By Pallavi Nagesha
braḥmapraṇava sandhānaṁ nādō jyotirmayaḥ śivaḥ| (Ṇādbindu Upaniṣat)
(When we rejoice in the sounds of nature, music becomes salvation)
When was the last time you heard nature sing? The trees, the stars, and the blue hills ache with meaning. Melodies waft through the air to fill the hills and dales. Taoist philosophers emphasized the importance of listening to nature, with the ability to hear and listen with your soul.
To connect with the music of nature is to maintain a relentless grasp on the human spirit. For eons, cultures across the world have harnessed the sounds of nature as a source of inspiration. The harmonies around us, if we deign to listen, have the capacity to expand our universe and grant infinite wisdom. From the stories retold through civilizations it is evident that the human instinct to sing is equal to our predisposition for speaking.
Whether it is seafaring tribes listening to the sounds of the oceans and the whales or the forest dwellers listening to the whispering of trees and trumpeting of elephants, nature has fascinated and captured our imagination in innumerable ways. We are inspired to imitate that sound, that nāda and create beauty and sense.
If you listen with care, what do you think the world around you is saying? Isn’t creation hurt and beaten? That plea for help is as loud as the silence we hear.
In an attempt to bring to the forefront, the urgency of helping nature heal, LearnQuest, in partnership with First Edition Arts, Mumbai, brings you Blue Planet. An homage to our home, Earth, see blue from space. Eminent musicians across the Indian classical genre and classical dancers unite in this unique and carefully curated offering of music and dance amidst the very nature that helped us heal and now stands still and hurt.
This series hopes to highlight the connections between the living ecology of the planet and the ecology of the classical arts. Blue Planet is filmed in beautiful locales including forests, groves and around water bodies in across India. The concerned minds of environmental campaigners like Amche Mollem in Goa, young artists, environmentalists and anxious citizens crystalized the idea using art to heal the world. This series is designed to unearth the stark realities, be it the grittiness of urban life of the dwindling resources of the wild.
At LearnQuest, our ideal is to connect everyone to the roots of music, the nāda biṅdu. By partnering with First Edition Arts, we are following our calling of returning Indian Classical music to its origin, the inspired nāda.
This series features Hindustani and Carnatic music, vocal, instrumental and jugalbandis as well as classical dance. Beginning January 29, 2022, will release two concerts biweekly through May 31, 2022. Our maiden offering is a Carnatic vocal concert by with Malladi Brothers and a Hindustani vocal concert by Venkatesh Kumar.
Other episodes showcase a who’s-who of Indian Performing Arts, Uday Bhawalkar, Ramakrishnan Murthy, Shubhada Paradkar, Budhaditya Mukherjee, . T.M. Krishna, Dr. Ashwini Bhide Deshpande, Abhishek Borkar with Ramana Balachandran on Carnatic Veena, Mohi Baha’ud-din Dagar playing Rudraveena, Dr. Pantula Rama, Waseem Ahmed Khan, K.S. Vishnudev, Abhishek Raghuram, Ulhas Kashalkar, Debashish Bhattacharya, and P. Unnikrishnan. We also have a jugalbandi with Aishwarya Vidhya Raghunath and Brindha Manickavasaka. Rithvik Raja and Shweta Prachande and the duo Vignesh Ishwar with Christopher Gurusamy present a unique blend of Carnatic Vocal and Bharatanatyam.
The artists have selected poems in English, Tamil, Bangla, Kannada, Hindi, Sanskrit, Telugu and Marathi. “They cover nature and other topics common to all humankind.” Further, the Amche Mollem visual artistes are creating a unique, original hand painted poster for each concert. At the conclusion of the series, the posters will be auctioned and the proceeds given to the visual artistes.
Through LearnQuest, you can get the entire series at a discounted Price of $100. You can also choose just the Carnatic or Hindustani package for $65. For more details about pricing, visit the LearnQuest ticketing site at https://tickets.learnquest.org/.
Join our campaign to shine light on the intimate connection of nature and music. Let us heal our souls through nature and heal nature through our music. Poet Laureate Rabindranath Tagore says “The world speaks to me in colors, my soul answers in music.”
It is an online event. To buy ticket, please click on the link: https://tickets.learnquest.org/.