Acoustic Music Centre
20th & 21st August
Sound: Atmosphere: Performance:
Situated in the West side of Edinburgh, the Acoustic Music Centre played host to Melody of Love & Shadows presented to the Edinburgh Fringe for the first time by Saudha, Society of Poetry and Indian Music. This was their first trip north to the Edinburgh Fringe and they were extremely eager to allow us into their cosmic world of traditional Indian Folk music. With words, poetry, musical instruments and voice this was certain to be a pilgrimage through the myriad landscapes of microcosmic India. Within this extravaganza of musicians we were nobly presented with Chandra Chakraborty (vocals), Kamalbir Nandra (violin), Chiranjit Mukherjee (Tabla) and Erik Schelander ( Traubadour). Together they trapped us within a world of wonderful classical Indian music.
Taken straight from the heart of the subcontinent and presented with such beauty, this was soon becoming a relaxed & hypnotic moment in time. Classical folk music possesses a timeless energy, allowing us to connect with our ancestors through music that is traditionally handed down to each generation. Blending story-telling with a concoction of well-known Indian instruments, they brought to life a magical but subtle sound moulded by their native lands’ diverse and musical influences. Close your eyes, relax, drift away and take a spiritual journey through the natural beauty that is India. With a voice that transcends anything I have heard before, one becomes intoxicated with what you are hearing and witnessing.Like floating on a cloud you feel weightless, trapped in a bubble of delightful images.
The bringing together of poetry, verse, music, and story telling is an art in itself. Allowing this timeless show to captivate you embalms the spirit with a sense of peace and placement in life. Tranquility is a major part of this moving and beautiful show… like being cleansed in holy water, we are submerged by a feeling of contentment. But it is not all about the music – visually, Sauda capture the essence of cultural India, with eye-catching traditional dress and gentle body movements, creating a magical piece of Indian culture. If a nature’s history and cultural identity has to be preserved, then there is no better way than to share it with the world… and Melody of Love and Shadows plan to do exactly that.
Reviewed by Raymond Speedie