Dated 18th-19th August, 2012
First Indian Harmonica Festival organised in association with
HARMONICA LOVERS OF HYDERABAD (HaLoH)
INDIAN HARMONICA ASSOCIATION, KOLKATA (IHA)
For the first time in India, this sort of festival was organised at Kolkata on the 18th and 19th of August 2012. Fifty odd harmonica lovers of 13 states from all over India had gathered at Kolkata to attend this meet. The purpose of this festival was to interact with harmonica lovers from all over India, to exchange information about music and harmonica with each other and discuss about promoting harmonica amongst the people in India. This festival was dedicated to Late Shri Milon Gupta who is the ‘Father of Indian Harmonica.’ His birthday-22nd November was officially declared as “Indian Harmonica Day” in this meet. This was a unanimous decision by all the delegates.
‘Harmonica’- which is popularly called as ‘Mouth organ’ in India is a tiny free-reed wind instrument with sweet sound. It is also sometimes called as ‘Pocket Piano’ and its voice cannot be substituted by other musical instruments. Though it is a foreign instrument, it was popularised by Shri Milon Gupta who taught playing this instrument to many people. Popular Music Director of Indian Cinema R.D. Burman (Pancham Da) included harmonica tunes in many of his compositions. It was the golden era of harmonica.
The popularity of harmonica had been declining till 2008. Later, due to availability of internet access, the harmonica lovers have been exchanging information in various online groups and forums. There is an online group titled – ‘Indian Mouthorgan Players (IMP)’ in Facebook where Indian Mouthorgan Players discuss about Harmonica with each other. Most of the participants in this festival who usually access the internet are a member of this online group.
During the program, Shri Vinayak B., Vice President of HaLoH had released the latest harmonica instrumental album by Shri Anupam Paul, Secretary of IHA. The title of the album is “Bani Nahi Tabu” . This album is based on Rabindra Sangeet.
The itinerary of this festival for both the days had already been published on this blog earlier. The festival was organised as per the itinerary.
Opening of the Meet (Day-1)
Meet was started with the addressing speech of The President of IHA,Kolkata Indian Harmonicatt Mr Pankaj Bose and Mr B Vinayak,Vice President of HaLoH. Senior Harmonica players Mr Anupam Paul, Mr Pankaj Bose, Mr Kajal Chakraborty and Mr B. Vinayak were felicitated with flower bouquets by Mr Channi Chawla, Dr Shailendra Kumar, Mr S G Helkar and Mr Ramana K, President of HaLoH, followed with lightening of lamp by Junior-most and Senior-most harmonica players of the gathering.
Sessions were conducted as per the Itinerary after the delegates’ self introduction
Session on Music Theory by Mr Soumyadipta Ray
“How I play the Harmonica”- Kajal Chakraborty
“How to record your harmonica rendition at home” by Shri Sumanta Basu
First day sessions concluded with the delegates’ harmonica recital (part-1)
First day performances started with Master Sumit Guha..
Educational Session “How I play the Harmonica”-Sukanto Ghoshal
Session on “Harmonica repair and maintenance” – Bhaskar Chowdhury
Feedback and general group discussions on Indian harmonica
IMP had a fruitful discussion about future IMP Meet. Everybody had participated very actively and provided a very valuable insight. Mr Channi Chawla extended his invitation to all IMP delegates to conduct 2nd IMP Meet 2013 in Delhi.
Declaration of Indian Harmonica Day:
HaLoH had proposed that we must have an Indian Harmonica Day to celebrate every year. The date was finalised as Nov 22nd.
Release of Shri Anupam Paul’s harmonica album -Bani Nahi Tabu:
The day’s meet concluded with the delegates’ harmonica recital (part-2)
The delegates had the opportunity to enjoy the mesmerising rendition of a rising star harmonicist Master Shubronil, studying 4th std and a student of Sukanto Ghosal
During the two days, whenever there was a break between two sessions, the delegates enjoyed the recorded music played by M/s Milon da, Arijit Mukherji, Gautam Chowdhury, Saikat Mukherjee,Premangshu Chatterjee, Rustom Karwa,VS Shirali, Ashok Bhandari,Chandranil Saha and other renowned Indian Mouthorgan Players.
The festival was a grand success and the delegates had a real learning experience with fun. The interactive and educative sessions on harmonica techniques, music theory, harmonica maintenance & repair, harmonica recording at home were quite helpful for the delegates. All the delegates also had the opportunity to perform and enjoy each others’ renditions during their free time. Please keep visiting this blog to experience the same.
Memento for IMP delegates:
IHA, Kolkata presented a beautiful table top memento to all the delegates who attended this Meet.
Mr Rahul Joshi of Pune has a surprising and a special gift for all IMP delegates. A poster with high resolution will be sent to all individual email IDs. The delegates can have a colour print-out of this poster and can keep it as a souvenir.
We convey sincere thanks to Mr Rahul Joshi, Pune and Mr Shoubik Sinha, Kolkata who had taken special initiative to make this meet successful.
HaLoH congratulates all the harmonica lovers who attended this festival.
‘Jai Harmonica!’ (This slogan was coined by Indian Mouth organ players at Kolkata)
Harmonica Our Passion! (This is HaLoH’s slogan)