Fusing Indian and Celtic Connections

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Scotland’s annual Celtic Connections music festival and Jodhpur RIFF (Rajasthan International Folk Festival) in India have agreed a reciprocal performing arrangement that will enable Scottish and Indian musicians to showcase their work internationally.

At the signing of the three-year agreement at the Jodhpur RIFF in India, Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said:

“I am delighted to announce this unique partnership between these two globally-renowned music festivals. Both celebrate the distinctive traditional and contemporary music of their own countries while embracing the creativity of other cultures.

“Celtic Connections is Scotland’s premier winter music festival, and this agreement reflects the international appreciation of Scotland’s reputation for creativity.  It will allow Scottish and Indian musicians to benefit from a powerful exchange of ideas, practices and techniques.

“More widely, this demonstrates the value of Scotland’s creative energy and cultural capabilities as a means of forging and strengthening bonds with countries such as India.”

Chief Patron of Jodhpur RIFF, HH Maharaja Gaj Singh II of Marwar-Jodhpur, was also present at the signing and said:

“Through the work of the Mehrangarh Museum Trust, we in Jodhpur are committed to protecting and preserving our culture; key to our philosophy is to raise awareness of and an of our rich and diverse musical traditions.

“I am delighted that through Jodhpur RIFF and Celtic Connections we will be able to share some of the best of our folk music with fresh audiences in Scotland, and to develop collaborations through music with Scottish folk musicians. More importantly, through creative partnership, we look forward to strengthening the bonds between India and Scotland.”

Artistic Director of Celtic Connections Donald Shaw, who signed the collaboration agreement in Jodhpur, said:

“We’re delighted to be working in collaboration with the Rajasthan International Folk Festival. This is a fantastic opportunity to work together to showcase the best of traditional Celtic and Indian music on an international scale. Celtic Connections musicians performing at RIFF will be an unrivalled opportunity to bring a taste of Celtic Connections to a wider audience and this opportunity will be returned when Indian artists will visit our festival in 2014.”

Divvya Bhatia, Jodhpur RIFF Festival Director, also signed the agreement and said:

“Rajasthani artists being a part of Celtic Connections really means something to us.  It is a dialogue of tradition and temperament.  It’s about sharing thoughts on artists, project ideas, developing unique collaborations between Jodhpur, Glasgow and beyond.  Not surprisingly, it’s a Scottish dawn this year at Jodhpur RIFF, India’s leading roots music festival and we look forward to hosting some truly exceptional folk artists from Scotland in the coming years.”

At this year’s Jodhpur RIFF, Scottish artists have taken to the stage at a sunrise concert billed as the Scottish Dawn. Singer songwriter Kaela Rowan was one of the performers and said:

“It’s wonderful to have been invited to perform at Jodhpur RIFF Festival 2012. Festivals are a great opportunity for people to step out of the usual stresses and strains of everyday life, and for the occasion we’ve developed a suitably tranquil set of Gaelic, Scots and home penned music and song. The concert is at 5.30am so I can safely say it will be the earliest concert I’ve ever performed.”

James Mackintosh will be accompanying Kaela on stage at the sunrise concert and added:

“We are very much looking forward to meeting Rajasthani musicians and hopefully embarking on some exciting collaborations, as the programme looks jam-packed with fascinating performers from the region and beyond. Scotland and India have such strong links and I think its really important to preserve, understand, and enjoy each other’s cultures even more, and what better way than using the common language of music to bring us closer.”

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