The Great Indian Heritage

On Saturday 12th March, Samyo presents its next annual showcase. Produced by Milapfest, ‘The Great Indian Heritage’ celebrates elements of culture and life of the Indian subcontinent mirrored in its music. Samyo concerts feature original arrangements and compositions and the concert design follows a theme. Artistic Director Alok Nayak shares the concert and story behind the concert, and how the theme will be introduced to the audience on Saturday.

Look To This Day
by Kalidasa

Look to this day:
For it is life, the very life of life.
In its brief course
Lie all the verities and realities of your existence.
The bliss of growth,
The glory of action,
The splendour of achievement
Are but experiences of time.

For yesterday is but a dream
And tomorrow is only a vision;
And today well-lived, makes
Yesterday a dream of happiness
And every tomorrow a vision of hope.
Look well therefore to this day;

Such is the salutation to the ever-new dawn!

The indian subcontinent evokes memories and images of distinctive sights and sounds, deep & varying emotions, and of course of a rich cultural heritage. What does it mean and how do we find and celebrate it? For us, Indian heritage encompasses a way of living, a philosophy and context that gives meaning to your life; it encompasses the arts and culture, and a national or personal identity. Today, Samyo explores four elements of Indian heritage, and how they reflect in musical culture, through an exploration of design, improvisation & creativity, folk culture and identity

From the  simple gesture to the most complex architectural wonder, design and purpose can be found in every day life in the Indian subcontinent. Fate and faith may play a role in guiding us, but consider the deliberate action in our designs, exemplified through the kolum or rangoli. This beautifully drawn pattern is at the same time art work, daily meditation, and also a festival decoration,  it is a design to signify the plan or tasks that lie ahead in a day, and a connection to nature’s smallest creatures . Our deliberate patterns  weaved in music are designed through complex numerical  arrangements to tell stories of the hustle and bustle of every day life, and our connection to dance and movement.

Innovation is at the heart of the struggle for life in the Indian subcontinent, and whether we call it entrepreneurship, jugaad, or as we do in music, inspiration and creativity, they are essential to the fight for a place, purpose and a sense of uniqueness and identity. We all need to find that contribution which we can call our own. For us in music, it exists in individual improvisation, and develops over time as collaboration and composition. Life is a contrast of individual and collective endeavour, and maybe, together we can make a bigger difference to the world.

Singing is a part of every day life in the Indian subcontinent, and every event, festival, celebration has song and music to reflect it. People celebrate with traditional song and dance, which become so much part of every day life, they become absorbed into musical heritage, belonging to noone, but belonging to everyone. so we join the people of Rajasthan, Bihar and the tradition of dance to reflect the everyday, and use music to guide us.

Though our languages, appearance, food & behaviour might be drastically different, we can find something to share or appreciate everywhere in the world, and in every music we listen to. We are united by faith, and though we may use names like Krishna, Allah or Jesus, we are one. Let us take the best in each other, and while maintaining our own characteristics, look for unity in our diversity.  We pay tribute to the musics of the world, to the universal symbol of Krishna, to india’s lifeblood, the Ganga and to a timeless messages from Rabindranath Tagore. Tread the difficult path alone, as individuals, and together we can make a difference.

The Samyo Annual showcase takes place at 7.30pm on Saturday 12th March. For further information and tickets, visit the event page.

Samyo is the National Youth Orchestra for Indian Music, and the only orchestra of its kind in the world. Its thematic performances are unique in Indian classical music, and it provides training and development opportunities for the most talented young musicians in the country. For further information, auditions and to learn more of the Samyo story, visit the mini site here.


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