Enthusiasts of music and its apprentices have always taken remarks that denote music as a universal language. Mostly due to its enigmatic characteristic, music has bonded hearts between boundaries and swayed melodies across the universe. The ability it possesses – of sending out messages with a loud thud – music has maintained a high order of respect in every society. However, the design dedicated solely to celebrating the spirit of music got a proper format only in 1971 AD by an American, Joel Cohen. The ideology of devoting a day for music then got its first look in Paris in 1982.
Since then, over 460 cities in 110 countries celebrate the day with much enthusiasm. On the day dedicated to music, on 21 June, musicians of different stature are encouraged to perform on streets. This gives a rare opportunity for beginners to groove in their beats with the maestros. The slogan Faites de la Musique (Make music), a homonymous play of words of Fête de la Musique, is used to promote this goal. Also, free concerts by celebrated musicians are staged making all genres accessible to public. Both amateurs and professionals are requested to donate their time without charge to make the participation more colorful.
Remembering the first editions of Fête de la Musique, Prabin Rana, the Deputy Director of L’Alliance Française Kathmandu (AFK), says, “We’ve always had music at the top of our list of priorities. That is the reason why we stared the festival from our year of founding. Ever since, we have changed venues various times. Khulla Manch was our first and the festivities just ignited into bigger and better shape from there. Fête de la Musique in Durbar Marg was probably the most successful one in term of audience turnout. But we consider every edition to be equally successful in one way or the other.”
Many artists have gradually scaled heights of success post the free music show in different venues. As Nepali organizers of Fête de la Musique, AFK takes pride in having immensely famous youth icons like Cobweb, Rock Sitar, Kutumba, Robin and the New Revolution and many more to the list of performers. AFK has also introduced international performers, mostly of European descendent to add more zing to the musical celebration. Rana adds, “The event is merely a platform for all performers to show off their potentiality. Those who can capitalize on the opportunity reach great heights.”
“Like elsewhere, fresh musicians get to share the same stage with iconic musicians in Nepal, too. Also the audience, if they want to, can come along with their musical instruments and jam with the bands from their respective places. On this day, no musician is big or small. Everyone is squeezed down to the same level.”
Amongst their former participants, Kutumba has succeeded in making the best of the opportunity. Once a quiet and less known name, the band has shaken the nation with their charismatic performances now. Kutumba’s Arun Gurung admits, “Fête de la Musique played a very significant role in bringing us to the stage we are currently in. It helped us push our way through the mainstream industry. Kutumba nicked off fame and glory that crossed our way.” Gurung added talking of their maiden performance in Fête de la Musique in 2004, “The audience liked our music. It was from there our morale boosted and we made every attempt possible to give our best.”
The event has also provided Nepali bands to share stage with international bands. Aawas, last year’s winner of AFK’s music competition, eventually went on to perform in front of hundreds in Kathmandu with French band, Nojazz. This has encouraged upcoming bands to devote more into what they do best and march towards achieving their ultimate goal.
Fête de la Musique 2013
Fête de la Musique this year is scheduled to take place in different venues in Kathmandu, Pokhara and Dharan. The celebration which has collected high praises from the musical fraternity, this year is being compressed to one single day. The event, relatively quieter than previous years’, looks forward to showcasing the musical ability of upcoming and many unknown musical artists.
Sujan Joshi, lead guitarist of PoiZon Myst – a band scheduled to perform at the Mandala Street at the Fête de la Musique – said, “It’s a matter of pride to share the same venue with musical icons like Hari Maharjan.
Musicians, especially guitarists are expected to have their heels high in impressing the Nepali guitar hero.”
Along with PoiZon Myst, bands and artists like Raju Tamang, AFK band, Azote, Etre, Fire Tongue and Mukut are expected to perform on stage one the Mandala Street, Thamel. Scheduled to perform on stage two in the same venue are Hari Maharajan, Raju Maharjan and Shyam Nepali. Likewise, Kirtipur Music Academy, Shuvatara School Instrumental and Music Center Choral, Vintage Recarnation from Shuvatara School and Dallu Awashiya School will be showcasing their musical ability at AFK. !