The ‘Sing a Lullaby’ workshop has been connecting individuals throughout the globe via totally different languages and genres
Every Tuesday night time at eight p.m., a handful of individuals from India and world wide, prepare to immerse themselves into lullabies that carry with them the tenderness of time, the invisible embrace of voices passed by, and the light energy of phrases asserting the fantastic thing about language. The ‘Sing a Lullaby’ workshop — an formidable 52 weeks for 52 lullabies — organised by Chennai-based singer-musician Vedanth Bharadwaj and Bengaluru-based singer, Gurupriya Atreya, comes at a time when the world is grappling with uncertainty and worry, bringing a comfortable nook of heat underneath the blanket of hope.
“We have actually been discussing this idea — of an album of lullabies — since 2014, when my wife and I were about to have our first child. And then again in 2016, when Gurupriya had her first child. Each time, we would go one step further and then it would inevitably stop,” says Vedanth. “In fact,” provides Gurupriya, “in 2018, there was another revival when NIMHANS roped us in for a project for their post-partum department, but the project was eventually scrapped due to budget issues.” Vedanth and Gurupriya, who’ve been collaborating on a number of live shows since 2007, lastly discovered the best place and time for the concept to grow to be a actuality. “When procrastination became legal in 2020,” laughs Vedanth, “we thought, okay, now is the time.”
The posters and emails went out in October for a workshop that’s open to all and follows the pay-as-you-can mannequin, and inside every week, that they had over 200 registrations. “Two hundred and twenty two emails,” says Gurupriya. “It was overwhelming and heartening that so many were interested. And the stories they shared — one new mother, with a 40-day-old baby, said that everyone in her house seemed to have made a connection with the baby except her and she hoped, by learning lullabies and singing to her baby, she would find her connection too.”
On the primary day of the workshop, 170 individuals turned up on Zoom and YouTube collectively, the place the session is lively for 24 hours to accommodate these from totally different time zones. Like Menga Asaridis-Taian, a retired Kindergarten instructor from Switzerland, who hasn’t missed a session until now. “Since the pandemic has been keeping us mostly at home, we have been actively using Zoom in order to teach or meet people or sing! That’s how I found the idea of singing lullabies a wonderful chance to widen my horizon. I am enjoying not only the singing, but also the atmosphere of the workshop — there is no stress, there is kindness and there is comfort,” she says. For Anand Kurien, father to a five-year-old and a instructor with the uncommon mixture of instructing physics and music at Good Earth School in Chennai, this workshop was an opportunity to develop his repertoire of songs.
“The different genres of music, the variety of languages, and even just the experience of watching how one teaches music online… it’s invaluable for any music teacher. But even though I began with a specific reason, I have come to enjoy the sense of community this workshop brings. There is one participant who actually falls asleep listening to the songs! It’s wonderful. I think if you attend once, you will keep coming back for more.”
But is the workshop solely for many who can maintain a tune? Surely not, as that’s the factor about lullabies — you sing not for the perfection of the melody or phrases, however for the promise of accessing one thing historic, a magic that we absolutely consider on the finish of an extended day, when all we wish is for the kid to go to sleep. “I still remember my out-of-tune grandmother’s lullaby singing,” says Radha Nagesh, counsellor, Viveka Counselling Centre, Bengaluru. “Now I sing for my grand-daughter, and am usually surprised because it is almost like she recognises it. It makes one wonder, what is that magic in a lullaby, the memory of which is etched over generations and longs to be passed on? Incidentally, my 80-year-old mother, Shanta Iyer, is also attending this workshop!”
It is that this human connection that the workshop in the end creates, those we can’t clarify however can sing, when for a quick second in time, a language and a tune break away from polarised silos and wrap themselves round our tongues. “At the end of this endeavour, we hope to have four albums with 13 songs each,” says Vedanth. “But for now, it is about showing up every week, and realising that this is more than just the two of us; it now has an entire community behind it.”
The unbiased author
relies in Chennai.