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Koraput: Nandanik organizes dialogue on voice and music in theatre

25/05/2020 at 8:50 PM

Koraput, May 25: Dr Anjana Puri and Subhadeep Guha, both theatre musicians of repute and two generations went to a great depth in discoursing the use of voice and music in theatre in the fifth episode of the COVID-19 Theatre Webinar Series ORGANIZED BY Nandanik, a theatre group based in Koraput.

Puri, a trained classical musician, researcher, academic, singer and music director and recipient of the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award started her discussion from the ambience sound like call of the vendors, birds, ambulance sounds and said that one has to basically walk into the tune and the rhythmic structure within single tune enables you to do many things. She narrated her experiences in Gwalior tradition, studies in ethno musicology , field works in the different linguistic areas and how geographical differences lead to difference in sounds, the difference in speaking voice and singing voice. She also described the use of body parts in creating sounds and laid out her methodology of music and sound in theatre as a community and layered soundscape. She demonstrated tappas and other kinds of theatre experiments by singing from plays like Kahan Kabir directed by acclaimed director Banshi Kaul.

Subhadip Guha, who recently bagged the coveted Ustad Bismillah Khan Award of the Sangeet Natak Akademi for theatre music explained his schooling coming from listening to the music of Suman Chattopadhyay, Pete Sigar, Bella Fonte and Beethoven.

He was drawn into theatre as he learnt from applications of music directors like Kurt Wheel who worked with Bertolt Brecht in Three Penny Opera. In theatre music he tries to design chaos by fighting with sound, noise, music  and silence. He draws inspiration from the folk music forms like Baul, Shamans, Bhatiali, Poter Gaan, Jhumur, Darbesh, Hobbol, Krishna Yatra to create an aural environment.

He mentioned Savitri Heisnam Ima of Manipur who taught him to listen to birds and rivers and Jerzy Grotowsky’s Negativa in this context. He expressed desires to combine south American native flute with dotara of Bengal and experiment with street music like Acapela.

He sang a song from Shakuntala directed by Malayalam director Chandra Dasan.

The session was attended by participants from all over India including eminent theatre directors like Probir Guha, Banshi Kaul and Subodh Patnaik to name a few.

An interactive session followed where questions were asked by Himanshu Satapathy, Monideepa Gupta, Saumendra Swain, Arpita Barman and Raj. The session was moderated by Sourav Gupta, director of Nandanik.

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