MUMBAI, (GNI): Students & Mentors from Meghalaya’s premier music Institute, Centre of Excellence in Indian & and Western Music, rock Mumbai
It’s not often that Mumbai gets a taste of music apart from visiting international artistes and Bollywood. Which is why it was a spellbinding evening when young students from the farthest corners of Meghalaya performed a mesmerizing mix of genres ranging from Indian Classical collaborations to Sufi to Alternative Rock. March 7, Wednesday, was a special evening at Andheri’s Hard Rock Café as immensely talented multi-ethnic tribal students from one of India’s premier music Institute, Centre of Excellence in Indian & Western Music, descended on the city shores and left the gathering enthralled.
Top names from Mumbai’s music and film industry Shaan, Amit Trivedi, Tochi Raina, directors Onir and Habib Faisal amongst others, came together for the release of the song ‘Tu Le Ja Mujhe’ from the album ‘Rahi’, featuring an extremely promising music prodigy & mentor at Centre of Excellence in Indian & Western Music – Sayed Rahi Umair. The event saw 7 original compositions, produced by Centre for Creative Excellence, Mumbai. The collaborations have been written, composed and sung by the students and mentors of the Shillong and Tura campuses of the Centre of Excellence in Indian & Western Music. The Centre’s core team was present in full strength, comprising Sucheta Bhattacharjee (Programme Director), Booma Hangsing (Lead Mentor – Guitar), Sayed Rahi Umair (Mentor – Sufi Music), Sielsang D. Marak (Mentor – Folk Music) and Shubho Shekhar Bhattacharjee (Chief Creative Mentor).
The event opened with a short address by Mr. Shubho Shekhar Bhattacharjee, Chief Creative Mentor – Centre of Excellence in Indian & Western Music, who introduced the vision with which the school was established – to give a new-age collaborative world-class training to the stupendous music talent that resides in the hills of Meghalaya. Popular singer Shaan unveiled the first song of the album to a thunderous applause. Programme Director of the school, Ms. Sucheta Bhattacharjee, then performed live with the students and mentors a traditional bandish set in raga Ahir Bhairav and rendered with western music instrumentation, played live by the mentors and students. Celebrated artist and internationally renowned painter, Subodh Poddar captured the essence of the composition live on canvas as the group was performing on stage. He continued to visualize each of the compositions presented through the evening on his canvas with his brush and colours. These paintings will later be auctioned and the proceeds will be utilized to fund the music pursuit of selected and deserving students of the school.
The Centre’s Yearbook, #TheYearThatWas, was also unveiled at the event. It chronicles the first, and very successful, year of the pioneering institution and features landmark events and words from renowned mentors who visited the school for sessions with the students through the year.
At the event Shubho Shekhar Bhattacharjee said, “In Meghalaya, music is not just a hobby but an integral part of life and upbringing. The Centre of Excellence in Indian & Western Music was established with the vision of giving wings to the young musicians there. Our approach in the entire process of mentoring has been to help them manifest their own original expressions and individual voices and not create clones of famous singers. Thanks to the unprecedented support of the Government of Meghalaya, both in money and spirit, the Centre charges no fees from the students, and selects students solely on their talent and enthusiasm. Their exposure to Indian music was restricted to contemporary Bollywood. We are glad that within just a year of our mentoring, our students have excelled enough in both Indian and Western music to have their first set of original compositions released. We promise to bring you fresh compositions every year.”
The songs released at the event offered a vibrant mix of genres. These include Bhoomi Managalam (Vedic chant rendered into a contemporary collaboration/ fusion), Tu Le Ja Mujhe (Sufi Alternative Rock), Sarmast (Sufi Alternative Rock featuring a verse in Garo language of Meghalaya), Um Shalala (Unplugged love ballad), On My Heels (Reggae), Stay (Contemporary EDM Pop) and Peer Yaar (Sufi). All these songs are completely created in-house and even recorded on-campus in the Centre’s fully equipped session rooms . The songs are available for viewing on the YouTube channel ‘Seven’ https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCM0n9eAPxaQ8YiIANL-Q7Yg
The songs would be released over a period of time, starting with Tu Le Ja Mujhe and Bhoomi Mangalam.