Leading Carnatic vocalist Supriya Nagarajan, of West Yorkshire based arts organisation Manasamitra, took centre stage at Sage in Gateshead to perform the latest in a series of outstanding musical performances scheduled throughout the UK.
Lullaby Sonic Cradle is a contemporary musical exploration of night time sounds interspersed with lullabies from India and audio recordings gathered from members of the local community.
Residents of Gateshead were able to experience the two magical and unique performances, which took place on February 16th.
Prior to the performance, Manasamitra hosted a series of Lullaby Booths at Newcastle Railway Station, where people were able to record lullabies and childhood memories.
Soundscapes produced in the booths, as well as those recorded during a residency at Sage during the autumn, formed an integral part of the performances. Gateshead was one of just five residencies taking place in the UK last year, with each reflecting the local community’s make-up, habits and passions.
Inspired by the songs Indian women sing to their babies while working in the fields, the installation was created through a collaborative process involving communities, professional musicians and technology. The result is a restful, tranquil and immersive musical experience featuring interactive visual effects.
Composer Duncan Chapman, multi-instrumentalist James Cave and harpist Lucy Nolan also joined Manasamitra founder and noted Carnatic singer Supriya Nagarajan to deliver Lullaby Sonic Cradle.
Manasamitra founder Supriya Nagarajan said: “Following the success of our performances in 2016, we’re pleased to have secured Grants for the Arts funding from Arts Council England to enable us to deliver the Lullaby Sonic Cradle project in partnership with venues across the country.
“During the residencies, we did extensive audience development work and engaged with host partners to better understand the cultural landscapes behind each community.
“This has enabled us to deliver installations that are largely bespoke to each audience, and which place emphasis on the experiences of attendees – whether that be mothers and tots in rural communities or the culturally diverse make-up of the local population in Newcastle.”
The unique project will also be delivered at the Salmon Bothy, Portsoy, Scotland, on March 16 and at Middlesbrough Town Hall on April 13.
Based in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, Manasamitra delivers a range of South Asian arts and cultural experiences in traditional and innovative ways.
The company’s work is stimulated by ideas, forms and aesthetics from India within a contemporary British context.