Minu Bakshi to sing legendary Spanish Poet, Federico García Lorca’s compositions

Minu Bakshi

Date and Time: 25 February 2022, 6:30pm

Venue: Kamani Auditorium, Copernicus Marg, Mandi House, New Delhi-110001
Venue Info: About | Map | Nearest Metro Station - 'Mandi House (Blue Line and Violet Line) Exit Gate - 4'
Area: Mandi House

Event Description: Minu Bakshi to sing legendary Spanish Poet, Federico García Lorca’s compositions for the Embassy of Spain Event Celebrating Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav on February 25th 2022 at Kamani Auditorium, New Delhi.

To mark India’s 75 years of Independence, the nationwide celebrations will also witness the Embassy of Spain presenting their Indo-Spanish cultural events from 21st-27th February 2022 in the Capital.

“This year marks a significant date for India since we are celebrating the 75 years of its Independence. On this special occasion, the Embassy of Spain in India is working on an event based on one of the most appreciated Spanish poets, Federico García Lorca. His works represent the European vanguard and surrealism of the 20th century, they combine Spanish folklore, Andalusian flamenco, Gypsy culture, while exploring themes of romantic love, women's rights and tragedy. Therefore, to honour AKAM, the Indian artist and hispanicist, Minu Bakshi, will interpret ten celebrated Spanish songs based on the 1931 performance of Federico García Lorca and La Argentinita. Minu Bakshi has dedicated her life to the study of the Spanish language and culture, and there is no better artist to interpret these songs. “I am delighted to have Minu Bakshi sing popular Spanish songs of Federico García Lorca, which symbolizes the cultural sangam of both Spain and India”, says H.E José Maria Ridao, Ambassador of Spain in India.

Minu Bakshi has been conferred with the 2nd Highest Order given to a foreigner by the King of Spain in 2014, ‘The Order of Isabella la Catolica’ by the Spanish Government for her contribution towards promotion of Spain and its culture. A singer with years of Hindustani classical musical training, a professor of Spanish language at the prestigious Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, an accredited Spanish language interpreter for the Indian Government, Chairperson of the NGO Savera (a society for the uplifting of underprivileged women and children) and the former Chairperson of the UK Asian Film Festival, London, Minu Bakshi is a multifaceted and versatile artist.

Artist Statement: Minu Bakshi

I am overwhelmed with the confidence the Ambassador has shown in me however, I thought it over many times before making a commitment to them. But then I realized it was a chance of a lifetime to interpret a poet whom I’ve admired since my student days in JNU where I was doing my masters in Spanish. Also I’ve always wished to do something special for Spain, a country that has bestowed such great love and honor on me. They are celebrating my country India’s 75 years of independence! I needed to do my bit for the country where I was born and raised and the other country Spain which I love dearly and have some past life bonding.
When I was approached by His Excellency. the Ambassador of Spain, my first feeling was of joy mixed with a lot of apprehension. I expressed my doubts to him multiple times but he seemed to be confident and here we are.
I feel humbled that I have been asked to represent my country in this collaboration. It’s a really difficult task as the songs and their music are totally new to me even though I had studied Lorca’s poetry as a student. Singing them is a new experience as I’m trained in Indian Hindustani music and to sing in a style which is alien to me is a challenge in itself. To memorize and to learn them in such a short time is difficult.
To add the Indian touch, I’m using the tabla replacing the castanets which is going to be very interesting.
The idea was floated to me by the Ambassador sometime in December after which he sent me recordings of the songs. And then I thought it hard to figure out if I’d be able to do justice to them. I think I heard them for almost 10 days to get the feel of them. In the first week of January I confirmed my participation.
The real challenge started then. I had to find my team of musicians as I mostly work with artists who know Indian instruments. And for this rendition I needed a Pianist as all the songs are sung only with the piano and castanets.  So I spent a week zeroing on who we would work with. By this time, it was already mid-January when the final dates of the event were announced. So here I was, left with just a month where I had made other prior commitments too.
Consequently, I’ve been sleeping, eating and living these songs for about a month now and practicing every afternoon for about 3 hours for the last 15 days. Even when I’m not singing I’m listening and trying to memorize the words as they were written almost a hundred years ago. So they are in a different style and the recording that I’m following was done in 1931 where Lorca, the poet and composer, played the piano himself. It’s not an easy task but we’re at it and I hope to make both the Countries proud.

Related Links: Music | Women
Minu Bakshi to sing legendary Spanish Poet, Federico García Lorca’s compositions Minu Bakshi to sing legendary Spanish Poet, Federico García Lorca’s compositions Reviewed by DelhiEvents on Monday, June 01, 2020 Rating: 5

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