THERE will an interesting range of events including musical performances, visual arts, storytelling, debate and world food at The Art In The Park festival in Milton Keynes on July 9 and 10.
The festival at Campbell Park returns for its seventh successive year and includes a performance by the Rajasthan Heritage Brass Band, who formed in 2014 and are currently touring the UK. Eastern Eye caught up with the band’s director Farhana Neazi to find out more…
Can you tell us a bit about the band? Rajasthan is the jewel in India’s crown. The Rajasthan Heritage Brass Band is one of the living embodiments of this landscape. It’s a spectacular celebration of its vibrant and colourful lifestyle, music and dance. It’s a real heady, exciting and hypnotic reflection of this enchanting region.
What kind of music does the band play? A wide repertoire ranging from Indian traditional mu- sic from its distinctive gypsy sound to popular songs fr- om Bollywood. There is also a touch of tradition along with the improvisations of sophisticated structures of North Indian classical music.
The melodies and songs are developed with delightful stylishness. The band’s diverse repertoire includes Rajasthani folk, Bollywood hits, spiritual qawwali, bhangra beats and famous English numbers. The vividly costumed artists cover the full spectrum of the evocative and joyous music that brightens life in Rajasthan.
What has been the band’s most memorable performance to date? So far, the journey through- out the UK is beyond imagination. The band is loved and appreciated, and the artists enjoy every bit of it. However if we need to chose one, they would have to be Glasgow Mela and Camp Bestival.
Is there any one song that gets the greatest response? It is very difficult to select one as the audience love them all, but Gore Gore, Aaj Kal Tere Mere Pyar and Mamma Mia are amongst the favourites.
How much are you looking forward to performing at Art In The Park Festival? It will be our first time at the festival and we are eagerly looking forward to it. We hope the audience will be most entertained. It will be a great experience for us! Audiences can expect a performance full of entertainment with vibrant music, songs and gypsy folk dance.
What is the secret of a great performance? To understand the audience and their mood always makes the performance a real success.
What is next for the band? To perform our level best during our ongoing UK tour that ends on September 18. We will perform at events including Beyond The Borders at St Donat’s Castle near Cardiff, Llangollen Eisteddfod, Durham Brass Festival, Glasgow Mela 2016, Birmingham International Jazz and Blues Festival, Camp Bestival, Leicester Mela, Canterbury City Centre, Bestival, Cornerstone Didcot, Whitby Regatta, Samaj Centre Cardiff and Ramsbottom Festival. We will hopefully return again in summer 2017 to entertain the wonderful UK audience.
What is the best thing you love about Rajasthan? Rajasthan is the desert state of India. The land is barren and there are no colours around, so people adapt very bright colours in their livelihood. It reflects in their clothing, day-to-day life, decorations in houses etc. Music is their only source of entertainment that inspires the most.
Why should we all come to Art In the Park Festival in Milton Keynes? You should come to be entertained with the music, dance and performance by the band and get a look at the diverse culture of Rajasthan. I am sure that every- one will get the feel of the Indian flavour.
The Rajasthan Heritage Band will be performing on July 9 at The Art In The Park festival in Milton Keynes at 14:30–15:00 and 18:15–19:00. For more information about the festival, log onto www. mkiac.org.