Sumitra Maina, 2008

Sumitra Maina, 2008 (excerpt)
Running time: 4:58 minutes / SD / colour

Sumitra Maina sings with the Mithu Khan Langa Group during the 2007 Rajasthan International Folk Festival. The repetition of the verse and melody begins to haunt us as we listen to the piercing voice behind the veil.

Camera: Sylvia Safdie
Editing: Brigitte Dajczer, Sylvia Safdie
Audio: Sumitra Maina and the Mithu Khan Langa Group

About the music: The Langas are Muslims and who are an exclusive hereditary community. They originate from the Northern dessert state of Rajasthan. The Langa’s main traditional instrument is the sindhi sarangi which is a bowed stringed instrument with a skin membrane sounding board and many sympathetic strings. The Langa sing and play the dholak (double-headed barrel-drum), the kartal (wooded clappers), the morchan (jaws harp), and the ubiquitous harmonium. They speak of music being ‘in their blood’.

Song, 2008

Song, 2008 (excerpt)
Running time: 5:20 / SD / colour

During the Rajasthan International Folk Festival several musical groups from different regions of Rajasthan got together and preformed at the end of the afternoon. The camera focused on Padmaran’s face, one of the musicians as he absorbs and responds to the music.

Camera: Sylvia Safdie
Editing: Brigitte Dajzcer, Sylvia Safdie
Audio: recorded on location at the Rajasthan International Folk Festival, 2007. A performance that included the following groups: Kamad, Bohpa, Kalbeilya, Natnayat, Langa, Manganiyar.

Rajasthan (Red), 2008

Rajasthan Red, 2008 (excerpt)
Running time: 5:48 / SD / colour

Light flickering on a red ground heightens the pulsating and edgy sound of a song preformed by a Rajasthan folklore group that originated from the Nayak tradition. The song was recorded on location during the Rajasthan International Folk Festival, 2007.

Camera: Sylvia Safdie
Editing: Brigitte Dajczer, Sylvia Safdie

About the music: The Nayaks are Hindu. They formed a vagrant community in Rajasthan and are a devout followers of Pabuji, a legendry war hero. Their community has a rich oral tradition of songs and tales. They move from village to village singing devotional songs.

Late Afternoon Raga, 2008

Late Afternoon Raga, 2008 (excerpt)
Running time: 5:15 minutes / SD / colour

In this diptych the relationship between sound/image, image/sound extends the rhythm and pulse of the music of a traditional classical “Rag”. Faiyaz Al Kahn plays the Sarangii, Babalu Verma plays the Tabla on a late afernnon, October 2007 in Veranasi, India.

Camera: Sylvia Safdie
Editing: Brigitte Dajczer, Sylvia Safdie
Audio: Faiyaz Ali Kahn on the Sarangi, Babalu Varma on the Tabla

Lori, 2008

Lori, 2008 (excerpt)
Running time: 4:15 minutes / SD / black & white

In this diptych music, light, shadow, reflection all come together to create a dialogue between sound/image, image/sound. Lori Freedman plays an improvisation on bass clarinet.

Camera: Sylvia Safdie
Editing: Brigitte Dajczer, Sylvia Safdie
Audio: Lori Freedman, bass clarinet

About the musician: Conspicuously described as “a musical revolutionary”, she is known internationally as one of Canada’s most provocative and creative performers. Her work includes contemporary, improvised and electroacoustic music, and she frequently collaborates with dance, theatre and visual artists. Over thirty composers have written solo bass clarinet music for her and she has made numerous recordings, including À un moment donné (Ambiances Magnétiques 103), nominated for an Opus prize in 2003. Just prior to the release of her first feature album Huskless! (Artifact 20), she received the Freddie Stone Award for the “demonstration of outstanding leadership, integrity and excellence in the area of contemporary music and jazz”. The National Jazz Awards 2003 also nominated Freedman as “Clarinetist of the Year”. She currently lives in Montreal.