Desi Beats

The strains of sarangi,the hollow ring of the ghada and the twang of the tumbi — various rustic sounds fill the Randhawa Auditorium of Punjab Kala Bhawan in Sector 16,as Punjabi singer Pammi Bai took centre stage and sang Jugni.

Written by Jaskiran Kapoor | Published: March 5, 2012 1:05:58 am

The strains of sarangi,the hollow ring of the ghada and the twang of the tumbi — various rustic sounds fill the Randhawa Auditorium of Punjab Kala Bhawan in Sector 16,as Punjabi singer Pammi Bai took centre stage and sang Jugni. The group of musicians set the tempo as Bai followed their beat,with a heart filled with music,and a passion to keep this sound alive. It’s a rehearsal before the real show,one that’ll see Bai launch a folk band,a “desi baja”,which will incorporate folk sounds,music,poetry and lost instruments of Punjab. “I am a man on a mission,to keep our culture and traditions alive,” says Bai. He looked every bit retro in his colourful ensemble — a blue pin-striped trousers straight out of the ‘60s,an orange scarf tied around his neck and an equally bright blazer and silk shirt. “I am going to slip into traditional wear for the performance,” says Bai,who hopes to take his folk band across India and abroad for shows and then later cut an album.

A Punjabi singer of repute,Bai prides in singing songs that talk “sense” and portray the real Punjab. “I am not very happy with the noise that our music is making these days,with all the rap and beats,and objectionable lyrics,” says Bai with displeasure. With Folk Band,Bai wants to clear the clutter and encourage young musicians to pick up instruments such as wanjali,algoza,dhadd,sarangi,dhol,ghada,ektara et al and sing the poetry of Punjab — the verses written about Heer,Ranjha,Sassi Punno,Jugni,Jindua,Puran and many more. He has also been associated with Patiala’s Panjabi University on ‘the folk project’ under which the singer has already archived the folk dances of Punjab and will now move to music and instruments. Bai is also running the Live Folk Studio Pvt Ltd,a platform to promote folk music and musicians and give talented youngsters a chance to audition and sing live in Patiala. “I have used my funds to create it and I am open to youngsters joining me here,” assures Bai.

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