Monthly Archives: January 2012


Santanu Thakur, Secretary to Assam Govt, Dept of Cultural Affairs giving away the Eastern Beats Excellence in Music Award to Guru Rewben Mashangva

33 Top Artist share stage in two days of inter-cultural exchange; Eastern Beats Excellence in Music Award handed to Guru Rewben Mashangva

Curtains came down on the 1st Guwahati International Music Festival (GIMF) on December 2 and 3, 2011 amidst scintillating performances by top artists from various parts of the globe. The two day festival, which was participated by 33 top artistes from different parts of the country as also abroad, had been a resounding success, with a number of musicians, students and music lovers attending the various events.

Abhaya Subba and the Steam Injuns

Organized by the Eastern Beats Music Society of Guwahati in collaboration with the North East Zone Cultural Centre (NEZCC), Dimapur, the landmark event GIMF 2011 was supported by North Eastern Council (NEC), Shillong, the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), under the Ministry of External Affairs; Directorate of Art and Culture of the Government of Goa; Numaligarh Refinery Limited, The Telegraph, Suzuki Musical Instruments Co Ltd, Thomas Music, Artist Aloud, Earth Sync, Muzickonnect, CEC, Assam Times, Academy of Broadcasting Media School, Creoveant Productions, Assam Down Town University, Sound Box, ISNP, Eclectic Vibes, Radio 92.7 BIG Fm, Hotel Gateway Grandeur, Hotel Landmark, Saanz Mobile, Hit & and a host of music trade professionals and institutes from all over the world.

Portugese Corendiho

GIMF 2011 had been conceptualised to fill the need for a premier music festival in the country which can showcase the best of regional, national and international talents in the music field to the people of the region. Besides serving as a platform for interaction among musicians, music professionals, music lovers, music trade firms and music institutes, the festival was also organized to initiate cross-cultural dialogue among people and artistes of the region with those from others parts of the country and the world. The event was conceptualised, planned and implemented by Aiyushman Dutta.

GIM Creative Director Aiyushman Dutta

The festivities began on December 2 when Tangkhul Naga folk balladeer organized a unique music workshop-cum-lecture demonstration for music lovers and school students of Guwahati. Guru Rewben Mashangva, a wandering minstrel from the hills of Ukhrul in Manipur, has earned international acclaim for his pioneering work in preserving and promoting Tangkhul folk tunes amongst the youth. Having refashioned tribal music instruments to suit the western tonal scale, he has developed his own brand of Hao music.

Guru Rewben Mashangva

Students attending the workshop

Hundreds of students attended the seminar to see Guru Rewben display his traditional instruments and the need to preserve the old folk traditions. Talking about his interaction with the elders of his village and displaying his traditional instruments, he kept the audience spellbound. The event was inaugurated by Assam Chief Information Commissioner and chairman of the core committee of the festival Deepak Narayan Dutt.

Hrishi chowdhury-Samyami Sangeeta Chowdhury and Edwin Fernandes

A 13-member cultural troupe of Goa performed the Goanese Mando Mogi and the Portugese Coredinho, ensuring that the cultural quotient was kept running throughout. The performance of the Goanese troupe was facilitated by the Directorate of Art and Culture, Government of Goa.

The Guwahati International Music Festival was spread across three indoor pavilions, an open-air stage, an indoor auditorium and a food court dealing in ethnic food items of the region. While live music performances were held in the open-air venue, the auditoriums and pavilions were used for the lecture-demonstration sessions, film screening event, display kiosks for professionals and firms from the music trade industry.

Among the visiting music trade industry professionals, mention can be made of Abe Thomas. The Indian representative of Musicians Institute in Hollywood, he also represented Suzuki Music Instruments Co Ltd (Japan), music journalist Colin Savio Coelho, Sonia Mazumdar of Muzickonnect and Earth Sync, Deepika Bagaria of Artist Aloud, amongst others. Many musicians of the city were seen interacting with these veteran trade professionals and learning about the latest trends and developments in the global music industry.

the inauguration

The first evening, which was dedicated to classical music, was inaugurated by musicologists Somnath Bora Ojha, Dr Prassana Gogoi and Eastern Beats Music Society secretary Aiyushman Dutta. Mumbai-based vocalist Abhishruti Bezbaruah began the proceedings of the evening which was graced by virtuoso Sitarist Pt Manilal Nag. The mother-daughter duo of Minoti Khaund and Sunita Bhuyan, Tarun Kalita, Moitryee Goswami, Pawan Bordoloi were some of the other performers of the evening.

