British Indian composer and Sarod player, Soumik Datta will curate a day-long festival as a part of the Horniman Museum and Gardens’ Indian Summer season. Called ‘Indian Summer Baaja’, this free-for-all event will bring together an array of UK-based musicians, storytellers and dancers, whose contemporary practices are deep-rooted in the musical traditions of South Asia and will be held on July 23.
Focused on the sights and sounds of India and South Asia and their influence on contemporary culture in the UK, it will be a series of events and exhibitions from July 9 to September 3 and celebrate 70 years of India and UK cultural ties. Several second generation South Asian artistes like world music composer Shammi Pithia, Tabla Maestro Gurdain Singh Rayatt, Violinist Preetha Narayanan and British-Bengali Band Khiyo will be performing.
Soumik’s artistic trademark are his collaborative projects with the likes of Beyonce, Jay-Z, Bill Bailey, Manu Delago, Akram Khan, Nitin Sawhney, Anoushka Shankar, Bernhard Schimpelsberger and Joss Stone to name a few.
Talking about his inspiration behind the festival, Soumik says, “I wanted to recreate the atmosphere of vibrant Indian festivals complete with nomad bands and folk musicians playing on street corners and city gardens. I also wanted to celebrate ancient South Asian instruments such as the sarod, veena, bansuri and kanjira that are now being played by young, dynamic second generation maestros in the UK with an urgency that keeps this music relevant and alive.”