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Lyrics Of Solitude

On 16 December at Morden Assembly Hall, world poetry and classical Indian music will transcend the audience into the universe of dream and illusion.

According to Chandra Chakraborty, the main vocalist, this is the first event that combines both music and poetry to create something special. She enthusiastically explains ‘I don't think there are many groups around who work with children and people with learning disabilities to improve their imagination skills through classical Indian music and poetry’. Chandra, who has sung for Nelson Mandela as well as meeting the Queen on two occasions, began singing at the age of six and has performed in many major concerts in ‘India, England, America, Pakistan and South Africa.’

The event, Lyrics of Solitude, is an event of World Poetry and Indian Classical Music. It features Urdu and Bengali poetry along with the translations from Persian and Mexican poetry, set to the melodies of Indian classical vocal and instrumental music, which according to Chandra will ‘create a colourful and serene ambience to transcend the audience into the universe of dream and illusion.’ As she explains, ‘the two art forms complement each other very nicely – the music is never ending and we match the voices to the poetry.’

The idea behind combining both poetry and music was the work of two people, Chandra and TM Ahmed Kaysher, who is a poet. He works very hard behind the scenes and is one of the reasons why concerts such as Lyrics of Solitude take place. He is also the co founder of the organisation, Saudha – Society of Poetry and Indian Music.

Classical Indian music is something that Chandra is extremely passionate about. She describes it as never ending: ‘It’s like an ocean. It encompasses all emotions from happiness and joy to sadness and loneliness.’

The performance promises to be truly unique. ‘It is completely new - the whole concept of classical music harmoniously blended with poetry’ as Chandra explains.

They have performed a number of concerts all over the country including Leeds, Birmingham and Tower Hamlets, with this performance, Lyrics of Solitude focusing mainly on the theme of loneliness.  

The aim of this particular performance ‘was to create a new audience, develop a new way of communication with socially excluded people and to get teenagers into poetry and music. We’ve done workshops in schools and we try to encourage youngsters to use their imagination skills.’ The concert is free to those with disabilities and Chandra explains it is these people who may benefit the most. It will give them a chance to express how they feel as they ‘can often feel lonely.’ Ideally they would like ‘to get all communities and backgrounds involved.’

So what can you expect? ‘You will enjoy a great evening of Sitar, Violin and vocals with world poetry.’ There will also be some very famous musicians that will be performing on the night that include Sanju Sahai, Baluji Shrivastav and Kamalbir Nandra. The poetry will be recited by Marianne Zeck, Najma Usman, Leesa Gazi and Basir Afridi.

It must be a wonderful feeling being part of something completely new – and knowing that you are really making a difference to people’s lives. ‘I feel a great sense of achievement and the love I get in return – it’s the main thing you can ever get. It feels like you are giving something back to the community.’

Chandra explains that ‘after the launch on 16 December, we will be hosting Classical Music and World poetry festivals as well as workshops across the whole country, and will have a good collection of poems written/imagined by children, those with learning disabilities and lonely individuals.’ The poems that are written during the workshops will be published in a publication that is printed four times a year.

Looking to the future, Chandra explains how they plan to expand all over the country, working with communities in libraries.

But for now, Lyrics of Solitude invites you to embark on a journey of celestial surreal ambience through the perfect harmonisation of poetry and music. The performance will take place on 16 December at Morden Assembly Hall and will last approximately three hours (5-8pm). Refreshments will be available to purchase. Get your tickets now!

Morden Assembly Hall, Tudor Drive, Morden, SM4 4PJ
5-8pm, £10 on the door, Free for those with disabilities

For booking

Chandra ChakrabortySociety of Poetry and Indian Music workshopA performance of Lyrics of LoveA performance of Indian classical music and world poetry