The second day began with an impromptu jamming session by UK based Rajarshi Siddhartha Chowdhury, Samyami Sangeeta Chowdhury with Guru Rewben Mashangva from Ukhrul, Edwin Fernandez from Delhi and Daniel Engti of Karbi Anglong. The brother and sister duo from UK mesmerised the audience with their performance of lokageet and borgeet. Rajarshi is a lawyer by profession and Samyami is a doctor but their passion for classical and Assamese folk songs brings them to their home State every year. Their jamming session was an interesting fusion of classical and Assamese folk with Blues and Jazz, Karbi folk music and Tangkhul folk music.

Later a number of films on music were screened at a film camp. The films that were screened included Songlines by Vasudha Joshi, Mystical Grass by Pritish Chakraborty and Puja Chakraborty and Songs of Mashangva by Oinam Doren, amongst others. Over hundred students, musicians and people from all walks of life attended the workshop and the film camp.

Minoti Khaund-Sunita Bhuyan

The evening performance of the second day began with a piano solo performance by Ronojit Chaliha. Playing some popular compositions by Bach and Neil Nongkynrih, young Ronojit aptly set the mood for the evening to come. As the crowd trickled in, the Kolkata-Guwahati-based fusion project Naad Brahma came on stage. This classical and Blues ensemble ensured that Guwahatians got a taste of some new innovations in the fiels of music.

Mayukh Hazarika performing offering tribute to Dr. Bhupen Hazarika

Kalpana Lajmi's tribute to late Dr Bhupen Hazarika

But it was UK-based harmonica specialist Brendan Power who took the honours. Playing a different set of scales on different harmonicas, he aptly demonstrated the immense possibilities of the Blues harp and at the same time, took the audience to an altogether different world during his hour-long performance.

Popular contemporary Assamese singers Mayukh Hazarika and Laili Dutta Hazarika were up next. In their 45-minute long performance, the duo gave a fitting tribute to their uncle – the greant unparalleled balladeer late Dr Bhupen Hazarika. Their performance was marked by a formal address by late Dr. Hazarika’s long time companion and filmmaker Kalpana Lajmi. During the ceremony, Secretary to Assam Government, Cultural Affairs department also formally handed over the Eastern Beats Excellence in Music award to Guru Rewben Mashangva. Also present was Eastern Beats Music Society secretary Aiyushman Dutta and joint secretary Peter Alex Todd.

Assam Bamboo Band

Nepal’s rock diva Abhaya Subba and the famed Steam Injuns followed up next, much to the delight of the hundred-member strong Gorkha community and rock lovers that had descended at Shilpgram. Though the slight drizzle threatened a premature end to the performance, the rockers lived up to the spirit and rocked all those present. Lucid Recess from Guwahati also performed on the occasion.

Child prodigy releases second album

An album of English songs ‘Friends Forever’ by child artiste Miranda Saikia was released by noted musician Ghana Kanta Deka at the Guwahati Press Club on the occasion of Childrens’ Day. Miranda’s first album in Assamese –Amak Ekhon Akash Diya was released last year on the same day.

‘Friends Forever’ has eight songs all sung by Miranda. What should be a matter of delight for music lovers of Assam is that Miranda, an eleven-year-old student of Class 6 has lent her voice and melody to the eight songs in the CD which have various themes including love for parents, music, parents, teachers, and pets. The themes reflect a child’s way of thinking and worldview. The fact that children like to do things on their own and they can enjoy the beauty of this world even when they are subjected to discipline and restricted liberty is reflected in the songs. The concept and direction of the album is by Dhrubajitt Saikia and Mizo P.Borah. The songs reflect the likes or tastes of children of her age and also have sent forth requests and messages to the young and old alike. The songs have been written by Dr. Mizo P. Borah, music direction given by Debajit Choudhury and music arrangement made by Ranjib Das, Siddharth Barua and Amitabh Barooa.

The songs rendered by this solo singer are heart rending and Miranda has dedicated this album to all her friends who inspired her to sing English songs and get some of them recorded in the form of a CD. The songs may be categorized under the genre-children/pop/singer style.

