Posts Tagged ‘songlines music travel’
Georgie Pope gives a taste of a new musical adventure in Assam
Hello, This is Georgie Pope who runs the Songlines trips to the Jodhpur RIFF festival each October. I’ve just returned from a test run of our new Musical Adventure in Assam, which will run next April. I was joined by nine other adventurers (aged from two to seventy-two) to explore this lusciously beautiful but remarkably lesser-trodden north-east Indian state – a region of Vaishnavite monastries, tea plantations and extraordinary hospitality. We met musicians in their homes, tried out their instruments, explored the fabulous natural landscapes and ate far too much local food.
Half way through the trip, we hired a private ferry boat to cross the Brahmaputra and reach the magical island of Majuli. This vast and ever-morphing river island is a treasure-trove of art, music and wildlife. After checking in to our eco-huts-on-stilts – built in traditional Mishing tribe style from woven cane and bamboo – we set off across the island to meet my music-loving, dancing friend Govinda the monk.
Govinda, like the other celibate monks of the Kamalbari Satra, is slim and muscular, with long hair and a beautiful face which exudes spiritual warmth and wisdom. He’s one of the many musical hosts who enrich our tours with true passion for their subject. Like his fellow ‘inmates’, he’s a vegetarian who eats only what is grown within the monastery, and spends his days worshipping lord Vishnu (whose avatar as the flute-playing Krishna you may be more familiar with) by singing borgeet and dancing the extraordinarily refined Satriya dance.
After affording us a rare glimpse into one of the monk’s rehearsals, Govinda took us to meet his brother – married and living in a conventional extended-family home on the island – who is the music master at a local school. The teachers and children presented us with the spring time dance of the Bihu – the festival this tour is timed to coincide with – as well as renditions of Borgeet, endless chai and biscuits. We returned to our eco-camp aglow with the extraordinary musical ebullience and hospitalitiy of the island, which I can’t wait to return to next year.
Experience the magic of Jodhpur RIFF with Songlines Music Travel
India – Rajasthan Musical Expedition
In association with
15 days – Oct 8-22 2013
12 days – Oct 11-22 2013
I’m off to Rajasthan in October for another Musical Adventure, culminating in the Jodhpur RIFF – that sumptuous showcase of Rajasthani music and talent from around the world. To read more about my work on Indian music, visit www.soundtravelsltd.com
You can join Georgie on her trip to Jodhpur RIFF with Songlines Music Travel. With us you will get a chance to explore of a vibrant living culture featuring hand-picked musicians, whilst being guided by a artist or musicologist, so there’s time to absorb the atmosphere and get to know personalities as well as places.
Morocco, Essaouira Gnawa Festival
With Britain seemingly turning into the Antarctic, we are beginning to question whether the sun still exists. Well, you can rest assured that there’ll be no shortage of sun at this June’s Gnawa & World Music Festival in the beautiful, whitewashed town of Eassaouira, Morocco.
Built by the Portuguese, the port town of Essaouira is a delightfully picturesque tumble of narrow whitewashed alleyways opening onto beautiful squares. It is the centre of Gnawa music, the ancient, spiritual and joyously danceable African Islamic song tradition.For four days every June, Essaouira is taken over by the Gnawa & World Music Festival, which features masters of Gnawa music performing alongside some of the best musicians in world music.
Songlines Music Travel will guide you through this extraordinary festival, leading you to the very best musical offerings from local and international artists and to heady late-night sessions in atmospheric venues. There will also be plenty of opportunities to explore the delights of the bazaar, the fishing harbour, the medina and the glorious, endlessly long sandy beaches.
Sun, sea, sounds and the Songlines Music Travel team … what more could you want?
For further details of what promises to be an unforgettable trip, visit:
For information on other Songlines Music Travel trips, visit:
The Times Destinations Show at London’s Earls Court is now in full swing. Make sure that you head down this weekend to meet the Songlines team and find out about the exciting selection of worldwide musical excursions taking place in 2013 as part of Songlines Music Travel. From Cuba to Cape Verde, Jamaica to Rajasthan, there is something for everyone as we take you on an expert-led guide to all the best sights and sounds across the world.
The musically omnipresent Songlines editor-in-chief, Simon Broughton, will be giving a talk at 10:45am – World Music Festival: An insider’s Guide.
We also have an exclusive Destinations-only competition for a chance to win 50 top world and folk music albums, including Anoushka Shankar, Fatoumata Diawara and Staff Benda Bilili.
Zanzibar is a paradise island, but it’s better than that. It’s a paradise island with great beaches, a fantastic mix of cultural influences, a car-free warren of streets that is Stone Town and some of the best music in East Africa.
The trip also includes the Sauti Za Busara (Sounds of Wisdom) Festival in Stone Town, one of Africa’s biggest music festivals and one of Songlines’ 25 Best International Festivals 2012 (#84, p55). Festival-goers can expect a vibrant mix of styles, including traditional ngoma, taarab, kidumbak, R&B, Swahili hip-hop, mystic and religious music, theatre, comedy and dance. The main stage will feature acts from all over Africa including the young, up-and-coming band from Zimbabwe, Mokoomba, veteran singer Cheikh Lô from Senegal and Tanzanian group Super Maya Baikoko plus many others.
“I especially liked the relaxed nature of the tour. It made a lot of sense to have a couple of ‘meet-up’ times per day, but with no obligation. Overall the tour was very enjoyable. Zanzibar is a fascinating place, the music variety was wonderful and the group of people on the tour was lovely. Thank you!”
Michael Ashworth, on the Songlines Music Travel trip to Zanzibar
Dates for the trip:
Zanzibar – Sounds of the Spice Islands
February 11-18 2013
February 11-22 2013
To download the pdf brochure click here.
Taking you where the music happens, Songlines Music Travel drops you right in the musical heart of some of the most exciting and beautiful cultures and countries from around the globe. For our full list of 2013 trips click here.