Paddy Fields 2018

Jugalbandi: The Classicism of Folk Fusion
Paddy Fields, Nesco Ltd’s unique folk fusion music festival, scaled new heights in its third edition.

Themed around Jugalbandi – The Classicism of Folk Fusion, the event saw fantastic collaborations between renowned classical and folk musicians. Each of the eight acts over two days mesmerized the audience with a stunning presentation of folk music from across India.

While the kids of Roysten Abel’s ‘Manganiyar Classroom’ opened the festival with a bang, Merlyn D’Souza & Viva La Goa ended it on a party high with Goan, Portugese and Konkani folk music replete with dancers in traditional, colourful costumes that had the entire audience dancing in the aisles.

In between, Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt with Anwar Khan, Ustad Shujaat Khan with Malini Awasthi, Rahul Sharma with Guzar Ganie performed music from their roots combined with fantastic improvisations. Jazz music on the santoor, classics like ‘Hamari Aatriya Pe’ played on sitar to a rock arrangement and the sawal jawab between the Mohan veena and khartal had people leaping out of their seats to applaud.

The concept of the festival was literally taken to a new high with Shantanu Moitra’s ‘Song Of The Himalayas’ a set of original music composed on his travels through the mountains. Atmospheric, enchanting and backed with his own photographs and visuals, the tunes were performed by Nepalese monk Ani Choying Drolma, classical vocalist Kaushiki Chakraborty, sitar genius Purbayan Chatterjee and flute prodigy Ashwin Srinivasan.

Paddy Fields 2018 introduced India to the fabulous, London based Deepa Nair Rasiya who did the one customary Sufi set backed by her mostly non Indian musicians. Her use of Classical gayaki to Sufi songs, made her a one person jugalbandi!!

Bringing the house down on the Saturday night was Amit Trivedi Live in a specially curated set of folk songs from across India that have influenced the Music Director’s Bollywood hits.

In fact three of this year’s acts were ‘never befores’ as Shujaat Khan had never performed before with Malini Awasthi, the Viva La Goa band was especially put together by Merlyn D’Souza for Paddy Fields and Amit had never done this set earlier.

The sound, arrangements and food were the other highlights, with people unanimously agreeing that in terms of class and comfort, this was the best Paddy Fields yet.