The third edition of the festival will focus on promoting the music industry in the North-Eastern states of the country.
The Eastern Beats Music Society was established in 2009 with the intention of bringing together musicians, writers, artistes, journalists, theatre workers, sportsmen and working professionals from various disciplines, and connecting more people who work in these fields through events. The establishment of the society led to events like the Freedom Jam, an impromptu jam that took place in Guwahati at the Commerce College point, to alleviate the fears and anxieties citizens were experiencing through the medium of live music. The crowning glory in the society’s repertoire of events though came in 2011 when they organised the first edition of the Guwahati International Music Festival.
The first edition of the Guwahati International Music Festival saw performances by Guru Rewben Mashangva, Lucid Recess, tributes to the late Bhupen Hazarika and performances by many other Indian classical and international musicians. Amongst the international bands, viewers caught the likes of Abhaya and The Steam Injuns from Nepal and British harmonica player Brendan Power, among others. The free concert, held at Shilpgram in Guwahati, was received warmly and set the stage for the second edition of the festival.
The second edition of the festival featured a more extensive lineup of acts that came together and the star performer for the event was renowned tabla player Bickram Ghosh. Apart from Ghosh, the festival also saw performances by USA-based drummer Greg Ellis, Mizoram’s Scavenger Project and many more. The second edition of the festival was also well-recieved and saw them reach a wider audience. Both editions of the festival also saw various lectures and workshops being conducted on subjects related to music and culture. The festival also saw an exploration of regional food, with special menus being curated by chefs for the occasion.
The third edition of the festival has now been announced and will take place around the end of the November, this year. The organisers have started calling for entries, asking bands or musicians who wish to perform at the showcase to send in their profiles and demos to easternbeatsmusicsociety at gmail dot com. People interested in conducting lectures or workshops can also send in their profiles with information regarding what they wish to speak about to the same address. We spoke to organiser Aiyushman Dutta to get a better idea of what the third edition of the festival will be like
We want to represent all types of genres in this edition of the festival, like we always have. Every year, we also make all the artists stay together at one place so as to facilitate a huge amount of networking which can result in the mounting of a fusion production at the end of the festival. With the third edition of the festival, our thrust will be more on the theoretical aspects of how to promote the music industry in the North-East. We are planing to get together the policy makers and performers from all the states to come and create a dialogue so we can start building a roadmap for the same purpose. We also want to explore how we can promote the industries allied to music (such as publishing, labels, management, events) and create a plan that will benefit the area in general. There is a lot of talent that needs promotion here and this year, we wish to see how we can manage that.
Entries to participate in the festival will be received until late July and a tentative list of performers will also be released by next month. Keep watching this space for more from the Guwahati International Music Festival 2013. In the mean time, check out a video of Guru Rewben Mashangva, tabla player Rishii Chowdhury and guitarist Edwin Fernandes jamming at the festival below.