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Jaramar Soto's mesmerizing performance at Rabindra Bhawan

Jaramar Soto, who has reached out to songs created several centuries ago finding in this music the ideal medium for expressing herself, all the way from Mexico was in Guwahati to give a sense of her unique piece of music to the people here.

She was a part of ‘May my lips say your name’, a musical evening was organized by Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) in collaboration with Directorate of Cultural Affairs of Assam in an attempt to bridge the gap between India and Mexico with cultural exchange.

Pandit Rajendra Prasanna also added glory to the musical night with melodies created in his flute. There were also Murad Ali and Athar Hussain on Sarangi and Tabla respectively.

Jaramar whose work is composed of elements from the past and from the present, feeding on tradition, scrutinizing it to assimilate it and reshaping it to produce a very personal artistic expression, conveyed her satisfaction after performing in Guwahati. She also said that Indian music has always appealed her.

“In this tour we have performed in New Delhi and Jaipur before coming to Guwahati. But I like most performing here. I just like the atmosphere here,” said Jaramar.

She further said, “Indian music has always appealed me and I even studied on it. It was really great to come over here and feel the sense.”

Jaramar, who is also a visual artist and has been active in painting, sculpture and illustration, is hopeful that such cultural events will help in bonding the people of the two countries.

“It is a wonderful step to bond the people of the two countries. It feels great to be a part of it. I would like to thank the organizers for such noble initiatives,” she added.

The singer also said how her interest in playing ancient music with a combination of electronic and acoustic instruments comes from. “It comes from a personal need. It also started from a desire to take some of the songs that I most like to sing, old Sephardic chants and Spanish renaissance songs, and transform them to bring them closer to our time. I also wanted to play around with them and to try to enrich their sound with the incorporation of electronic elements,” she said.

She further said, “It started entirely by chance, when I discovered this music through a friend of mine. From the first time that I sang these songs, I fell in love with them and little by little I started to incorporate them into my repertoire. In time, I met some musicians who were deeply involved with ancient music and began to work with them. But I must say that I have always had a very personal approach to ancient music.”

Jaramar sometimes surprised at audience’s warm reception of her music but at the end of the day songs are sung for the audience.

“It could seem that what we play is strange and distant for those who hear it, but I have always sung these songs with a certainty that they can be enjoyed by the audience. I think that this music has survived alive and well during several centuries for a reason. The challenge lies in bringing it close to modern ears and modern hearts,” she said.

Meanwhile, ICCR Regional Director Radharaman Chatterjee said such programmes are organized to bring a cultural harmony among different countries with cultural events.

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