Aneesh Pradhan and Sneha Khanwalkar to curate unique sound experiences at Serendipity Arts Festival
India’s first multi-disciplinary arts event, the Serendipity Arts Festival 2018 takes Goa by storm
from the 15-22 December 2018, with over 90 dynamic projects highlighting India’s rich traditions of music, dance and theatre, alongside culinary arts, craft, and visual arts exhibitions.
The music programme at the upcoming edition, curated by Aneesh Pradhan, one of India’s leading tabla players and Sneha Khanwalkar, a leading Bollywood music director, will explore the range of traditions in India, as well as the sources of their inspiration alongside offering visitors a unique sound experience that showcases the cross-currents between sound, visuals, space and technology. The music programming will platform local Goan musicians,
International artists, and also folk and traditional practitioners, providing the audience an opportunity to experience musicals both Western and Bollywood, along with retro, jazz, and electro funk music.
Highlights of this year’s music projects include Sounds in my Head, an immersive, surreal and transformative sound experience; Revolutions Per Minute: Early Hindustani Music Recordings performed by Goan Musicians; The Bartender, featuring classic Bollywood songs revamped with a contemporary touch; Bandish Antaakshari, a performance-based game, portraying compositions from the Hindustani art music tradition using Antaakshari; Songs of Nature, a performance by Qawwals, Bauls of Bengal, and the Langa and Manganiar musician communities of Rajasthan and River Raga, a special project curated by classical singer Shubha Mudgal.
Other performances include Boombay Djembe Folas will feature an energetic group of drummers who play traditional rhythms from West Africa, featuring Anand Bhagat (djembe, balafon), Tejas Parekh (dununs, sangbang), Prathamesh Kandalkar (djembe), Tre Munroe (kenkeni) and Neil Gomes (guitar, violin). And finally, Raja Kumari, the LA-based singer and Grammy nominated songwriter who has collaborated with Gwen Stefani, Iggy Azalea and Fifth Dimension will play a mix of rap, hip-hop and Asian samples.
International music franchise, Coke Studio will be back with its signature mix of fusion music including The Clinton Cerejo band featuring Clinton Cerejo, along with accomplished vocalists Bianca Gomes and Sudeep Jaipurwale together with some of the country’s finest live musicians.
Serendipity Soundscapes, an initiative by Serendipity Arts Festival will bring together the unique sounds of the subcontinent in an extraordinary evening. Aneesh Pradhan will present, Maverick Playlist, an unfettered musical exchange - drawing on diverse musical ideas, techniques, styles and songwriting both from India and from other parts of the world, and Anti Musicals will offer classic musicals remixed as never before, curated by Sneha Khanwalkar.
The Festival will also be organising concerts in the park by a variety of musicians and bands, with genres ranging from jazz to fusion, pop to retro, and blues to funk.
About this year’s edition and participation of artists from across the country Ms. Smriti Rajgarhia, Director, Serendipity Arts Festival said: “One of our key objectives at the Serendipity Arts Festival is to unite the country through the arts. We want to ensure that we represent and showcase rural and folk art forms from all regions and thus offer diverse opportunities for arts engagement, across demographics and communities. The festival truly celebrates our rich artistic heritage, and we hope that this will foster cultural growth and energise contemporary practice not just in Goa but across the country. We’re delighted to present this year's festival with 1300 artists from across the country.”
The primary initiative of the Serendipity Arts Foundation a non-profit organisation with a vision of energising arts production, awareness and practice across South Asia, the Serendipity Arts Festival is now in its third edition. In previous years, the event has energised Goa’s cultural milieu, attracting more than 400,000 visitors, with dynamic projects that have included internationally acclaimed performances highlighting India’s rich traditions of music, dance and theatre, alongside culinary arts, craft, and visual arts exhibitions.
This year the Festival will take place across 10 venues in Goa and involve over 1300 artists, transforming Panaji into a vibrant cultural space with multiple exhibitions, performances and immersive arts experiences.
