Saturday, November 18, 2006

Novel fusion

Selected artworks, world music and tabla would surely enhance the experience of reading a novel. To cherish Over the Edge: A Fusion of Literature, Music and Art, step into Maulana Abul Kalam Hall tomorrow (November 18, 2006) at 6 pm...

Gone are the days when you could just pick up your favourite novel, along with a steaming mug of coffee, and spend the entire day in the snug comfort of your home, till the coffee gets cold and you are transported to another world!

There are many of us who just can’t stop grumbling about having no time to read novels at all. There are others who somehow manage time, but the question is where are the books? There are still others who think the age of the novel is over. It’s the time of digital media.

And there are people like Zubin and Masha Mistry, who think novels are not dead yet. But yes, fusion is certainly the key.

So, what happens when literature joins hands with music and art? That’s a million-dollar question. If you are looking for answers, drop by at Maulana Abul Kalam Hall in Koregaon Park tomorrow (November 18) at 6 pm as the Grasswork Events presents Over the Edge: A Fusion of Literature, Music and Art. The event is free for all.

Based on the recently-published novel by Randhir Khare, Over The Edge, the programme is not your regular book-reading session, neither it is a dramatisation of a work of art. As the name suggests, it is a fusion of sorts where music and art comes forward to celebrate and experience a novel.

The programme is divided in two parts. First, reading of the novel by Khare himself accompanied by Pandit Mukund on the tabla. The second part is an audiovisual presentation on the novel from a reader’s perspective by Zubin and Masha Mistry.“It’s like the two sides of a coin,” explains Khare. “Both the programmes complement each other. And to tell the truth, the entire programme is the brainchild of Zubin.”Zubin, the dynamic participant of Talking Art, a campus group devoted to literature and art at Wadia College, read Khare’s novel while it was in the manuscript form, and the novel -- which he calls a dream world -- opened ‘windows of perception’ to him. Being a literature student, Zubin soon made notes of his reactions.

For him, it was an experience he wanted to share and cherish. Talking Art has been organising literary events on and off for the last two and half years within the campus. But Zubin wanted to do something that can reach a larger audience. That’s when his wife Masha, who has a taste for music and art, came along and the fusion happened. For his audiovisual experience, Zubin has selected artworks of artist Richard Fisher, which works as the centrepiece to the presentation. They are accompanied by a selection of world music. For Zubin, this combination would create that same impact as reading of the novel. But this is not all. The integral part of the show is the commentary by Zubin himself, which is interspersed with the music and visuals. “This is my way of responding to the novel,” says Zubin. “A personal reflection on a work of art.”

“The music here is neither an accompaniment, nor an accessory to the reading. Instead, it is very much part of it,” Khare reveals. “I am reading the last bit of the novel, which is a long poem. What Pt Mukund would be doing is to create the moods that the words evoke.”

But why tabla? Khare answers: “Writing and reading is a personal experience. That same way tabla is also a very personal instrument.”

Pt Mukund is an accomplished tabla player in his own right, who has performed in almost all major musical concerts in India. “But this is something I have never done before,” he says. So, how is he prepared? “There’s a bit of rehearsals, yes. But the main point is, I am responding to Khare sir’s words. Together, with words and music, we plan to create something. I can’t tell you exactly what. But there would be something for sure. Something spontaneous. That’s the beauty of Indian music.”

“This event is not for my novel,” continues Khare, “The novel is just an occasion. What we are trying to do is to bring together a group of talented people, and share their vision with the world. What we are trying to create is a work of art in itself, irrespective of the source, the novel.”

Indeed. And that too a novel art, an art that evokes all our senses, and probably beyond.

No comments:

Post a Comment