The CD release function was attended by Teelotamma Bhuyan as Guest of Honour, Social Worker, Makan Dutta Bora, Prafulla Sarma, Singers Debajit Choudhury, Aparna Dutta Choudhury, Kunjalal Roy, Prof. Dipak Deka, Krishna Deka, Jyotismita Das. and others.

The Chief Guest Ghana Kanta Deka discussed trends in music in India and Assam referring to popularity of western music gaining importance in the State. He highlighted the quality of the album by saying that it was up to the mark and projects like this should be taken up and continued. Writer Teelotamma Bhuyan highlighted the importance of “Childrens’ Day” and wished that new projects should be taken up for the welfare of children in the near future.

The function was anchored by Dr. Mizo P. Borah who while explaining the objectives of the function also mentioned how sincerity pays and requested children to be motivated towards singing folk songs and learning their mother tongues and showing interest towards learning English and other languages too.


1. English for Beginners and Trainers (Educational CD – Produced by SCERT in collaboration with SSA, Assam) -2007
2. Amak Ekhon Akash Diya (Produced by Miranda’s Creations) – 2010
3. Friends Forever (Produced by Miranda’s Creations)- 2011

1. Janane Janane Amar Bhasha(Lyrics-Mizo P.Borah,Melody: Miranda)
1. Educational CD for pre – school children
2. Album on Assamese folk songs
FUTURE PROJECTS expected to be completed by the end of 2012
1. Assamese Modern Songs
2. ENGLISH ALBUM – Children/Pop/ Singer style

International groups in Guwahati

Bae Han Sung Midam Korean Dance Troupe

Guwahatians have got some interesting times awaiting them. Two top-notch international music groups will be performing in the city shortly. This is besides the 1st Guwahati International Music Society that will be held at Shilpgram next Friday and Saturday,

About the groups, a 10 member Dance troupe ‘Bae Han Sung Midam Korean Dance Troupe’ from Korea will be performing at the International Convention Centre Auditorium of Srimanta Sankardev Kalakshetra on Tuesday.

The group has been invited by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, under Ministry of External Affairs, Govt. of India to participate in the Buddhist Art performing festival which is being organised by ICCR from November 27 to December 2. This group would perform in Puri Beach festival before coming to GUwahati on November 29 next.

The troupe perform Korean Buddhist performance like Bara (cymbal) Dance, Beopgo (Dharma drum) dance and Nabi (Butterfly) dance.

Meanwhile, Kingdom Hum – one of the top bands from Bhutan – will be performing at Shraddhanjali Kanan in the city on December 4 next. The group has also been invited by ICCR to participate in the South Asian Band festival. This performance is being organised by ICCR,Guwahati in collaboration with Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority.

Music lovers, for the last few months, have been waiting with abated breath the arrival of world’s numero uno harmonica artist and Blues harp player Brendan Power.


Power, who will be arriving to the Northeast for the first time to perform in the 1st Guwahati International Music Festival, is really upbeat about his upcoming performance. He will be accompanied by wife Laura Jowers and music trade veteran Abe Thomas – MD of Thomas Music and the representative of Music International, Hollywood and Suzuki Asia Pacific in India.

Voted ‘Harmonica player of the year 2011’, UK-based New Zealander Brendan Power is acknowledged by many as one of the most creative, skilled & versatile harmonica players around today. Equally at ease on both the earthy Blues Harp as well as the sophisticated Chromatic Harmonica, he tunes them to his own scales to create a highly original style. He has recorded fifteen solo CDs to date, in a wide variety of musical genres. He has also receives the prestigious Bernie Bray Award from SPAH.

Besides Brendan, a host of other top ranking musicians are supposed to perform in the city. The list of participating artistes includes the likes of Nepal’s finest rock diva Abhaya Subba and her famed group, The Steam Injuns, Edwin Fernandes, Pt Manilal Nag, Guru Rewben Mashangva, Sunita Bhuyan and Minoti Khaund, Tarun Kalita, Abhishruti Bezbaruah, and the like.

