The greatest aspect of music is to bring people of different nationalities, languages, musical backgrounds together by finding a common ground and also learning from each other. Many musicians over the years have come up with exciting opportunities in this realm and also brought the best of multiple musical worlds for the audience. When two different forms of music blend together, an entirely new form of enthralling music comes to existence. However, there are some musicians too who believe that when human bonding happens, music automatically flows like a free river.
Alliance Francaise Hyderabad, along with Kalasethu, Keolis, Vikat Bharati and Inchorus organized a majestic concert named Queens of Melody in the right intention to bring the cultures of India and France together. But there is much more to this concert than just the collaboration between two countries. The French vocalist and Hurdy- Gurdy player Eleonore Fourniau has adapted this instrument for playing Turkish tunes and giving it a Middle Eastern feel- unlike the homeground of western music. Nandini Shankar’s violin is another biggest highlight of the show because instead of playing it like a plain instrument, she does it with great expressivity and lyrical beauty – simply called as Gaayaki style in Hindustani music. The rhythm department was ably supported by Abhishek Mishra, a young and talented tabla player who had the privilege to play for legends like Pt.Vishwamohan Bhatt earlier.
The inquisitive trio had very less time to jam and practice for the show but they bonded over coffee and food during the weekend. During the bonding, they could understand the nuances of each other’s musical backgrounds and came up with the idea of highlighting mircotones in their concert. They found common scales like Basant Mukhari, Mishra Khamaj and Bhairavi which have similar counterparts in western music. As a result, a beautiful mélange of different music forms with a common ground came into picture. So in a way, they did plan their pieces but at the same time gave utmost importance to spontaneity and relishing their renditions.
Eleonore’s supreme control over vocals and majestic playing of Hurdy- Gurdy deserves a special mention. She has got a thorough understanding of her core music form along with Indian music forms as well. After her solo performance which lasted for nearly 15-20 minutes, Nandini Shankar took over the stage to display the beauty of Hindustani Classical music. The trio then gained much momentum by performing together and bringing their worlds closer. While three of them stuck to their homeground by being loyal to their learnt music forms, they also displayed a sense of curiosity and interest towards each other’s performances. This actually brought the audience into a new level of trance and bliss. Fusion when taken in right spirit can create wonders- was proved time and again with this fantastic trio. As performers, Elonore is quite mellowed and grounded by Nandini is sprightly in her renditions. Abhishek Mishra balanced these contrasting musical personalities with his gripping rhythm and tabla riffs.
The trio is all geared up to do more musical shows in Chennai and Bangalore which are lined up ahead this month.