Sandeep Das & the HUM Ensemble

Sandeep Das & the HUM Ensemble

Delhi to Kabul
April 20, 2023

This event occurred as part of the 22/23 Hop Presents season. This is an archived view.

A kaleidoscopic journey of music, dance and storytelling that celebrates the shared history between India and Afghanistan. World Premiere.

22/23 Hop Presents

Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, a Sanskrit shloka, means "the world is one family." For centuries, the human spirit has thrived by transcending literal and figurative borders to cross-pollinate ideas and expressions of art, illuminating societies across time and space. Inspired by this confluence of cultures, Delhi to Kabul is a celebration of the shared history between the two countries that were major trade centers of the legendary Silk Road and flourished with a vibrant cultural, musical and linguistic exchange.

The evening's program draws on Indian Classical/Semi-Classical music, ragas, Afghan Klasik and poetry, pulsating folk grooves and lyrical thumri to create innovative new collaborations. Featuring some of the most iconic instruments of each country, the tabla (a pair of hand drums from North India), rabab (an ancient lute-like instrument from Afghanistan common to many Central Asian countries), and sitar will be joined by Kathak dance (a classical storytelling dance from India) and Afghani author/storyteller Homeira Qaderi. The eclectic and soulful repertoire, a mix of traditional music and new compositions, engages differences only to overcome them, and connects us at an innately human level. It takes us on a mesmerizing journey of new beginnings, exquisite poetry, lyrical exposition and romantic yearnings.

Das will be in residence at Dartmouth this spring during which he will teach a class in the Music Department. He will be joined by the HUM Ensemble on campus for one week to develop Delhi to Kabul. This concert is the culmination of their residencies.

This performance is part of a Music Department Residency. A conversation with the artists follows.

An earnest quest to start a dialogue, spark compassion, and stimulate the imagination to see beyond geographical borders, Delhi to Kabul is a musical invitation to a spiritual odyssey, inspired by the spirit of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam—the beautiful ideal of inclusion, empathy, global community and humanitarianism.

Delhi to Kabul is the fourth project under the canopy of Das's initiative, Transcending Borders One Note at a Time, which aims to harness the transformative power of music to inspire positive social change.

About the HUM Ensemble

Founded by Sandeep Das in 2010, the HUM Ensemble is dedicated to promoting global understanding and transcending borders through the power of music. The HUM Ensemble's debut concert took place in New Delhi and by popular demand it continued performing throughout India in major cities such as Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai. The ensemble has since expanded to a global scale, performing at venues like the Europalia Festival in Brussels, Cal Performances in Berkeley, California, Carolina Performing Arts in Chapel Hill, North Carolina and other venues throughout the US, in addition to regular invitations for residencies and masterclasses at major universities.
Artists of the HUM Ensemble have performed at music festivals worldwide including the World Music Festival (Prague), WOMAD (Madrid, Incheon, Australia, and New Zealand), and the Mystic Music Festival (Turkey), among many others. The ensemble's debut album, Delhi to Damascus, was released in May 2020.

HUM is additionally a nonprofit organization in India, and has sponsored the musical education of nine visually-impaired children through the HUM-Lanxess National Scholarship.

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