The exhibition presents his recent paintings of various sizes which mainly deal with landscapes and rustic life
Jodhpur RIFF, India’s original and best roots music festival held at the Majestic Mehrangarh Fort, started in 2007 with the main objective of nurturing the immense talent of Rajasthani folk artists. Amid its 15th year and now 13th edition, the festival has not only succeeded in creating a large audience for Rajasthan’s rich folk scene, but has gone far beyond its original mandate by evolving into a space that promotes the sounds unique and collaborations. in roots music in general, both within the subcontinent and globally.
Made possible by its patrons, among them HH Maharaja Gajsingh II of Marwar-Jodhpur, Jodhpur RIFF is a much-needed haven for artists in Rajasthan – who through the festival have not only gained income, but also greater reach and a larger work. — and music lovers from all over India who flock every year for a truly enriching musical experience. This year, the festival brought together nearly 300 artists spread across Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Meghalaya, Wales, Mauritius, Brazil, Mexico, Iran and Ireland.
In this edition after its two-year hiatus (due to the pandemic), festival-goers arrived with a renewed appreciation for the unique community built around Jodhpur RIFF. On October 6, the festival welcomed the new generation with the healthy energy of Children’s Folk Morning. Children gathered in the beautiful surroundings of Veer Durga Das Memorial Park to witness traditional Rajasthani art forms, curated to delight and inspire curiosity in their budding minds. The program included Kathputli, Ghoomer, Kachchi Ghodi, Teraah Tali, a special performance by young up-and-coming Ustads from the Langa community, and audience favourite, Rajasthani Circus, which had the young audience gasping and cheering.
The City Concert of Jodhpur RIFF, free entry and open to all, kicked off the festival with some of Rajasthan’s most renowned folk artists, as well as a preview of the wide variety of international acts that will be performing on the main festival stage (which usually lasts four and a half hours and starts at 7:15 p.m.) in the coming days. Straight from Mauritius, young singer-songwriter Emlyn caused a stir with infectious rhythms of séga, the music of the island’s slaves, associating an immediacy with the sounds of the past, singing contemporary environmental concerns to through traditional instruments like the ravanne and kalimba. The spectacle symbolized a promise of what was to come.
Jodhpur RIFF Festival Director, Divya Bhatia said, “This year at Jodhpur RIFF, we have great artists from India as well as from Ireland, Wales, Brazil, Mauritius and many other countries, who interact and collaborate with some of the most talented musicians in Rajasthan. ; these artists, through their music, give us a window into their cultures and histories, but we are also witnessing conversations between different cultures through exciting collaborations like the ones we are having this year.
October 7 was ushered in by Jodhpur RIFF’s first ‘dawn concert’, featuring the meditative hymns of Meghwal singers against the backdrop of the rising sun on the Jodhpur skyline (which is fitting, as Jodhpur is known as ‘ the city of the sun’ and Mehrangarh the ‘fortress of the sun’). The concert took place next to the exquisite Jaswant Thada, a glorious cenotaph built in memory of Maharaja Jaswant Singh II.
October 7 also featured an “in-residence” session during the day; a performance-interaction with experts in the Khasi musical tradition of Meghalaya. Dr. Mebanlamphang Lyngdoh, accompanied by a group of Khasi musicians, engaged with the audience to introduce the fascinating musical instruments and traditions of the Khasi people.
The evening’s spectacular main stage performances began with an all-female ensemble, representing the best of Rajasthani folk. This included Sumitra Devi, Mohini Devi, Ganga-Sunder and Suraiya ji, accomplished folk singers who overcame patriarchal prejudice to carry on the legacy of their ancestors. Then there was enchanting guitar playing by Brazilian producer and instrumentalist Mauricio Caruso, bringing to India, in his very first performance in the country, folk tunes from Galicia as well as popular melodies from his homeland, along with his own compositions. original, captivating and full of energy at the same time.
Gareth Bonello, aka the Gentle Good, captivated audiences with his unique music inspired by Welsh folklore. His set also featured a highly anticipated collaboration between Bonello and Khasi and artists from Rajasthan. Starting separately, they came together in the act’s finale to create a distinct sonic world for the audience to immerse themselves in. Emlyn and her voice full of passion and soul, which some had already sampled at the City Concert, was once again a hit. The end of her set brought a nice surprise: the percussionist from Emlyn took to the tabla, because she explained that she and her co-performer had Indian ancestry.
Finally, the widely acclaimed and award-winning group ARIFA, its members hailing from Bulgaria, Turkey, Hungary, the Netherlands and Germany, closed the Mainstage with their layered and magical music, performing on the kaval (a traditional Bulgarian flute), a piano, a cello and a unique percussion ensemble with components from almost every continent in the world. Their multicultural ensemble weaved various rhythms and styles into a performance that also crossed several different moods.
The night ended with Jodhpur RIFF’s “Desert Lounge”, featuring Langa performers from Badnava telling the stories of star-crossed lovers Dholu and Maru, and the legend of hero Durgadas Rathore. It was a lively and moving storytelling, led by the legends of the Langa community, Sardar ji, Kadar ji and Askar ji Langa, accompanied by the Sindhi sarangi and alghoza.
As the night drew to a close, as festival-goers trudged through the exquisite Rao Jodha Desert Rock Park located next to Mehrangarh Fort, there was a sense of exhausted accomplishment in the air, steeped in excitement vertiginous to all that is yet to come. at Jodhpur RIFF 2022.