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SAA UK’s Indian Summer Solstice Festival 2015

Amrit was fortunate enough to be invited to the heart of Leeds for South Asian Arts UK’s Summer Solstice Festival. It was the fourth festival held as one of the UK’s only Indian Summer Solstice events. Internationally acclaimed artists of Indian classical music gathered to share music of the mind, body and soul, deeply imbedded in raags of the sunset, night, dawn and sunrise.
What is a Summer Solstice you say? The term solstice comes from the latin for sun being ‘sol’, and ‘sistere’ meaning to stand still. From Earth, the sun can be seen to stop in its orbit before reversing direction. The summer solstice marks the longest day and shortest night when the sun is at its highest.

Watch Amrit catch up with Seetal, from TWO BROWN GIRLS who has been involved with SAA UK for several years…

The evening kicked off with one UK’s finest young violinists of Carnatic music, Dr. Achuthan Sripathmanathan and his fellow musicians. Sound of the violin echoed notes like a violin. It was amazing to see the essence of classical Indian music be told in the modern day by people of all ages.

Deepa Nair returned to Leeds with her soul-searching voice for late night raag. Then Pandit Sanju Sahai took on the midnight hour with his incredible finesse and dexterity with the language of Tabla. Mehboob Nadeem played sitar in the very early hours illuminating the irresistible birth of a new day, which was effortlessly followed by the call for dawn by the amazing flute of international star Rakesh Chaurasia and formidable tabla of Bhupinder Singh Chaggar. Rakesh Chaurasia, the nephew and child prodigy of flute maestro Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia. He has won many awards and attended festivals worldwide, including the twenty-four hour live BBC Radio broadcast celebrating Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth’s Silver Jubilee, reaching audiences across the globe.

SAA UK Summer Solstice 02

The ambience and setting of the evening was relaxing and full of energy connecting people from all communities and generations. Indian spice-infused tea and snacks brought to you to the vibes of all night festivals experienced in the heart of India, whilst vibes of inner peace and emotions were captured by the sounds of the music.

SAA UK Summer Solstice 01

SAA UK Summer Solstice 03


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