Kochi: Art lovers who thronged the Kochi Muziris Biennale on Sunday could watch the colours of music too when a group of Baul singers from West Bengal performed there. The Kochi Muziris Biennale 2014 hosted an evening of Baul music on Sunday as part of its cultural programmes segment.
The concert featured experienced, rural practitioners of Baul Sangeet, a centuries-old folk tradition unique to the Bengal region.
Musicians from the Range Mati Shahojya Baul Sampraday based in Bengal's village Shantiniketan -- Singer Tarun Das baul and Anand Das baul, Shubhomoy Das baul, Santhiram Das baul, Ramchandra Mandal baul and Richard -- performed at the Pavilion at Aspinwall House, Fort Kochi.
Baul’s free-spirited music is rooted in mysticism, and the songs explore the divinity and spiritual power in human beings. The songs are passed on orally and are rarely written down.
The distinct sound of Baul comes from the depth of feeling with which the songs are rendered and the rustic instruments that accompany them, including the single-stringed Ektara, the two-stringed Dotara, drums like the Khamak and Duggi, cymbals and bells.
So powerful has been the influence of Baul music on the culture of Bengal that the UNESCO has declared the tradition one of the “Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity”.