A fusion of music, art & astronomy

A jugalbandi (fusion) between an Indian vocalist and an Italian violinist intermingling with sounds and sight of stars will be the highlight of a unique multi-disciplinary event at Nehru Planetarium on Monday.

The jugalbandi, titled ‘The Time of a Star’, will feature Bhai Baldeep Singh and Sara Michieletto.

The evening will have music, art and astronomy to mark the inauguration of a fortnight-long event to celebrate ‘International Year of Astronomy’ and the ‘Italian Year of Galileo’.

The ‘Indo-Italian Astronomy Fortnight: From Galileo to Modern Frontiers’ has been organised to commemorate 400 years since Galileo first propagated the heliocentric view of the solar system.

Monday’s event has been organised by the Italian Embassy, the Italian Centre for Culture and Nehru Planetarium, Nehru Memorial Museum and Library.

Singh, a 13th generation exponent of the traditional Gurbani Kirtan, has been working for the conservation and preservation of tangible and intangible heritage through his organisation, Anad Foundation.

Michieletto, from the La Fenice Theatre of Venice, is in India on a project, ‘Strains of Violin in India’.

Her aim is to spread awareness about Venetian classical music here and help underprivileged children (from Chennai slum) with self-expression through music.

Impressed by the similarities, Michieletto said: “There are so many similarities in Indian and Italian classical music. For instance, I discovered certain strains of Si and Fa (Italian equivalent of Indian ma and nee) that are so similar to Raag Narayani.”

Said Singh, “This is going to be a great collaboration and remembrance of two greats. Sara represents the lineage of class — Galileo, representing the occidental — and I represent the orient, Guru Nanak’s words of wisdom.”

Said Dr N. Rathnasree of the Nehru Planetarium, “Since this is an event on astronomy, we suggested incorporation of sounds of stars in the performance. The sounds of pulsars have been mixed and edited by Dr Luigi Parise.”

There will be two photo exhibitions. One is a tribute to Galileo and the other is a display of paintings (digital hi-resolution images) that have elements of astronomy.