Performances by various artistes during Omenad Conference on 31st December, 1st January and 2nd January 2011 left a lasting impression on aficionados of Bhopal. Music lovers, scholars and enthusiasts travelled from across country to attend conference and concerts during three-day event organized by Madhukali in collaboration with Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya. Several well-wishers and music-lovers had expressed for another such event and at cities other than Bhopal.
In keeping with its philosophy to collaborate with like-minded bodies, Madhukali consented to cooperate with an upcoming cultural institution from Indore, Swar-Setu to present rare performances once again in both, Bhopal and Indore. Ethnomusicologist from Sonoma State University, Professor Laxmi Ganesh Tewari shall travel to India to perform in both cities. Madhukali, in all previous Omenad Annual Conferences had emphasized on the urgent need of safeguarding medieval and ancient Veena-s that over the past few decades have fast fallen into near obsolescence. The two forms of Veena that reached 20th century – Rudra Veena and Vichitra Veena – have almost disappeared in 21st. Generational scions alone may find motivation to master these challenging ancient instruments.
Vichitra Veena was almost in oblivion when Dr. Lalmani Misra took it up and crafted a complete style for string instruments — Misrabani. Misrabani grants the instrument a unique identity. The string is freed from following human voiceand brings out unique elements beyond vocal cords. After his death in 1979, son Gopal Shankar taught himself and perfected the art of Vichitra Veena. Ragini Trivedi moved by the silenced Veena after sad demise of brother Gopal in 1999, vowed to regain its voice and trained herself to play Vichitra Veena in Misrabani style. Baha’ud’din Mohiuddin Dagar son of famous musician Zia Mohiuddin Dagar was ingrained by his father to play Rudra Veena in dagarbani style. He represents the Dagar lineage. First generations musicians have always enriched musical traditions; the art gains stability with generational artistes. Today, when globalization is changing dreams, mores and opportunities, such artistes are needed to keep their artistic traditions vibrant and current. Dr. Laxmi Ganesh Tewari too was trained by Dr. Lalmani Misra and was first to record vocal rendering of Sameshwari – a Raga consecrated by Dr. Misra to keep the knowledge of Samic notes alive.
7th January 2012
Vichitra Veena – Dr. Ragini Trivedi (Daughter of Pt. Lalmani Misra) View Clip
Vocal Recital – Dr. Laxmi Ganesh Tewari (Santa Rosa, California)
Preetamlal Dua Sabhagrih
8th January 2012
RudraVeena – Bahauddin Dagar
Vocal Recital – Dr. Laxmi Ganesh Tewari
For further information and reports, visit http://www.facebook.com/Omenad
Rashtriya Indira Gandhi Manav Sangrahalya and Madhukali organized three day Conference on the topic, Art as Vehicle of the Intangible on December 31st 2010, January 1st and 2nd 2011. Participants from various parts of India braved the cold and were rewarded by warmth of their mutual sincerity. The nature of “intangible” was examined from several viewpoints and yet it defied concretization. While all appreciated this endeavor as a strong first step, consensus was that at least another such conclave should be organized. The Ninad concerts were both, relief and extension of discussion. Ample time was granted to revise the papers, if necessary so that IGRMS may publish a volume based on deliberations.
A full report is available on Omenad. Clips, pictures, reactions are on Facebook
India is rich in cultural heritage and is host to numerous practices that have survived for centuries. A large number of agencies are actively engaged in keeping arts and other practices vibrant. However, at all levels the threat to these practices can be felt. Further, there is a large number of those activities which have not received any patronage so far having survived on their own merit up to now. The need for identification of such practices is urgent as is the necessity of charting plans to ensure their continuity.
Madhukali plans to invite academics, bureaucrats from various cultural academies, NGOs, leaders of community practitioners and interested individuals as first level facilitators. As most of them are already associated with cultural practices, they would gain a new viewpoint regarding their activities. Understanding the concepts of Safeguarding they would give us the first list of cultural practices within their domains along with degree of danger to these practices and possible action plans. This shall bring into public domain the state of ICH practices in India.
In the two day workshop-cum-conference a part shall be devoted to explaining the concept, possible lines of action, the process of nomination and evaluation. As exercise the participants might list cultural practices and even suggest plans for action. To motivate genuine commitment and creation of network, experts from various countries shall present case studies of similar practices of their countries, which have been inscribed on Representative List of UNESCO.
Eligible persons may apply to ich at madhukali.org to ascertain their participation. All participants shall have to bring a description of at least one traditional practice with supporting text, graphic, audio or visual material and be ready to present a plan for preservation / promotion of same. To gain better understanding they may consult the kit on intangible cultural heritage, developed through the generous support of the Government of Norway. Composed of 7 brochures and fact sheets on 12 safeguarding projects, it is a basic reference and pedagogical instrument for promoting and ensuring an effective understanding of intangible cultural heritage and the 2003 Convention by governments, communities, experts, concerned UN agencies, NGOs and interested individuals. It can be downloaded from UNESCO website on ICH
International Conference: Bhopal, January 17-18 2009
by Shruti Shankar
The two day conference of Omenad was organized at Swaraj Bhawan, Bhopal. Scholars from various parts of India as also from varying disciplines had gathered to offer their expertise on musical instruments. Dr. Laxmi Ganesh Tewari, Professor of Ethnomusicology at Sonoma State University had planned his visit to South Asia specially to attend the conference… Read more