Arguable one of the best bands to have come out from Nepal in the history of the hill kingdom, Abhaya and the Steam Injuns — through her mellifluous voice and her band’s fantastic musical synergy – has established themselves as the top ranking band in not only Nepal, but entire South East Asia. Their high energy performances in front of packed houses in their country and also Korea, India regularly, has ensured that their fan base is on a continuous upward surge. The Gorkha community of the Northeast is eagerly awaiting the arrival and performance of this band which has redefined folk fusion and rock in Nepal.

Entry to the Guwahati International Music Festival is free. The event is being organized in collaboration with NEZCC, Dimapur and is supported by the North Eastern Council, Ministry of DONER, ICCR, Ministry of External Affairs, Government of Goa, Numaligarh Refinery Limited, CEC, Assam Down Town University, Artist Aloud, Earth Synch and others.

Published in The Sentinel on November 26, 2011

Kolkata Music Festival kicks off on quaint notes

The 2011 edition of the Kolkata International Music Festival kicked off at the Rabindranath Tagore centre on November 18. Organized by Song of Soul in association with the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, the first phase of this year’s festival is dedicated to world music while the second phase is devoted to folk and tribal music. The next phase will be organized from December 15 to 25.

As part of the first phase which kicked off today, Songs of Soul have provided the people of Kolkata with the opportunity to interact with three diverse group of musicians who have travelled the world gathering knowledge which they now want to share.

World’s leading saxophone player Rain Sultanov spoke on Ajerbaijani music – Mugham – in the first workshop which was held at the Calcutta School of Music yesterday. Boi Akih from Netherlands and Robin Sukhadia will be conducting their workshops at Weavers studio tomorrow.

post-Boi Akih-EN-A5

Boi Akih has Monica Akihari on vocals, Neils Brouwer on guitar and Sandip Bhattacharya on the table and the three of them have developed a distinct repertoire of their ensemble. The combination of European, Indian, Indonesian, African, Sundan and Bali coulours give the band an unique sound and colour in the current musical mileu.

The second phase of KIMF this year will feature more than 700 artists from India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Russia and Thailand. The festival, to be organized over a span of ten days, will include exhibitions, lectures, panel discussions, film shows, workshops and exclusive food stalls, revealing the incredible cultural richness and diversity of folk and tribal music. “It is different from every other music festival because it focuses on these neglected forms, which we take for granted. That attitude must change now so as to give the folk and tribal music the respect it deserves,” says Kaushik Datta, artistic director of the festival.

File photo of KIMF 2010

Published in The Sentinel on November 19, 2011

Northeast’s first students short film festival

Northeast’s first students short film festival

In order to encourage filmmaking from early stages among students, Creovaent Productions today announces its new initiative ‘LETZ SHOOT – shoot your own entertainment’ – a student short film competition. A first of its kind film competition dedicated entirely to the students from North-East India, ‘LETZ SHOOT – shoot your own entertainment’ was conceived with the noble objective of encouraging the students to understand filmmaking, its techniques and to take it as a career, said Pritish Chakraborty, founder of the competition.

The competition, scheduled for January 28, 2012, is being organized by Creovaent Productions with the support of the Department of Mass Communication & Journalism of Guwahati University and SHAMIANA – popular short film club from Mumbai. Creovaent Productions will be glad to see other brands and educational institutions joining hands and come forward to support the student competition.

“The main motive to introduce the competition of short films for students is to give them exposure to the latest trend of filmmaking from the very beginning. The competition will also encourage students to showcase their creative talent and most importantly any students from any stream can participate. We will also encourage students to start with zero budget filmmaking by shooting the short films with their mobile phones”, said Prithish Chakraborty.

The submission of short films has already begun. Students can download the entry forms with the rules & regulations details from the competition website – and also the entry forms will be disseminated to all the important colleges, universities and institutes across North-East India. The entry form can be downloaded for free and also the competition is restricted to only students from North-East India.

The winning short film in the competition will get the Wild Card entry for the North-East Competition section at prestigious 2nd Guwahati International Short Film Festival schedule to happen on 1st week of May, 2012 and also the short film will be absorbed by SHAMIANA for national screening. Apart from that the winner will get Certificate, Cash Honorium and an Award.

The deadline for submitting the entries is January 15, 2012. The list of final 20 short films selected by jury panel for the main competition will be announced on January 21st, 2012, Saturday. The finale of the first edition of ‘LETZ SHOOT’ will comprises with daylong activities on January 28, 2012 at the Guwahati University Campus which will see a perfect blend of special screening of award winning short films from across the world (Courtesy SHAMIANA), main competition and interactive sessions with the eminent jury panel.

