Musicians across the globe have been singing themselves hoarse, and playing their hearts out, this week. All to one common purpose: World Busk (12-18 June 2011).
World Busk began, as all great initiatives do, with an idea. In 2007, Violinist David Juritz, concertmaster of the London Mozart Players, decided to found Musequality, a charity that would fund projects to change young lives in disadvantaged corners of the world, through music education. His audacious plan to raise money to start up the charity was to busk (perform music in public places) for it, in a solo round-the-world trip. The tongue-in-cheek name for his global busk was “Round the World and Bach”. The response and the awareness created were overwhelming. And so Musequality was born.
In 2009, the first-ever World Busk took off, setting a world record, with 483 buskers in 14 countries. Our initiative, Child’s Play India Foundation, put Goa on the World Busk map from the outset. We are grateful to musicians like Orlando de Noronha, Siddharth Cota, Neptune Chapotin, and our violin teacher Winston Collaco and his students, for pitching in.
Child’s Play (India) Foundation works to bring classical music to underprivileged children in India. In doing so, we aim to give children an opportunity to make music, learn a new skill and lead a life of empowerment. Our pilot project began in January 2010 at Hamara School, St. Inez. A group of children there have been receiving regular music instruction from Winston Collaco, a qualified violin teacher in the world-acclaimed Suzuki method. The results have been heartening, and have been drawing the interest of musicians, pedagogues, and music publications from around the world. The renowned Strad magazine (UK) ran an article which included the wooden violin models (proto-violins) used by Collaco. Collaco will be attending a Suzuki conference in Malaysia this August, where he will share his experiences teaching our children.
We are participating in World Busk 2011 too, Goa being the solitary “pin” in the Indian subcontinent on the otherwise pin-studded World Busk map. This year, the event promises to break its own record. In Juritz’s words, “It is expected to be the biggest, best, most fun and most productive yet”, with more buskers from more countries than ever before.
Our event at Literati bookshop, Gauravaddo Calangute will take place on Saturday 18 June from 5 pm onwards. Goa’s very own Assunção piano trio from Utorda (Alvaro Pereira cello; and his daughters Sancha, violin; and Gisela, piano) will play light classical music. Eco-warrior and innovator Darryl Pereira with his silky baritone voice and guitar, will take time out from his “green” schedule to belt out the blues, rock-and roll, and a host of party favourites and golden oldies. And he’s been promised a little help from his friends. I plan to enlist my own violin in the jam as well.
The little stars of the evening will undoubtedly be two children from our Hamara School project. Kedar Hawal, 11, and Reshma Nadaf, 12, will make their violin début in public, playing Twinkle little star. The prospect of playing for you the public excites them greatly, and the excitement is infectious. Do come along to hear and support them.
To make this a truly world event, we even have Djembe drumming from Mali, a percussion instrument that has been assimilated into the music of artists as diverse as the Beatles, Paul Simon, and The Grateful Dead. “Djembe” in the native Bambara language translates into “Everyone gather together in peace”. An apt sentiment indeed. Peace and harmony. Do join us.
(An edited version of this article appeared in the Navhind Times on 17 June 2010)