World Music Day in India

Celebrating music the French way in Kolkata


News - India & You

June 22, 2016

/ By / Kolkata

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Musical instruments from diverse cultures exhibited at Alliance Francaise du Bengale

Musical instruments from diverse cultures exhibited at Alliance Francaise du Bengale

The World Music Day is celebrated in more than 700 cities in 120 countries now. However, the first records of “Fête de la Musique” (Music Festival) go back to France in the year 1981. The idea was to encourage independent creative ideas and inculcate the essence of music in public life in France. Over the years, this affair of rejoicing the beauty of making music has stretched its boundaries and established itself in melodic alleys all over the world and especially in a vibrant way this year in Kolkata (West Bengal).

Kolkata, often referred as the cultural capital of India, witnessed the celebration of music in the most quintessential mode. The diversity of music practitioners in the city, from classical genres to rock, from rap to electronic vibes, and the overwhelming response from the crowd has turned the event into a week-long occasion now in the capital of West Bengal (Eastern India).

From hotels to pubs, from street corners to parks – the army of young soldiers carrying a guitar in place of a gun can definitely turn most morbid souls romantic. Amid the unpleasant cacophony of the city traffic, the melodies in the air emerged as a visibility and depicted its capacity to perpetuate peace in the purest of forms. Isn’t it why we make music?

Electronic music and innovation at French Alliance

Alliance Française (French Alliance) du Bengale, an Indo-French cultural centre and resource library in the heart of Kolkata, commemorated the day with an apt blend of photo exhibition, performances by some of the noted prodigies in the city and an innovative musical workshop on electronic music and innovation.

Stéphane Amalir, the Director of Alliance Française du Bengale

Stéphane Amalir, the Director of Alliance Française du Bengale

While recounting the history of this typically French event in Kolkata, Stéphane Amalir, the Director of Alliance Française du Bengale, says, “In France 21st of June is the official beginning of summer and celebrating music on the longest day of the year has been a tradition in France since 1981 which is now a global event for music connoisseurs.”

This episode was truly in sync with the French philosophy behind dedicating a day to music. The informal yet very inventive event encouraged popular as well as lesser known musicians to perform in open-to-all concerts and explored the present scene of original music in Kolkata.

“Being in Bengal for the last four years, I have observed that almost everyone is a poet or a musician in this city. We wanted to open a stage for original song writers in the city and this was the perfect occasion to do so. We know Bengal is a hub of traditional as well as contemporary music of vivid genres, however we also tried to introduce electronic music in our workshops this year as this is something we feel might broaden the musical boundaries of the music adherent city,” Amalir added.

Week long concert charts

Over the last couple of days, the city of joy is celebrating music in its own emblematic disposition. Basking musicians loitering about the city streets and performing to the public are profusely visible amidst the posters of various famous bands announcing their concerts. Amphitheatres and amusement parks are swarmed up by music lovers while every noted hotel in the city has rolled out week-long concert charts. Neither the sun nor the rain could resist the brimming enthusiasm of music lovers celebrating the World Music Day.

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