Over 40 Indian and international flautists, including legendary flautist Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia will come together for the upcoming 7th edition of the annual Raasrang World Flute Festival here with the aim to propagate the message of global peace.
The 5-day-long festival, set to begin on September 21, also celebrated as International Day of Peace, will also usher in the United Nations' 12-day peace campaign here.
"This year the Flute Festival will take place in the first few days of the 12-day-campaign. The flute is the proto instrument of the UN's sustainable goals. A simple bamboo reed has converted human breath into music.
"The flute which is celebrated in Indian culture in many regional variations, is also a pan-Indian instrument apart from being a global instrument. It links and binds this nation with its sweetness and brings together the human, spiritual and divine elements in a way that is unique and so beautiful," Rajiv Chandran, currently heading United Nations Information Centre for India and Bhutan (UNIC) here, said.
27 flutists from Italy, Slovak, Latvia and Afghanistan will form the international component of the festival. Major attractions will include Riga Saxophone Quartet from Latvia and Arcadio Baracchi from Italy among others.
Besides Chaurasia who is also patron of the festival, other Indian performers include Pandit Pravin Godhkindi, Pandit Ronu Majumdar and Pandit Chetan Joshi.
"The festival has evolved in terms of the scale. I now have on an average 7 countries coming in. When I started off with only two. Now, we have also started becoming more demanding on the genres of music - I want flute on jazz, flute on tango, flute on classical etc," Arun Budhiraja, convener of the festival, said.
Parallel to the main festival are several ancillary events including an exhibition on the languishing wind instruments of India and a series of workshops where yoga and flute will be combined to create relaxing and healing effects.
There is also an initiative to connect professional musicians to the National Brain Research Centre in Gurgaon to participate in a research study and investigate on 'Structural and Functional correlates of Hindustani Raga Music in Professional musicians.
Budhiraja said, "The other layers of the festival are also
very important to us like the Bansiyog, the restoration of the old flutes, and the healing. These are very massive developments for us."
According to organisers, a 'Flute Contest' is also underway across 180 schools in Delhi-NCR, where 10 selected students from each category of 'below 12years' and 'below 20 years' of age will receive scholarships for residency programmes under the mentorship of the music greats of the country.
The festival will see three music concerts each day, besides talks on peace by a score of noted speakers from India and overseas.
"The finalists of the 'Flute Contest' will be performing. Sangeet Natak Akademi will be sponsoring three teams for villages, who will come to the mainstream on the world platform," Budhiraja said.
The festival which is scheduled to come to a close on September 25, is being hosted by the Krishna Prerna Charitable in partnership with UNIC and Indian Council for Cultural Relations.