What The Folk?



Every corner of India reverberates with unique music, sounds and accents that are specific to the local community and their cultural practices. The range of musical phenomenon in India is astounding – from lucid folk songs of various native tribes to complex structure of classical music, from potpourri of filmy music to new-age fusion experiments. Currently, India is standing on the brink of a musical revolution where musicians, composers and producers are experimenting with all kinds of musical genres to create their own unique sound.  With growing optimism and enthusiastic acceptance from the people, live music scene in India is also on the verge of a breakthrough.

An Intellectual Property that has been a brainchild and very close to my heart, RED LIVE has been an on-ground vertical to establish and redefine a common ground for music, whether experimental or otherwise. Based on years of insight, we have seen that our listeners yearn to get a holistic exposure to the excellence of Indian music in live setting. Kolkata, a perfect blend of culture, heritage and music is the most apt place to start The Yellow Taxi Music Project. Kolkata is synonymous with yellow taxis, and what better way to occupy a distinctive space in the contemporary musical revolution to personify the culture of the city, than to have a concoction of the yellow taxi and music.

The Yellow Taxi Music Project carries the essence of Bengal where robust multiculturalism goes hand in hand with quintessential cosmopolitanism. People in Bengal breathe and live music- from Tagore’s poetical lyrics to Nazrul’s liberating tunes, from devotional Shayama sangeet to contemporary band culture. Somehow all strands of music have found their inspiration from Baul, which is indigenous to Bengal’s folk music tradition. Lalon Fakir, the mystic baul saint had spread the message of social reformation and communal harmony thorough his incomparable philosophical songs, that inspired even Rabindranath Tagore.  This rustic sound of folk tunes can be found among every community in India.  Our initiative is all set to bring them on one stage where we will witness a flow of different features of homegrown music which seamlessly unite with contemporary popular music.

We all know how Indian music has influenced world’s most renowned musicians – Beatles collaborated with Ravi Shankar, Bob Dylan and Purna Das Baul performed together over 20 concerts.In fact, sitar has been used widely in jazz by Miles Davis Tony Scott, Alice Coltrane etc. Legendary composer Claude Debussy’s composition has imprints of Hazrat Inayat Khan’s sufi music. Such is the power of Indian heritage! Presently, Bollywood composers Shantanu Moitra, Anupam Roy, Pritam are constantly making new music heavily influenced from baul. Our aim is to bring alive that spirit of musical union. We are excited that Kolkatans will be treated to a host of live indigenous music – Sufi, baul, Rajasthani tribal folk, folk fusion and contemporary folk, on one stage.

For the love of every beautiful thing that evoke the senses and invigorates your mind, this summer, re-connect to your roots while you soothe your soul.  The event will see a spectacular line up of indigenous artists – Arko’s Fiddler’s Green, Tirtha, Kartick Das Baul along with headlining actsfrom Nizami Bandhu and The Manganiyar Seduction.

To sum it up, I am told it might rain on that day, tell you what, it’s even better if it rains! Folk music and petrichor goes hand in hand, don’t they? What’s love without music in the rains. Here is another music festival (with a difference) to swing by – The Yellow Taxi Music Project… hoping that you would encourage us by being a part of it and more importantly enjoy it!

So join us on 26th of May at Nicco Park, Kolkata from 12 pm onward!

About the author- Nisha Narayanan is COO of Red FM.


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