Monthly Archives: September 2012

BAND WATCH: XFIVE CLAN

Entertainment unlimited!

 Now this is a band which can indeed make a difference. With their unique dressing style and funky presentation, they stand out the moment they get on stage. Although they still have a long way to go musically, this is a package of full-on entertainment, with the members feeding their audience with the best of what they got. This is X5 Clan for you.

Based out of the city, the X5 Clan focuses on all genres of music – starting from alternate rock and pop to funk and alternate punk. The band was formed by five best friends who always had their heart and soul in music. Within a very short span of time, the band has emerged as an outfit to reckon with. Combining each of their different taste in music, these young musicians have managed to evolve a new form of music which is definitely fresh and soothing to the ears. “We love our music and we love our audience. So we try to make it fun for all of us,” says Dolly Baruah – the vocalist of the band.

The band consists of five members Shekhar Baruah (vocalist and lead guitarist), Dolly Baruah (vocalist), Simanta Raj Medhi (lead guitarist), Nayan Jyoti Goswami (bass) and Subanshu Saikia (drums).

Besides just creating music, the young band also seeks to spread the social message of unity and to eliminate misunderstanding amongst the present generation. The band recently released their maiden album which is an effort towards that direction. A blend of Hindi and Assamese songs, the collection calls out for peace in the State. “Music is an universal language. So even if the songs in our album are in both Hindi and Assamese, we are sure that people will be able to relate to them,” says guitarist Shekhar Baruah. The band also simultaneously released a video song titled Hridoyr Majot, which is based on the same theme.

Since its formation, the XFIVE CLAN has performed in many regional and national-level competitions. They were also among the few selected for the popular television series India’s got Talent. “Although we could not make it to the finals, it was a really good exposure trip for us,” says Shekhar Barua, the lead vocalist of the band. They have also performed in shows like MTV Rock on, UTV Bindass – Smith and Jones music ka tadka and Yamaha Asian Beats 2011, where they were bestowed with the title of “Sharpest band of North-East”.

I am sure greater things are in store for this young energetic band.

Advertisements

Musical film on ancient Naga cannibalism selected for Moscow

A film produced in Nagaland titled ‘Lichaba’s Daughter’ will be screened at ‘The Anthropology of Labor Screening Program Film Festival to be held at Moscow from 24th September to 30th September 2012. This is the 11th International Seminar on audiovisual anthropology for scholars and practitioners and special program for screenings, photo exhibition and international colloquium devoted to the history and present condition of visual studies to be organised by ‘Days of Ethnographic Cinema’, Moscow, Russia.

Lichaba’s Daughter is a new form of film called Howey Musical where the tunes are sung in Naga folk tunes with the script in English. The film is written and directed by Arenla M. Subong who also happens to be the front lady of Abiogenesis. Her passion for films/drama/music can be traced back to her school days and during her college days won many accolades in acting and directing including the best actress award in the North East Hill University (NEHU) one Act Play competition at Shillong for her stellar leading role performance in ‘Maharani of Arakan’ representing Fazl Ali College, Mokokchung. Lichaba’s Daughter is based on an Ao-Naga Folklore which has been modified and modernized by Arenla for a more dramatic appeal. Lichaba’s Daughter is available globally at Amazon, Filmbaby, etc.

She has made the film under the banner of Abiogenesis Production and her other works include an HIV/AIDS awareness film called ‘Big Time Buddies’ made for Nagaland State AIDS Control Society and staging of two Howey Musical dramas in collaboration with North East Zone Cultural Centre titled “ Lichaba’s Daughter’ and ‘Sojourn Of The Ahom Prince In Naga Hills’ respectively.

Currently she is preparing for another Howey musical film titled  ‘World Beneath The Rainbow’ for which she has already written the script and the background music made by her band Abiogenesis and the film will be released internationally next year.

Public art for Sharmila’s cause

City-based art group The Yellow Cab recently staged a public art event to voice support for Irom Sharmila. The draconian act for which Sharmila has been fasting for the past 11 years completed 25 years on that dat. The symbolic human representation of Irom Sharmila by TYC activists was enacted near dighalipukhuri where platform was eventually staged to voice ones opinion.

