Art is life – SoundFrames: the artists speak

Live music festivals are slowly making a comeback. Varanasi hosted the Mahindra Kabira Festival – which celebrated the philosophy of the poet Kabir – last week and, on the other end of the spectrum, the electronic mainstay, Sunburn, will host a year-end in Goa starting on December 27. But that doesn’t mean digital festivals are coming to an end.

Sadhana Rao organized the “Art is Life: SoundFrames” concerts at the Museum of Art & Photography in Bengaluru. While she admits that some fatigue can seep in with digital events, a stable following will remain. “Virtual festivals and stages are an important milestone in the ‘creators economy’. They will definitely plant its roots and, like most stages, evolve and add new features.

Ricky kej

Ricky kej

The festival features Grammy-winning Ricky Kej, the Women of the World vocal quartet, fusion group SubraMania and producer Sandunes aka Sanaya Ardeshir. Highlights include pre-recorded performances by Kabir Café and a rare collaboration between mother-son producer-singer duo Kanishk Seth and Kavita Seth. Rajasthani artists Bhugra Khan Manganiar, Tamil rapper Mc Artslord and many others are also on the bill.

Read also | Make music at the museum

Rao says the emphasis is on compositions that have stood the test of time, contemporary interpretations of traditional music, and the inherent connection to visual art. “The artists have chosen compositions that lend themselves to and draw parallels with the visual arts. Some sessions are directly designed where the two art forms merge, ”she says.

While artists like Sandunes will also participate in a DJing panel discussion, storyteller / musician Raman Iyer is joined by artist Nithin M Menon for a touring performance. Kej, for his part, has also crafted a traveling presentation of music across geographies and genres with his piece titled “Bursts of Sound”.

Virtual call

“It was an epic virtual collaboration,” says Kej. “It was great fun recording musicians outside of the studio – capturing their natural sounds in their natural habitat and allowing the sounds of their worlds to be a part of the performance.”

Kanishk and Kavita Seth

Kanishk and Kavita Seth

Kabir Café will follow the more standard route of performance – conveying the philosophy of the holy poet Kabir through their music remains the focus. “What you can expect is a mixture of slow and fast folk-fusion,” says frontman Neeraj Arya. Rao adds that Kabir Café’s performance will be broadcast on the same day they perform at a live event in Kolkata. This shows that hybrid, digital and physical concerts will have their constant numbers of followers and stakeholders. “This ‘different’ audience [at Art is Life] Got us thinking a lot about the presentation of songs that would fit into the vast canvas of this eclectic mix of artists from different spheres of art. After consulting with the organizers, we were able to put the right touch to make a magnificent but powerful performance. “

Like most live bands, Kabir Café wanted to take the stage after missing an appearance for almost two years. But Arya says they’re also happy to leverage their digital footprint, as they prepare to release their next album. SABR fragmentarily. “We are able to reach audiences that we thought impossible due to space and time restrictions,” he concludes.

From December 3 to 5. Register to participate on

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