Music is a universal language capable of uniting hearts from different cultures, rhythms and regions – at least that is what the Wind Whisperers of India seek to accomplish through their upcoming concert Sunday, Sept. 10 at 6 p.m. at the university’s Martha Street Culp Auditorium.
“Music is one field that binds everyone together,” says Vinod “V.R.” Venkataraman, a professional mridangam player, artistic director at The Music Circle in Los Angeles and the facilitator behind the banding together of these talented artists. “I am trying to introduce the music in a manner where integration happens between communities, between cultures, between people and between colors.”
Venkataraman has joined together three other Wind Whisperers for one extraordinary concert you won’t want to miss. Attendees will be graced with a one-of-a-kind blend of seemingly incompatible musical styles – including those from North and South India and Eastern and Western continents.
The lineup is not to be underestimated, having performed separately all over the world with the likes of legendary artists such as Paul McCartney, Philip Glass, George Harrison, Elton John and Bela Fleck. Venkataraman will be accompanied by internationally acclaimed artists Ronu Majumdar, notorious Indian flautist who was worked extensively with Bollywood artists, on Bansuri (bamboo) flute and Rajhesh Vaidhya, known for his impressive speed and use of electric and amplified instruments, on the stringed saraswati veena (chordophone). Tabla soloist and accompanist, Harshad Kanetkar rounds out the ensemble.
The event, sponsored by the Mary B. Martin School of the Arts, seeks to appeal to the area’s demographic makeup – having a significant South Indian population. This paired with the school’s continued concerted interest in multicultural education as well as many other people who are curious about different types of music, makes the Wind Whisperers a perfect choice for the campus venue.
“So, this is a wonderful opportunity for people to broaden their horizons, be curious,” Alison Deadman, professor of music history said. “It’s also an opportunity to hopefully meet the musicians. They would love to answer questions.”
Tickets for the event are $20 per person with a reduced cost of $15 for those over the age of 60 and can be purchased by visiting www.etsu.edu/martin or calling 423-439-TKTS (8587).