First edition of Mahindra Percussion Festival takes off

A. Sivamani performing at the Mahindra Percussion Festival in Bengaluru on Saturday.
| Photo Credit: K. MURALI KUMAR

The earthy sound of drums and percussion instruments marked the first edition of the Mahindra Percussion Festival hosted on the grounds of Jayamahal Palace Hotel, Bengaluru, on Saturday evening.

The event features a number of renowned global and Indian percussionists ranging from Ranjit Barot, artist and curator of the festival, A. Shivamani, V. Selvaganesh, Pulse Conversation, Ta Dhom Project, to the Spanish group Paquito Ensemble, Armenian-origin American musician Arto Tuncboyaciyan, Kerala’s Chemmeen Band, featuring Aattam Kalasamithi.

The six-hour-long festival filled with food, fun, and ethereal music brought forth a mixture of global and street-style percussion music that celebrated music without boundaries and transcended the margins of music genres.

An eclectic mix of Indian percussion music, rap, Konnakol, and rhythmic western beats, the venue was full of people jiving to the beats. The performances included collaborations between Shivamani and musicians such as the Pulse Conversations featuring Gino Banks, Vinayak Pol, and Jai Row Kavi, and multi-instrumentalist Arto Tuncboyaciyan. Pulse Conversation’s drum beats along with Shivamani’s unique percussion sounds melded together to produce tunes that paid homage to natural elements such as water and aether.

Viveick Rajagopalan’s Ta Dhom Project also presented one of their new songs called ‘Music without border’ which featured three rappers originating from Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra. Their song, a mix of Marathi, Tamil and Bhojpuri rap and Konnakol, highlighted the main theme of the song and truly broke the constraints of genre while being accompanied by the beats of Viveick Rajagopalan’s Mridangam.

The festival ended with energetic beats of one of Spain’s top percussionists Paquito Gonzalez with his ensemble along with guitarist Jose Quevedo aka Bolita and flamenco dancer Antonia Molina “El Choro.”

The event also featured a wall painting by the Aravani art project, which seeks to bring forward transgender discourse to public spaces

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