My Journey with SAMYO

Jane shooting Samyo in rehearsal

Throughout 2012, Jane from First Take journeyed around the country with SAMYO to record their 10th anniversary year. Here she tells us about her experience of working with SAMYO and the inspiration she drew from the experience… 

As a filmmaker from First Take I came to SAMYO with a video camera plus bags ofenthusiasm and excitement.  My job was to document the history of SAMYO for the 10 year anniversary of the orchestra, but what happened was something much more poignant and life affirming.

Bit by bit I learned more about Samyo through the gaze of my lens and the music and words filtering into my headphones.

I was welcomed into the SAMYO family as I filmed the auditions, rehearsals and shows.  I witnessed the passion, talent and dedication of the Guru’s and young musicians. I’ve been back stage before performances, with all the excitement and nerves (mine and theirs), at the summer retreat learning from some of the best Musicians and Gurus in the world, and of course in front of stage to witness it all coming together for an audience.

I discovered new instruments and about the different musical styles of Carnatic and Hindustani. I was surprised at how much improvisation was involved and amazed at how the young musicians could remember such complex compositions. Most of all I was inspired by the approach, how the music is seen as something for mind, body and soul.

So what have I learnt?  

  • That music can transform people, places and cultures.
  • That without music our lives would be empty.
  • It takes us to new places and we meet new people through music.

And what about SAMYO in particular? 

  • SAMYO is the future for classical Indian music in the UK and without SAMYOthere would be no such future.
  • SAMYO is also the past and its narrative music is the history, and the cultural heritage of India kept alive and infused with new talent from the UK.
  • It is innovative, beautiful and incredibly precious.

Look out for the SAMYO Documentary due to be premiered at their 10th Anniversary concert on 16 March 2013 at Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre.

For now, here’s the SAMYO10 concert promo, filmed by Jane.

For more information about First Take, visit their website http://www.first-take.org/

If you have an experience of SAMYO or a story you’d like to share please contact lisa@milapfest.com

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