| 15 Apr 2024
Celebrating Sound at ‘The Radio Festival’

MUMBAI: Started with the purpose of ‘Celebrating Sound’, TRF 2020 offered a platform for an amalgamation of sounds that included the Indian classical orchestra, the sound of ghungroos and the beats of RAP and quality conversation on future of Radio. A packed hall of an engaged audience with a variety of sessions- panels, performances and dialogue, TRF 2020 lived up to the expectations of its 800 plus audience. Inaugurated by he CEO , Prasar Bharati and DG, AIR, Shri Shashi Shekhar Vempati and the Additional Secretary, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Shri Atul k Tewari, and Director Unesco Shri Eric Falt, TRF 2020 was unmissable.

The 3rd edition of The Radio Festival was celebrated, as always on World Radio Day, February 13. Bringing together on one platform, the best in the business of radio, the festival was organized in collaboration with UNESCO at the sprawling venue of the Indira Gandhi National Centre for Art. Renowned radio artists, Padma Shri Dance maestros along with industry leaders and experts participated in this all day event, which had no gate fees. The audience comprised of students, programmers, producers and radio jocks from All India Radio, heads of private commercial radio channels, radio associations and community radios, besides radio enthusiasts who had collected to listen and discuss sound through the prism of radio.

The Festival kicked off with the melodious sounds of the Indian classical instruments that were brought into play by some of the best artists. The sounds of the sitar, flute, harmonium, violin and tabla, - all came together in the melodious show ‘Vadya Vrinda’- the Indian classical orchestra of All India Radio. From the enthralling melodies of Vande Mataram to the captivating Raag Jog, and finally ending with a medley of old Bollywood film songs this orchestra mesmerized the audience and set the tone for the day-long deliberations.

For the first time TRF experimented with the concept of ‘Hear the Dance’. Conceived as a dialogue between two maestros representing two forms of Indian classical dance, Kathak and Mohiniyattam, the Padma Shri awardees Guru Shovana Narayan and Guru Bharti Shivaji shared the story of ghunghroos. The session prompted the audience to hear the dance where ghungroos were the medium to unwind the characters of the story. The panelists demonstrated the narration of the story, characters and emotions through their ghunghroos, which was displayed through performances of their accomplished students. As the audience stayed glued to their chairs, the two danseuse talked and performed and brought to center stage the importance of sound in dance. From the pure love of Radha –Krihna, to Yudhisther and his dice, the draupadi chir haran, and the sounds of the blooming of a flower the sound of ghunghroos stayed with the audience much after the discussion concluded.

Poetry is different from lyrics. It is not determined by a situation like lyrics which have to fit into a sequence. Poetry can be of half a page, a para, three pages or more. It has no boundaries. It is an expression of one’s imagination with no limitations . The session on ‘Poetry of Inspiration’ was moderated by no one other than the famous RJ Sayema from Radio Mirchi. The panel included academician Dr Rakshanda Jalil, former BBC journalist Qurban Ali, music composer and singer Rahul Ram and script and screen play writer, theatrist and actor, Atul Tiwari. It was a riveting discussion on why the best poetry is inspired by love and not hate. They recited couplets from Faiz, Shehriyar, Bismil, Kaifi, Ghalib and Rabindranath Tagore, besides many others. The panel talked about years old inspirational poetry and its relevance today. They discussed circumstances and contexts of the beautiful lines penned down by progressive writers. The session could not but end with a song sung by Rahul Ram.

The Festival concluded with a rap by Harit Boys Feat Shanu and Kumudh. Called ‘Dhara 326’, the piece centered on acid attack survivors. It had real accounts of the victims followed by a stirring musical commentary.

For a day that started with patriotic music, fun and entertainment, the sounds of flowers blooming and gardens blossoming, to inspiring and motivating poetry, the sounds of suffering and violence could not be ignored. Rapped by two young 20-year olds, this performance was an important takeaway that brought to light the reality of an abhorrent yet prevalent crime and gave voice to the anguish of the survivors. The heart-wrenching performance was lauded by the audience and recited twice on public demand.