Article by Anusha Madapura
Music has many powers. The power to make people feel. The power to heal. The power to bring people together. It is a universal language spoken by many, played by many, experienced by many. For me, the most beautiful aspect of music is when all these qualities are recognized and used for a purpose, for the better of the world. The South Asian Symphony Orchestra is an example and a wonderful one at that. Its purpose is to promote peace and harmony between South Asian nations.
The orchestra is made up of some extremely accomplished musicians. I am extremely honored to have been selected to play in the orchestra as a violinist and the prospect of interacting with some of the most esteemed musicians of South Asia excites me to no end. We will be playing our first concert on April 26th, in the National Centre for Performing Arts in Mumbai. The orchestra is diverse and inclusive, with people from different cultures and backgrounds. We may all speak different languages but one language, music, binds us together.
Everything in the orchestra reflects its purpose. The pieces, which include music from all over South Asia; one such piece is Hamsafar: A Musical Journey into South Asia, arranged by Lauren Braithwaite, the instruments, consisting of standard orchestral instruments as well as traditional South Asian ones, and even the concert attire, which is a standard black while allowing us to reflect the culture of our country.
While listening and practicing these different pieces, I’ve realized that all the pieces that will be performed have different personalities. Some are majestic and hard-hitting, while some are more impassioned, uplifting and stirring. I feel that they are all extremely powerful in their own way. Add to that the experience of listening to an orchestra comprised of musicians from different nations, the music is sure to touch the audience in a deep way.
The Egmont Overture by Ludwig van Beethoven is a striking piece, heavy with passion and majesty, like all of this composer’s pieces. The Song to the Moon from the opera Rusalka by Antonin Dvorak reflects the longing the character feels and is soul-stirring with lifting melodies. Right now, these are two pieces that have resonated within me and have touched me deeply. There are many other incredible pieces that will be performed, all of them having their unique qualities and charms.
I know that I am about to experience something entirely new, something that I’ve never experienced before. It is going to be special. An orchestra is a community that produces music. We, as a community, are going to play beautiful music, and at the same time, the music is going to strengthen our community as well.