Imagine travelling India as a travelling troupe, a performing band that engages and
communicates thru music and song.
That is the ambition of Singing India.
JANUARY 13 - 28, 2024
Sue Johnson - composer, musical director and recording artist (vocalist, pianist and choral conductor) who has co-produced numerous CDs of original works with various artists and performed nationally and internationally.
SINGING INDIA with Sue Johnson approaches India through the lens of song and performance. In conjunction with local musicians, we will develop a repertoire of songs over an extended period in Rajasthan, then hit the road singing. After mystical Jaisalmer we head to the spiritual heart of Hinduism in Varanasi, one of the worlds oldest cities, then on to the vibrant Rishikesh.
We share our music as we go. We will sing in schools, with Indian musicians, in churches and sacred places. We'll sing in villages and in private homes.
Performance becomes the connective tissue into Indian community and tradition. .
This is a bold undertaking. At its heart is the understanding that Indian people respect culture, and appreciate the generous sharing of it. They appreciate 'celebration' as well, and that's what we aim to do - to celebrate the meeting of different cultures.
Director Sue Johnson will be a perfect foil for this interaction as we deliver songs from our Western tradition and learn songs from the Indian tradition. Her 'improv' and spontaneous style will blend perfectly with some of the cultural and natural landscapes into which we travel. Sue has an incredible ear, not just for the music, but for the capacity of music to bend and shape
itself into the moment.
Sue will be joined Anubrato Ghatak, a learned and accomplished multi-instrumentalist, vocalist and academic, whose knowledge of both Indian and Western musical canons will add extraordinary layers to this already fascinating endeavour.
As Sue prepares the choir to deliver her wonderful material, Anubrato will lead songs that allow us to resonate with Indian music and its devotional tradition. We will be also joined by local musicians, with interactions planned that fuse Sue’s beautiful chants and grooves with classical Indian singing.
Lastly, we bring YOU! Talented, courageous, open-hearted and with all kinds of singing and musical talents that we will utilise in concert and in our daily travel.
At the conclusion of the event friends will ask: What it was like?. If we are successful you will cast a wistful look
in the direction of India, heave a heartfelt sigh and say -
You just had to be there!
An eclectic video selection of some of the characters we meet on all our Indian programs whether they be academics, Sufi Priests, classical musicians, folk musicians, Bhopal Gypsies or Manganiyar tribespeople.
And thru them we will access Indian people who sweep the streets, row the boats up the Ganga, chai wallahs who brew the tea - the people of India who, perhaps for the first time in a travel setting, will be given a voice.