Indian maestro to lead ‘fusion music’ concert today
CATHERINE W GICHUKI
DOHA INDIAN sitar/zitar maestro Niladri Kumar will lead a group of 10 artistes from different background and musical culture at the Global Fusion Concert to be held at the InterContinental hotel on Wednesday.
The fourth annual event is being organised by Bank Sarasin-Alpen Qatar, a subsidiary of Swiss private bank Bank Sarasin & Co Ltd, together with its investment banking associate Alpen Capital Investment Bank Qatar.
Other artistes participating in the concert come from Qatar, Switzerland, Austria, Los Angeles and Uzbekistan, and most of them are meeting for the first time.
Speaking to Qatar Tribune on Tuesday, Kumar said the one-and-a-half-hour concert will feature music with different elements. “It will blend traditional elements like the strong Indian tradition with Jazz. It will also showcase a strong folk element like the alphorn, a traditional Swiss instrument; Doyra, a percussion instrument from Uzbekistan; Oudh from Middle East, besides other elements. Then there will be a contemporary element like the tap dance, keyboards and bass to bring out a unique blend of different musical strains,” Kumar said.
“The idea is to bring together people from different cultural backgrounds in a good synthesis. It’s a fusion of different styles, genres and traditions of the world. We have a problem with conversation, though, because not everyone can speak perfect English, but we converse with the universal language of music, and everyone understands the notes. We may not understand each other’s language but through music we speak one language,” he said.
The 38- year- old artiste who began his music career at the age of six said that directing musicians who are meeting for the first time is not a challenge to him.
“I have met some of the musicians while never seen others although we are exposed to one another’s music despite not meeting ever. We have the internet, DVDs and therefore I am aware of their work and they are aware of my work. I love their work; therefore, it is easy for me to produce work with something I like,” the Indian maestro said.
As regards a concert of this kind, he said that he didn’t follow a specific formula.
“What I do is that, I try to structure it in a way that brings the best out of individual artistes. When we have a big line-up, we have time constraints; we can’t give them much time. Whatever the person can do has to do to the best of his ability trying to showcase it in the best musical way possible,” Kumar said.
Commenting on the Arab music, Kumar said, “Arab music is exquisitely exotic.
It’s brilliant. The world has not yet experienced enough of it. I love the Oudh. We have never played together with a Qatari but I love the sound of the instrument.
Kumar has high hopes of the concert. He said, “I am expecting the crowd to be inspired as we are, and if we can translate our inspiration and our enthusiasm through our music into a beautiful experience for the crowd, I will be very happy.” Among the musicians and the artistes in the line-up is Qatari singer and composer Ibrahim al Haidous who will play the Oudh. The 68-yearold al Haidous, who has performed across the world, said, “I am happy to represent Qatar in this concert. I will be glad to share Arab music with the rest of the world.”