The Public Relations Society of India, Kolkata Chapter celebrated PRSI’s Dimond Jubilee curtain raiser through an unusual musical on at Nazrul Tirtha Amphitheatre ,New Town, today. The Vayali Folk Group from Kerela performed on this evening. It is India’s the first ever “Bamboo” band. The band featuring eight young musicians performed some foot tapping tunes on their bamboo band.
Songs like Diya Jale from Dil Se one of A.R.Rahman’s compositions followed by Tagore song like Ekla Chalo Re, Bankim Chandra’s Vandemataram and so on.PRSI felicitated ace musicians like Pt Debashish Bhattacharya, Pt Tarun Bhattacharya, Deb Sankar & Jyoti Sankar ( Violin Brothers ), Guru Sanchita Bhattacharya ( Dancer ) in this auspicious occasion.
Vayali, a group of young people from the cultural capital of Kerala, is engaged in preserving the roots. Connected together in way back 2004 for a common reason, to form a team to start learning the Traditional systems practiced in and around the banks of River Nila ( Bharatha Puzha ) and share the same to the young generation. They use indigenous percussion instruments and colorful costumes to create foot-tapping music to preserve the dying Valluvanadan tradition and culture. Valluvanad is a culturally-rich place near Thrissur, famous for folk art culture, folklore and Classical art forms like Kathakali & Mohiniyattam. As age old people say, culture nourishes in the nature. Without nature a culture can’t exist, without a culture a society cannot.
They got affiliated to Kerala Sangeetha Nadaka Academy, Kerala Folklore Academy, Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts ( IGNCA ) New Delhi, Nehru Yuva Kendra , South Zone Cultural Center ( SZCC ) Thanjavur and National Folklore Support Centre Chennai.The early days of “Vayali” were very challenging. Most of the members were from the socially backward communities and found it hard to earn a livelihood. Driven by their passion for folklore, they organised themselves .They started performing at various places thus promoting the folklore and compensated financially. “Vayali” now became a source of livelihood for the members.
They went about diligently collecting various folk songs and art forms from the local masters. They faced stiff opposition from the communities too but then they soon realised the importance of preserving the traditional knowledge. They now had the support of the communities, which really invigorated them. In November 2007 the Vayali team was blessed with a fantastic opportunity to perform at the Traditional Music and Rhythm Festival organised by the Cultural Department of Japan.
They showcased the Valluvanadan art forms at the festival. The whole experience was truly enlightening and wonderful!. They learned about the bamboo musical instruments of the Japanese and their world famous bamboo orchestra. This deeply inspired them and lead to the creation of the “Vayali Bamboo Orchestra”. They realised that theyhad to preserve the bamboo culture in India and set about researching & learning the various traditional bamboo instruments. Flute is the lead instrument of the “Vayali Bamboo Orchestra”. The other instruments in our repository are Mulam Chenda, Mulam Thudi and Mazha Mooli. Theynow have a small team which has developed an expertise in 5 bamboo instruments of the tribals in Kerala. The team has created some truly innovative instruments too!
The team entertained music buffs from Kolkata at the PRSI’s Dimond Jubilee Celebration. Soumyajit Mahapatra , Chairman, PRSI, Kolkata Chapter,says, “ It was really a very fresh attempt having Vayali in Kolkata. We generally have experienced various artistes from popular music scene before but Vayali’s performance in city of joy was definitely a fresh try for sure.”