Gurgaon Utsav returns for its fifth edition, bigger and better than ever

Gurgaon Utsav returns for its fifth edition, bigger and better than ever

By PRADHUMAN SODHA | | 14 November, 2015
The Gurgaon Utsav has always been a heady blend of music and literature, with plenty to offer for every kind of fan, no matter what their tastes or preferences. This edition is no different, with a diverse and exciting line-up of artists from all walks of life: the fusion band Hari-Sukhmani, the historian William Dalrymple and the author Githa Hariharan.

The Gurgaon Utsav is returning for its 5th edition with a bang. The musical event, lasting three days from November 13 to 15, is to take place in the amphitheatre of the Biodiversity park surrounded by the wild natural beauty. The festival has myriad musical performances where Indian and foreign singers and composers will collaborate to fuse music from their native lands.

Coming all the way from the Rajasthani desert, Mame Khan’s unique voice and timbre, that has attracted audiences around the world, will hold the Gurgaon audiences enthralled on the opening night. Khan will fuse his alaaps of Manganiyar folk tradition with the passionate and moving tunes of the Spanish guitar.  

The day two of the Gurgaon Utsav will come as a surprise and treat to fans of Punjabi Folk and electronic music. The music of Hari-Sukhmani, the Punjabi band comprising of Sukhmani Malik, a trained Hindustani classical vocalist and Hari Singh, a multifaceted producer, vocalist and audio engineer, is a fine blend of their respective musical genres. The motto of this band is to leave behind cultural, religious, and racial divides. Since its start in 2009, it has been famous for bringing these diverse genres of music into a fresh and eclectic form that creates a singularly powerful and independent ambience for their listeners. Their performance style is to follow the vibe and take the cue from the crowds. “We rarely follow a set rule or a prepared track list. It works better for us to see and feel the venue and play accordingly,” explains Singh. “And as the Biodiversity Park is one of the most beautiful venues for a concert I am sure that we and our fans are going to have a great experience,” he adds.

Saving the best for the last, the final act on 15th November will showcase Sonam Kalra and her Sufi Gospel Project. “I first conceived this project when I was asked to sing Gospel music to commemorate the birth centenary of the Sufi Hazrat Inayat Khan at his Urz.” The music will blend Khusrau with Amazing Grace, Kabir will share the stage with Abide with Me and Bulleh Shah’s voice will be heard amidst English and Gaelic texts.  

The last day of this music festival will get its literary hues when two widely read authors William Dalrymple and Githa Hariharan talk about Indian history in a preview to the forthcoming Times Litfest Delhi. 

The last day of this music festival will get its literary hues when two widely read authors William Dalrymple and Githa Hariharan talk about Indian history in a preview to the forthcoming Times Litfest Delhi. Dalrymple, author of books like The Last Mughal, and The White Mugals, and a great authority over Indian history during the sunset years of the Mughals will converse with Githa Hariharan about her fictional craft that studies the evolution of relationships in today’s urban landscape. Hariharan’s The Thousand Faces of Night won the Commonwealth Writer’s Prize in 1993. 

The organisers endeavor to provide artists with a platform where they can connect with responsive audiences. Talking about the fans in the capital, Hari Singh of Hari-Sukhmani confessed to his love for them. “The audience here is a very forthcoming one, and that helps any performer. If the crowd is enthusiastic, as it usually is in New Delhi, the performers feed off that energy and the result is very positive,” says Hari. “The most charming thing about the Gurgaon Utsav is its venue, the Biodiversity Park.  The organisers bring really diverse audiences making it a memorable performance for the artists and the listener. I have enjoyed every opportunity to sing here to packed audiences,” says singer Vidya Shah who performed Women on Record and Akhtar begums’ ghazals in Gurgaon Utsav in the past. The event is organised by The Arts and Literature Foundation in partnership with the Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon in collaboration with the Department of Cultural Affairs, Haryana.

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