Goa wakes up to Northeast strains

With Goa celebrating 50 years of liberation, Octave 2011 was held at Ravindra Bhavan, Margao, Goa from 10th 13th November 2011, jointly organized by Ministry of Culture- Government of India, Govt. of Goa, WZCC and NEZCC.

Blues band Soulmate and Experimental Naga rock band Abiogenesis performed on the closing night on 13th November for 45 minutes from 8.30 pm onwards with their brand of Howeymusic from their 3 albums: Aeon Spell, Rustic Relish & Slice of Heaven. They also performed their latest single ‘Return of The Son’ to be released in December by Artist Aloud, Mumbai.

Meanwhile, former Governor of Nagaland and the present Governor of Maharashtra and Goa K
Sankaranarayanan on November 16 hosted a cultural programme and dinner in honour of Consuls General of various countries based in Mumbai at Raj Bhavan, Mumbai.Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, members of his cabinet, consuls general and honorary consuls of more than 60 countries were in attendance.

Abiogenesis performed their brand of Howey on this occasion. Howey is a fusion of Naga folk tunes with various streams of modern music. The music presented by Band Leader Moa Subong and his troupe received thunderous applause from the distinguished audience. The band members played a new wind musical instrument made of bamboo called Bamhum.

Mumbai’s tribute to late Bhupen Hazarika

Bombay Gymkhana, the elite club and cultural centre of South Mumbai paid a special tribute to Dr. Bhupen Hazarika during their quarterly music concert this week.

bombay gym violin tribute

The big gathering observed silence for his departed soul and paid a tribute to his genius. Music Secretary of the club Dr. Atul Garud mentioned in his tribute that “Bhupen da” was not just a singer and composer but was a powerful writer, poet, lyricist, social activist.. all rolled into one , a rare combination of a musical genius.

Mumbai based Assamese violinist Sunita Bhuyan gave a classical violin and vocal recital accompanying her mother and guru Minoti Khaund, eminent violinist of Assam. Minoti expressed that she felt blessed to give our humble tribute to our beloved Bhupenda at the Bombay Gymkhana this evening! Sunita said, “Mother and I took the audience through a journey of Bhupenda’ s magical melodies and the stories behind each masterpiece, Samay dheere chalo,Ddil hum hum kare, the iconic Biyaar nixha, Manuhe manuhor baabe and finally Ganga beheti ho kyon /bistrinno parore.

The audience’s reaction was, “How can each and every song of one composer and singer be so varied and so eloquent in celebrating the myriad colours of life!” They were overwhelmed by the mastery of Dr. Bhupen Hazarika over melody, rhythm and lyrics….a legend who lives on through his music and passion…

Top honors for Assamese filmmakers at Nagaland Music Awards

After being the first music video from the Northeast to be featured in the International Music Channel VH1, Creovaent Productions has added another feather to its cap when its debut music video ‘Painted Dreams’ bagged the top honors at the Nagaland Government-supported Nagaland Music Awards which concluded recently.


The music video ‘Painted Dreams’ which is composed by Alobo Naga & The Band and Produced, Conceptualized & Directed by Prithish & Puja Chakraborty of Creovaent Productions got ‘Best Rock Song Of The Year’, ‘Best Producer of The Year’ and ‘Best Sound Engineer of the Year’.

“We are really very happy and proud to get the top honors for our music video. Thanks to everyone who loved and voted for us at Nagaland Music Awards. It encourages us to send our music video to other festivals across world,” said Ms. Puja Chakraborty, Filmmaker & Co-Director of the music video ‘Painted Dreams’.

The music video was made as a theme song of 1st Guwahati International Short Film Festival (GISFF) by Creovaent Productions which concluded on May 2nd & 3rd, 2011 at Assam State Museum Auditorium this year.

“It feels great to get recognition for your maiden effort and now our video will travel in other festivals internationally that have music video category. This award goes to all who were involved in making of the video. We have worked hard and now it’s paying off”, said Mr. Prithish Chakraborty, Filmmaker, Co-Director of ‘Painted Dreams’ & Founder, Guwahati International Short Film Festival.

Creovaent Productions in the coming days is planning to release its first documentary and other productions.