Serendipity Arts Festival is the only arts event in India which unites the creative disciplines, committed to creating tangible change across the country’s cultural spectrum by engaging the public and increasing awareness of how art can impact society. It also aims to foster the development of thriving artistic communities across India by making the arts inclusive, educational and accessible.
Projects at the Festival will be further activated by diverse collateral programming including panel discussions, children’s programmes, and workshops for the differently abled. These initiatives are an integral part of the Foundation’s key mission of making the arts accessible, and developing arts audiences both in numbers and diversity.
2018 Festival curators:
Photography: Rahaab Allana and Ravi Agarwal | Visual Arts: Ranjit Hoskote and Subodh Gupta |
Rahul Akerkar and Odette Mascarenhas | Dance: Leela Samson and Ranjana Dave | Theatre: Atul Kumar and Arundhati Nag | Music: Aneesh Pradhan and Sneha Khanwalkar | Craft: Annapurna Garimella and Rashmi Varma
The 90 projects this year will be accompanied by a series of Special Projects including St+art curated by Hanif Qureishi, Out of Turn curated by Asia Art Archive and Meenakshi Thirukode and a Film Programme by Sabeena Gadihoke.
One of India’s leading tabla players, Aneesh Pradhan is a disciple of the illustrious tabla maestro Nikhil
Ghosh from whom he inherited a rich and varied repertoire of traditional tabla solo compositions from the Delhi, Ajrada, Lucknow, Farrukhabad and Punjab gharanas. Greatly appreciated by both the cognoscenti and the lay listener as a soloist and accompanist, Aneesh Pradhan is the recipient of several awards such as the Aditya Birla Kala Kiran Award (2000), the Natyadarpan Award for ‘Best Background Score’(1998) for music direction to the Marathi play ‘Tumbara’ directed by Sunil Shanbag, the Vasantotsav Award (2012) instituted in memory of the eminent vocalist Dr. Vasantrao Deshpande, and the Saath Sangat Kalakar Award (2013) instituted in memory of G.L.Samant by the Gandharva Mahavidyalaya, Pune.
Apart from his work with art music, Aneesh Pradhan is also a frequent participant in cross-cultural musical collaborations both in the capacity of performer and composer. He is keen to push the envelope in experimenting with sound and music through his composition for film, television, theatre and dance projects. Aneesh Pradhan has been awarded the Indian Council for Cultural Relations Chair in Indian Studies at the Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music, Monash University. He has been a keen researcher of trends in performance, music education and patronage that unfolded in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, a period that continues to fascinate him for its direct relation to and reason for the musical situation he finds himself in. Aneesh is the Director of Underscore Records Pvt. Ltd, an independent online record label that he established with vocalist Shubha Mudgal. He also co-curates with Shubha Mudgal, an international music festival called Baajaa Gaajaa: Music from 21st Century India.
Sneha Khanwalkar has played a significant role in changing perceptions of Hindi film music by digitally mixing disparate noises, sounds of local instruments and voices to produce a track. Unlike most music directors, who are happy sitting in their studios, she is someone who thrives when composing music outside the studio. Born and brought up in Indore, Khanwalkar was taught music as a child, as her mother’s family belonged to the Gwalior gharana of Hindustani classical music. Sneha conceptualised and hosted the MTV mini-series, Sound Trippin, travelling the length of India and collecting local ambient sounds and recording with every day and local musicians, and creating a final piece of music.
With projects like Gangs of Wasseypur, Khoobsurat, Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye!, Love Sex aur Dhoka in her repertoire, Khanwalkar brings with her a mix of eccentric as well as upbeat music. Sneha won Filmfare’s R.D Burman Award for the best music director for Love Sex aur Dhoka in 2011 and was nominated in Best Music Director category at the 58th Filmfare Awards for Gangs of Wasseypur Part 1 & Part 2. Most recently, Sneha has composed the music for the internationally acclaimed film, Manto.