s work has been able to cross the border and bring laurels for the country,” said Altaf Mazid who himself won a National Award for his film ‘Boliya Pitaier Sohoki Sootal’ in 2008.

Earlier, in the year the film was screened at São Paulo International Film Festival in Brazil and in South Asian International Film Festival in New York.

Guwahati witnesses bevy of beauties at PFMI East 2011 auditions

The audition round of the Pantaloons Femina Miss India East 2010 pageant kick started here with an overwhelming response. Day 1 witnessed lot of enthusiastic participants and the best among them were further shortlisted for Day 2. But at the end, the three winners were Niharika Dholua, followed by 1st Runners-up Chandra Shruti Bhattacharya and Sunaina Kamath (2nd Runners-up).

As one of the organizers said, “It was a tough job to sift through the rough diamonds that certainly required the expertise of prestigious members from the fashion and lifestyle fraternity.” Carrying forth the mammoth task was ‘Tanushree Hazarika’. Speaking on the occasion Tanushree said “Guwahati has its own charm and has always thrown surprises. We received rave response from girls all across the city. We have assessed each girl on the pre requisite criteria and have shortlisted the well deserving candidates. I wish all the participants the very best and hope that they make India proud.”

The three shortlisted candidates, along with four other contestants, have qualified for the semi-final round to be held in Kolkata on January 16, 2011. This will be followed by a rigorous 10-day training. The finale of the Pantaloons Femina Miss India East 2011 will be held at Kolkata on February 13.

The Femina Miss India Pageant, now in its 47th year, is the oldest and the most credible beauty pageant in India and for Indians globally. The pageant has launched many a face like Sushmita Sen, Aishwarya Rai, Lara Dutta, Priyanka Chopra, Dia Mirza etc. to name a few who have carved a niche for themselves across the globe. Over the years Femina Miss India has evolved considerably with the changing face of global beauty and fashion trends. Pantaloons is the title sponsors of Femina Miss India East 2011.

To increase and encourage participation from the southern and eastern parts of the country and to truly invite participation nationally, the organizers conduct an exclusive south and east based pageant, Pantaloons Femina Miss India South & Pantaloons Femina Miss India East, which are presently in their 4th & 3rd year respectively. The winner of these regional pageants gets a direct entry into the Pantaloons Femina Miss India Main Pageant.

Arenla nominated for Jack Daniels Award

Guru Arenla Subong, lead vocalist of Abiogenesis, has been nominated for the prestigious Jack Daniel Awards in the Best Female Vocalist category. The awards will be formally announced on January 20 at Hard Rock Cafe in Mumbai.
Talking about the nomination, Abiogenesis frontman Moa Subong said, “We are really happy at Arenla’s nomination. We are a hard working band and when our goals are achieved or recognition comes our way, it gives us a sense of satisfaction and pride too. We are also pleased to let you know that our 3rd album Slice of Heaven was listed for nominations in the 53rd Grammy Awards in 3 categories.”

Slice of Heaven is Abiogenesis’s third album. The album, which has been recorded at SoulSpeak Studios, has been released through APH Records and it’s collaborating international Music Labels and marketing companies like Create Space, CD Baby, Amazon, Apple itunes, Napsters, Equal Dreams, Songstall, etc. Slice of Heaven has Arenla on vocals and bamhum, Moa on Guitar, Bamhum and Harmonca, Imli on Drums, Larry on Bass and Daniel on Lead Guitar and Jews Harp – a line-up that the band has been maintaining consistently for quite some time now.

But unlike Abiogenesis’s previous two albums, Slice of Heaven deviates from the melodic rock sound that had somewhat become the trademark sound of the outfit. Though the new album is also rock-based, a lot of experimentation can be noticed that goes on to give a new genre bending aspect to their sound.

Talking about the huge response of people from the country to their brand of Howey music, Moa said, “We want Abiogenesis’ Howey Music and Bamhum to be recognised and known worldwide. We would want to play as many a gigs as we can around the globe. There are plans for Abiogenesis to perform in USA and Canada and hopefully other European countries this year. Recording of a new album is also on the offing.”