Where passion and fusion come together

GLOBAL FUSION is what the evening was termed as, and thus it proved to be. Held at the Jumeriah Beach Hotel's convention centre, the concert is an annual event hosted by Sarasin-Alpine bank. It was a true delight for music lovers, where conventional...

By Punam Mohandas (Staff Reporter)

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Published: Mon 12 Mar 2007, 11:13 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 12:26 AM

fusdance forms kept tempo with the drums and violin, and jazz fused with the traditional South Indian 'Tilana'. Fusion it certainly was, both in terms of the art mediums, and the artistes' nationalities. There was Trilok Gurtu from India on the drums and tablas, Carlos Cantini from Italy keeping absolutely splendid time on the violin and keyboard, Dhaffar Youssef from Tasmania on the oudh, Woody Aplanalp — originally from Korea — on the guitar, Dr. Mallika Sarabhai, noted Indian danseuse, and the Boy Wonder of hindi films today — Shankar Mahadevan.

Pure combustion results in getting such livewire performers together. Trilok and Carlo went from raga to raga, the violin effortlessly matching the tabla. Dhaffar with a wide grin, impeccably plucking at his oudh, provided able support; soaring from bass to pitch in a spinetingling solo prelude, he would do well to focus on his singing. Mallika turned in an easy, controlled performance. However, it was the lethal combination of Shankar and Trilok that brought the roof down. Most of it an improvised jugalbandi, Trilok so enjoyed Shankar's 'Breathless' that he encouraged the singer to do an encore without missing a beat, much to the latter's visible surprise, although he sportingly sang the whole twice.

Dr. L. Subramaniam, the acclaimed Indian violinist, honoured with the Padma Shri as well as Padma Bhushan, was felicitated by Sarasin-Alpine for his contribution to world music, and, in particular, helping the bank achieve its aims of bringing together diverse musicians onto one platform. The maestro gave a rivetting performance, and was ably accompanied by the versatile Gurtu in an impromptu aside.

Little vignettes from the evening... what a wicked delight there is in overhearing socialites gossip! Also, the service was superb, being Jumeirah Beach, but on the other hand, the snacks were slightly less so.

Among others who enjoyed the show were the Consul Generals of Switzerland, India, and Kenya. It is always a pleasure to bump into the warmhearted, dignified Kavita Krishnamurthy, equally talented wife of Dr. Subramaniam.

Since the theme was supposed to be fusion, what on earth was biting Mallika Sarabhai? Invited for a little spontaneous medley finale with Trilok on something that looked suspiciously like a tin can — honestly, that man can wring music out of a dishrag — Shankar yodelled along quite amiably, while the prima donna however stood hands on her hips, barely shaking a leg as it were. She then grabbed a mike and belted Trilok with something along the lines of — "you cannot create a chemical reaction just because you perform for long".

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