Artist to Artist, Confluence of music, freedom of expression“Music is the language of the spirit. It opens the secret of life bringing peace, abolishing strife.”
― Kahlil Gibran
Artist to Artist (A2A) is a quarterly musical event at Singapore meant to provide a platform for budding singers, passion re-igniters, original composers, established and celebrity musicians. As emcee of the event, this is my honest assessment of how A2A is contributing to the rapidly growing Singapore Indian music scene.
The word Ambar in Hindi means heaven, the sky, with the stars. The man Ambar Ghosh, over the last eight months has by now conceptualized, sculpted and laid a platform for local artists to start dreaming for the stars.
Ambar’s A2A (Artist to Artist) is now a regular music event which brings forth a confluence of music, styles, language and art. Any style, any language, any form of music can perform here. This talent evening is held once every two months at Moshi Moshi Bollywood (Orchard Road) and even you, dear reader, can optimize your musical passions here. There are no registration charges, no entry fees and no cover charges! Only passionate musicians to meet, interact and play with.
Moshi Moshi Bollywood’s owner Ricky and Puran deserve special mention for their unconditional support and letting the event set stage for free, for the sake of passion. Aside, free real estate, Ricky and Puran have also played their part in ensuring the event has high quality sound output. The sound system was upgraded before Season 2 and then further upgraded last month (with implementation of Audi Aural) on eve of Season 4.
The recently concluded Season 5 of A2A had 33 artists on stage singing 40+ songs. The event went for a marathon five and half hours. The songs ranged from Pakistani folk (yes there were esteemed artists from Pakistan too) to Bangla rock, Assamese folk to Jewish folk to Carnatic to Rabindra Sangeet to U2! Season 6, coming this Sunday Nov 20 has close to ten original composed songs alongside four English acts by local non-Indian artists.
This I clarified to remove any bias one may have thinking its only an Indian or subcontinent event. It’s not, it’s a musical event. Filled with creative mash-ups, original remix of popular songs and overall artists ranging from age 12 – 52!
Compared to the previous seasons, there has been steady and rapid growth in involvement and participation. The season 6 date has been announced, two months in advance, and 90% artists had put their handkerchief on seats (!) – ie reserving slots even with more than a month left to go.
So dear reader, if you are anywhere remotely connected to music, feel free to be there. Be there as a performer, a fan of music or just as a Sunday spirits lover (yes, they sell good alcohol and finger food there too).
“Who hears music, feels his solitude peopled at once.”
― Robert Browning
Ambar, Ricky Sapuran Singh and their buddies (Monami Mukherjee – planner, Anand Dhamelia- multiple instrumentalist, Haneena Mohammed -videographer, Avijit Das Patnaik – emcee, Sudeshna Euphonies – marketing manager, Prabhjot Singh Arora- stage manager, Ashutosh Shah-guitarist, Uma Sri- photographer) at Singapore Expat Musicians Club got this event rolling and it has never looked back since.
A2A is a semi acoustic driven setup with basic amplification system. It consists of 3 microphones, 1 cajon, 1 tabla, 1 Digital keyboard (piano mode), 1 acoustic guitar and 1 more input channel. The event is divided into two sections – the “A2A main event” and the “Open microphone”.
The “A2A main event” typically goes for four and half to five and half hours on a Sunday evening, where each artist gets a maximum of two songs. Out of all the artists in main event, certain artists or songs are given ‘featured’ status and their songs are live recorded and/or video recorded.