The Embassy of the Netherlands hosted an Indo-Dutch musical journey, people-to-people connect titled ‘Connecting Pathways’

New Delhi: The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands hosted a virtual launch of an Indo-Dutch musical journey, people-to-people connect tilted ‘Connecting Pathways’ in collaboration with Serendipity Arts, Strings of the World and in its continuing effort to boost the cultural ties between the Netherlands and India.

All through the pandemic, music has continued to play an important role in keeping the spirits high. As part of ‘Connecting Pathways,’ three musicians from the Netherlands and three musicians from India came together to perform five soulful instrumental theme songs. International collaborations between artists such as ‘Connecting Pathways’ have been instrumental in uniting humanity during these difficult times.

The Indian lineup included the noted violinist Sharat Chandra Srivastava who has been collaborating with Dutch musicians for the last two decades and has performed in the Netherlands multiple times. Sharat was joined by the Mridangam maestro M V Chandrashekar, and the noted sitar player Fateh Ali Khan. The Dutch lineup included noted pianist Rembrandt Frerichs, renowned cellist Maya Fridman, and the celebrated tabla player and composer Heiko Dijker who is well known for his collaborative works with leading Indian musicians over the last couple of decades.

The theme of the composition titled ‘Glistering Waves’ is gratitude. It’s about the Covid-19 pandemic and is in the memory of those lost during the last two years. The piece ‘Garden Lounge’ is about the importance of healing. Even though we have progressed technologically, the world has seen a lot of mental and emotional pain in the last few decades. Healing is perhaps more necessary for the world now than anything else. The song ‘Flying Beyond’ is about going deeper and further into our consciousness, using music as the path. ‘Binnen zonder kloppen’ (which translates as ‘Enter without knocking on the door’) celebrates solidarity between the people of India and the Netherlands. The piece ‘Pahadi Soul’ is a meditation song.

Speaking as part of her address, Anneke Adema, Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of the Netherlands in India said, “The timing of this event couldn’t have been better. It’s the end of the year and it’s time for reflection. I think we all are in a reflective mood. We look back at the pandemic year, sometimes maybe a depressing year, and we look forward towards a fresh near year. Personally, I think, reflection asks for music. The universal language of music is understood worldwide. It’s also the language of the spirit, bringing peace. Music connects and that’s what we see very well reflected in ‘Connecting Pathways’. And connected we are—our two countries and our people—because we understand each other very well. And, of course, next year we would also be celebrating the completion of 75 years of excellent diplomatic relations between our two countries.”

Speaking about the initiative, Ms. Smriti Rajgarhia, Director, Serendipity Arts Foundation & Festival, said, “We at Serendipity Arts are happy to partner with the Netherlands Embassy of India for this august Indo-Dutch initiative, furthering the spirit of collaboration and cultural exchange between the two nations and bringing our diverse cultures together to support artistic innovation and experimentation. We are excited to be a part of this cultural exchange, driving dialogue through the arts”.

Sharing his thoughts on the event, Mr. Sharat Chandra Srivastava said,“‘Connecting Pathways’ is a beautiful concert featuring collaboration between Indian and Dutch musicians. This is a very unique collaboration under Strings of the World where we are jamming and creating new music with our fellow musicians from the Netherlands. We have HeikoDijker on the tabla, Rembrandt Frerichs on the piano with Maya Fridman on the cello. And from India, we have Fateh Ali Khan Sahab on the sitar, M V Chandrashekar on Mridangam, and I am on the violin.”

Speaking about the concert, Mr. HeikoDijker said, “It’s indeed heartening that during these difficult and challenging times we have still managed to collaborate internationally on such a beautiful project. It’s really wonderful to be collaborating with some of the greatest musicians from the Netherlands and India. Let’s join hands and let our paths cross and share the beauty and bliss of music.”