In January, the Baluji Music Foundation (BMF) will be undertaking a research and development project in India. Baluji Shrivastav who is Musical Director of the Foundation, will be searching for and making music with blind musicians from Bangalore, Chennai, Andaman Islands, Assam and other regions of India, representing different, and rarely heard, folk music traditions.
BMF aim to locate and select seven accomplished blind/visually impaired musicians from a wide range of regions in India, who play local folk music. Ideally we are hoping to find music performed in the languages of the Andamanese, Kutchi, Kanada, Manipuri, Sanskrit, Tamil and Urdu.
BMF are hoping to form lasting collaborative partnerships with Indian organisations. These will be organisations for the blind, and musical and cultural organisations. We will also seek out venues and locations where we will be able to perform on our return trip for the next phase of the project.
Additionally, Dr. David Baker from Institute of Education London University, will conduct research into how blind musicians acquire their skills, and other aspects of their musical experience. This will be done using a questionnaire and lead to a peer reviewed paper.
Ultimately, we intend to return to India and perform a musical tour with the selected musicians, together with members of the Inner Vision Orchestra UK, and also bring the entire ensemble to the UK to for a grand tour to celebrate the 70th Anniversary of Indian Independence.
This research and development project has support from the British Council and the Arts Council of England