FYI…I depart Wednesday and arrive to Udaipur, India on March 3 – the eve of the spring festival of Holi which coincides with the harvesting season – a major event, their “Carnival”, which falls on March 13 this year. But festivities begin before. Traditionally, India follows the lunar calendar. Officially, it does not.
On the 5th I and one of my hosts, Jyoti Pande drive to a place called Jasol. It is about 400 km from Udaipur. Jasol is a large pilgrimage centre. It is twinned with a busy industrial town called Balotra. Pande has arranged for me to hear and record devotional music in honour of the folk saint, Mallinath, who was a 14th century ruler of the place.
The musicians are not professionals. Our host here is the living descendant of Mallinath whose ancestors were kind of feudal chiefs in Jasol. Our host is a retired civil servant who worked in the Customs and Excise Departments, Government of India.
We return to Udaipur on the 7th – afternoon. From then on, the West Zone Cultural Centre Udaipur takes over and other arranged performances take place that have been secured by my other host, recording artist and sarod player Bhargav Mistry. I hope as time and the internet permits, to post ‘discoveries’, learning moments, video and pics of what promises to be an amazing adventure – one I will share with you in full upon my return.
This excursion is linked to my research on world music and the increased understanding of those who are different (the stranger) humanity’s commonalities or ‘universalisms’ in music by cultures around the globe as a means of reducing human hatred.