TYC initiated this art campaign as a collective effort keeping in mind the views and opinions of hundreds and thousands of people involved in the peace building process of Manipur. It also sought to bring the attention of the people to the ongoing crisis in Manipur.

Talking about the initiative, TYC member Annirudha Barua said, “We have been travelling to various places meeting different people belonging to various class and sections of society- people in the market, school, colleges, offices, railway station, etc. We introduce ourselves as TYC and try to interact with them. We have been asking them about Manipur’s AFSPA act and Irom sharmila, and trying to know their views regarding this issue. It is a sharing process – we try to tell them what we know and try to learn from them about what we don’t.”

“We have been questioning them on issues like why the Centre has failed to act even after Sharmila completed 11 years of fasting? Why is that they are refusing to acknowledge the problem? Are they trying to cover the situation? These are healthy exchange of queries amongst all who are involved in the art campaign,” Baruah said.

For a month now, TYC has been collecting the views of the public in general by taking a portrait photo. The expression given in the photograph necessarily expresses the individual sentiment behind the cause. We prefer the photographs to be in black and white as it represents the past and presently it is done with five hundred to seven hundred photographs which express different views about the said subject.

Talim’s workshop on classical music

The 150th Birth Anniversary celebrations of Kabiguru Rabindranath Thakur continues throughout the country. A three-day workshop on classical instruments like Sitar, Violin was organized by pioneering classical music society, Talim, as part of the 150th birth anniversary celebrations of the legendary poet-cum-litterateur in Guwahati last week. The workshop was held at the New Guwahati Youth Club, New Guwahati, Noonmati.

The programme, which kicked off at New Guwahati Youth Club on the afternoon of July 27, 2012, was inaugurated by veteran Sitarist and Talim president Hem Hazarika. Altogether 30 practitioners of the Sitar and Violin participated in the workshop which was conducted by a host of personalities, including prolific Sitarist and ITC Sangeet Research Alumni Subhankar Hazarika.

Subhankar Hazarika

Subhankar Hazarika, who is now based in Kolkata, is a disciple of legendary Sitarist Pt Manilal Nag. He started learning the Sitar at the age of 10 in Sangeet Research Academy, Kolkata and took talim from Pandit Manilal Nag for a long time. Within a very short span of time, Subhkanar has earned appreciation from all over for his music prowess.

Some of the titles conferred on him are the Surmani Award from Sur Singer Sansad, Mumbai(2009), National Scholarship from Ministry of Culture, Govt. of India, A Grade award from Kolkata Cine Musician Association(2001), Sur Seravan Award from Sur Seravan Samaroh(2003), Scholarship from ITC, Sangeet Research Academy(2005-2009), amongst others. So far he has performed as a solo artist in various functions in Kolkata, Bhopal, Indore, Pune, Delhi, Ranchi, Jamsedpur, Asansol, North Bengal, Kalyan.

Subhankar’s innovation spills into other genres as well. His project, Naad Brahma – a fusion of Hindustani music with other genres – blues, electronic, jazz, reggae – has performed to critical acclaim all over. The band has performed in the World Music Day celebrations in Dimapur (2011), Guwahati International Music Festival 2011 organized by Eastern Beats Music Society with ICCR, NEZCC and Government of Goa, Northeast Spring Festival in Dimapur (2012), North East Music Festival (2012) in Jorhat (2012) organized by NEZCC under Ministry of Culture, and various other shows all over Assam.

Besides live performances, Subhankar is also the youngest sitarist to play in the cine industry with a record 300 numbers of films, tele films and albums. Presently he is pursuing a fellowship of the Ministry of Human Resources and Development department under the Government of India.

Subhankar conceptualised and patterned the workshops by starting from the time concept of Ragas, the essence of different Ragas, Patterns of Ragas, Mathematical implication of Talas with Ragas, Gat, Tana and up to Layas. The workshop was supervised by Hem Hazarika, who was the first person to impart Sitar training in the State.

The workshop culminated on the evening of July 29 with a function dedicated to the 150th Birth Anniversary of Rabindranath Thakur. The function started with the lighting of a lamp in front of the portrait of the Kabiguru and ended with the performance of the National Anthem in Sitar and violin by all participants.

