June 17, 2024

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Magnetic Fields Festival Announces Additions To Its 2023 Lineup

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The Magnetic Fields Festival, one of India’s most prominent music festivals, has unveiled additional performers for its 2023 edition. The contemporary arts and music festival will take place at the iconic Alsisar Mahal from December 15 to 17. Expanding on its earlier revelation of artists and experiences, Magnetic Fields Festival is showcasing avant-garde experiments and traditional presentations featuring talents from various parts of the world.

Jameson Connects South Stage

Introduced in 2019, the festival’s residency programme Fieldlines returns to explore innovative avenues for creative collaboration between indigenous Indian sounds and contemporary artists. This year’s edition will bring together classical musicians from diverse regions and instrumental backgrounds, such as Anuja Zokarkar, Nusrat Apoorv, Vinay Ramadasan, along with percussionist Vaibhav Wavikar and Rahul Giri, also known as _RHL, recognized for his multi-genre work with groups like Sulk Station and his involvement with the collective-turned-label, Consolidate.

During a 10-day residency at the scenic Badal Mahal of Alsisar Palace, the project will merge the transcendental traditions of Indian classical music with the soulful elements of Rahul’s signature downtempo-ambient sound, culminating in a performance on the festival’s South Stage.

Additionally, the South Stage will host a special performance by the Melbourne-based masked quartet Glass Beams. Known for their hypnotic, mysterious, and ethereal music, Glass Beams draws inspiration from classical, disco, and pop sounds of the ’70s, incorporating sonic elements from the artist’s father’s Indian hometown. Recognized by NME as an ‘Essential Emerging Artist’ for 2022, this marks Glass Beams’ debut performance in India.

BUDxYARD

Adding to the lineup alongside Otik and Nosedrip at BUDxYARD is the up-and-coming Spanish artist GAZZI. Drawing inspiration directly from the dance floor, GAZZI’s musical creations from Andalusia prominently feature elements of post-dubstep, UK bass, deep house, dembow, and breakbeat.

The Peacock Club

The festival-favourite versatile space of The Peacock Club will host a presentation featuring ambient, noise, and leftfield artists from the label Social Isolation for a consecutive year. This label was established by the multi-talented Varun Desai from Kolkata during the lockdown. The showcase will include contributions from producers such as Philtersoup, Sourya Sen, Farah Mulla, Zequenx, Noni-Mouse, and Coma Conscience.

Dragalaqtic, another segment, features six performing artists from the queer community—a combination of an aerialist, two dancers, and three drag queens. Each artist brings their unique skills and style to Paradise at The Peacock Club, where they will complement the sonic stylings of Irish selector Or:la to create a fusion of music and visual extravagance.

Dragalaqtic will also showcase an installation on Saturday night before their performance at The Peacock Club on Sunday. In this display, the performers will inhabit a 15-foot tall, embroidered vivarium set up in one of the palace courtyards, bringing the installation to life with their dynamic movements.

Puqaar

In alignment with this year’s theme of preservation, Puqaar directs its attention to folk art forms and musical expressions with historical ties to the region. The focal points of this exploration into folk music will include haveli sangeet, ghazal, and Rajasthani folk music this year.

Haveli sangeet, at the heart of the festival’s folk music showcase, is characterized by a fusion of classical and folk elements. This genre incorporates classical raags and taals while incorporating folk melodies influenced by the Bhakti tradition. Haveli sangeet goes beyond standalone songs, presenting them in thematic sequences that convey narratives from Hindu mythology or explore themes of divine love and devotion. Performers for haveli sangeet on Saturday in the Darbar Hall will include classical vocalists Vinay Sugatha Ramadasan and Anuja Zokarkar, harmonium player Nusrat Apoorv, percussionist Vaibhav Wavikar, and pakhawaj player Omkar Dalvi.

The festival will also pay homage to the cultural lineage of renowned ghazal maestro Ustad Mehdi Hassan, born in Luna, Rajasthan, located just 25 minutes from Alsisar. The ghazal act, t=0 (Time Equals Zero), draws inspiration from this heritage, offering a unique blend of compositions with lush, dreamy, and ethereal vibes. Their performance on the palace rooftop on Friday incorporates original ghazal poetry from luminaries like Ghalib and Bahadur Shah Zafar.

Puqaar expands its showcase to include folk storytelling, highlighting the vital connection between modern living and ancient wisdom. This year, the festival will feature the folk arts of Mandana and Gond. Gond artists will create a mural in one of the palace courtyards before the festival begins and conduct a Gond art workshop for attendees.

Magnetic Sanctuary

LifePlugin will make a return to Magnetic Fields 2023, bringing together teachers, facilitators, and practitioners to offer attendees a range of wellness experiences and workshops. These will include music and meditation, soundbaths, blindfolded sensory experiences, vinyasa yoga, cacao ceremony, aromatherapy, astrology and acupuncture.

For more information, head to Magnetic Fields Festival’s website and follow their Instagram page.

Image by Shrey Gupta

Words by Urmimala Mukherjee


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