Swarna Murthy

A harmony of cultures in Fort

By Karishma Kuenzang | Mumbai

Updated: Feb 21, 2019, 12:17 IST

Head to SoBo this weekend for an evening of hip-hop in Hindi, violin jugalbandi, the hang drum, powada and lavani

If you're in the mood to listen to some new strains of music, along with a dance perform­a­nce and poetry session, Rhythm by the Bay-BSE (bringing the streets to the stage), is where you should be this Saturday. An initiative by National Streets For Performing Arts, it is a platform that celebrates the diversity that makes Mumbai a melting pot of cultures. The line-up includes Shravasti Rahul, who will be showcasing Lavani dance, and a powada (Marathi poetry) se­ssion by Pramod Narayan Dongre.

This apart, there will be music performances — a violin jugalbandi between Susan Coelho and Swarna Murthy for instrumental and classical music lovers, and Varun Zinge on the hang drum for those curious about new instruments. There will also be a rap set by Pune-based duo KOPS for those riding the hip-hop wave in the country.


Varun Zinge

Swarna Murthy, who learnt Hindustani classical violin in Bhopal till she moved to Mu­m­bai in 2010, is excited to collaborate with western classical violinist Susan Coelho for the first time. The performance wi­ll show how different the instrument can sound in two distinct styles.

"My style is inspired by the maihar gh­arana, wherein the violin is tr­e­ated as a solo instrument un­like the usual accompaniment status the violin holds," explains Murthy. While Coelho's st­yle comprises set pieces li­ke co­mpositions by Mozart, Mu­rthy's leaves room for extempore. "I can pick a ra­ga and can play around those no­tes. So, it'll be like a question and an­swer format between the instruments," she informs, adding that the score of The Godfather is on the set list.


KOPS — (left) Nick Jety and Poet Shafy, will rap in Hindi

Then there's rap duo Nick Jety and Poet Shafy, called KOPS, who started rapping in Hindi in 2016 and will be br­inging freestyle impr­o­visation commenting on society to the stage. "Zamaana bahut kharab hai. People live only to earn money, not spread love and peace. For today's generation, love is a myth. People need to understand the importance of staying true to their roots. If you want to adopt some other culture, that's cool as long as you don't forget yo­urs," says Nikhil aka Nick Jety.

And then there's 34-year-old Varun Zinge from Mumbai, whose thirst for trying out different instruments has not quenched yet. After the guitar, drums and mouth organ, he will be experimenting with the hang drum, a percussion instrument that also allows co­mposition of melodies, thus working with sur and taal. "It has a sweet and mellow sound," says Zinge, who will be performing with Hindustani classical tabla player Swapnil Patil for the first time.

On February 23, 7 pm
At BSE International Convention Hall, PJ Towers, Dalal Street, Fort.
Log on to www.nspa.in (to register)

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