The other events of the function were Sitar recital (Ekla Salore) by Hem, Subhankar and Swapna Hazarika, Guiter recital (Rabindra Sangit) by noted artist Sanchal De, Rabindra Sangeet-based Dance performed by Swapna Hazarika, Kalpana Bora, Rangrupa and Pratyusha, Rabindra Sangeet performed by Golok Bora, Nandini Barua, Chetana Bora, Kalpana Bora, Chandana and Anjana maral, Banani Deuri, Lopa devi, Kabita and Bandana Bardaloi, Saptarshi and Nihar Nandana De and Rabindra poem recital by Anu Barua and Nandini Barua. Earlier the Function was addressed by Dr. Mamoni Barthakur and anchored by Dr. Ananta Madhav Dutta and Golok Bora.

ICCR Northeast Music and Dance Festival held

Northeast India is known for its rich and varied forms of culture and traditions. Blessed with a number of ethnic groups and communities, the region boasts of tremendous richness in the field of arts as each and every community practices their own art forms which are indigenous to them. Northeast India is thus the very epitome of India’s much hyped ‘Unity in Diversity’ tag.

Art and culture – be it performance or aesthetic – is a mirror of social change and also the bond which unifies people. The people of the northeastern State are different in their traditions and practices but it is these art and cultural forms which bind them with one another.

In order to celebrate the diversity of northeast Indian folk traditions, the ICCR in a collaboration with the NEZCC organized a mega Northeast Music and Dance festival in the city recently. Held from July 12 – 15, a number of stellar performing artists from all over the Northeast participated in the four day festival

Inaugurating the festival, State Cultural Affairs Minister Pranati Phukan said, “A number of musicians and performing groups from different parts of the Northeast have gathered here in Guwahati for the four-day festival, which I am sure will give voice, form and expression, to a considerable extent, of the many indigenous folk arts practiced across the seven sister State. This is sure to go a long way in fostering the bond of unity and brotherhood amongst the people of the Northeast as we a get a chance to appreciate the richness and vibrancy of each other’s cultural traditions”.

The inaugural day of the festival was dominated by a Satriya dance performance and tribal folk dance performances from Nagaland. The tranquil rhythms of the Aye Kuzule (Cotton Spinning song of Nagaland) to the energetic tandab of Satriya recital was one of the many instances that provided a glimpse into the breathtaking diversity of traditions, which yet blended beautifully in the Shilpgram auditorium. The second day was devoted to Mizo folk performances and a tribute to late Dr Bhupen Hazarika by Mitali De and Rupam Talukdar.

The third day provided a glittering display into the folk dance traditions of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. Presented by the Asom Sanskritic Mancha, Assamese dancers performed Bihu, Barat, Hamzaar (Rabha folk dance), Lewa Tana (Mising Bihu), Kahi Naach, Japi Naach, Pepa Badan, Lorar Lahori Naach. Meanwhile, Adi dancers from Arunachal Pradesh presented different dances of the Adi Ponung tribe.

The last day was devoted for musical performances. Popular folk fusion band Northeast Breeze, led by Rupam Bhuyan, and funk experimentalists Bluetooth performed on the occasion.

Documentation of sole living festival of Zeliangrong Nagas

The North East Zone Cultural Centre, Dimapur released a Research Documentation titled “Gaan Ngai”  – A festival of the Zeliangrong Nagas of the North East India  written by Dr. Jenpuiru Kamei at the Auditorium of Hotel Imphal on the 15th July 2012.  The book documents the festival of Gaan Ngai, the only living festival of the Zeliangrong Community in Assam, Manipur and Nagaland with detailed field work.

Dr. R.K. Nimai, IAS, Commissioner (Art & Culture), Manipur was the Chief Guest.  He lauded the efforts of the NEZCC for commissioning such important works.  Further, Shri. Nimai requested the NEZCC team to take up documentation of traditional practices of dying and vanishing tribes of North East.  Prof. N. Joykumar Singh, Department of History, Manipur University was the president of the function. Shri. Talinokcha, Joint Director, NEZCC was the Guest of Honour.   The event was attended by a host of dignitaries including Dr. Sobita Devi, Director, Art &Culture, Manipur, Prof. Valalnghak, Director, Indira Gandhi Tribal University, Manipur, Students and elders from Zeliangrong Villages.