Chhatarpur-Tikamgadh Bharkar (MP, India) 02-02-2013

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The Bundeli (1) ragas by French woman Vio's moved everyone's heart.

Living in the Khajuraho area, she plays Bundeli song melodies on the violin.
By Dr. Murad Ali, Khajuraho

The melodies played on the violin by the French woman are charming everybody. As well as gaining experience in Indian and Bundeli music now she is also teaching children (2). As well as giving class to children she goes to school and accompanies the teacher. She is also involved in playing musical tunes in cultural programs around Khajuraho.

The people of Khajuraho call the French woman Violette Grinnaert, Vio. She loves Indian music so much that she learnt to play Bundeli songs on the violin. Now she plays various Indian folk songs and enchants people. Vio has been coming to the Raja Balvant Singh music school for about 6 months where, with the children, she is learning from music teacher Jayram Trivedi, and she is playing in tune beautifully. On the violin Vio plays devotional songs like "Raghu Pati Raghav Raja Rama", "Jay Ganesh Jay Ganesh Jay Ganesh Deva", "Om Jay Jagadish Hare" very easily. In addition she plays some folk songs like "Chero na sakhi gali ghat re", Brij ki suno hat-bat me". The violinist plays devotional and Bundeli songs in temples and for cultural programs in the city with capacity. The melody of the song about Shiva's marriage, "Lamtera Mahadev Baba bare rasiya re, bare rasiya ho mai gora se jore ganth re".... people really love it.

Vio's story in her own words (3)

In conversation with Dainik Bharkar Vio told us; "I don't like pop and rock music. I also love the folk songs of my country (4). In 2004 I became attracted to Indian music and then I came to Varanasi (5). In Banaras I learnt Hindi in Banaras Hindu University. There I learnt violin technique from renowned guru Sukhdev Mishra. Then I studied raag, alap, laykari." Vio also said, "Playing folk tunes on the violin and making music a sadhana (spiritual practice) allows me to experience God (6). The folk tunes come out from my heart. I love to play music by ear. I played a solo performance on Gay Ghat (Varanasi). I am very proud of my guru Sukhdev Mishra. In Paris, France, and other places also I have played violin and made audiences interested in Indian tradition (7). I love traditional music. At this time I am going to France for a Franco-Indian cultural exchange program run by a French association. I am going there with my guru Sukhdev Mishra and some young people from Rishikesh. There we will perform in concert. Last year it was the French youngsters who came to perform their cultural program in India." The teacher from Khajuraho, Jayram Trivedi told us that Grinnaert plays folk songs very mindfully, and she is very eager to learn even difficult songs. In addition she practises violin for hours.

(Translation from Hindi by Vio)

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n o t e s :


(1) Bundeli = of Bundelkhand, i.e. of the area to which Khajuraho belongs.

(2) Actually I have one violin student, outside of school.

(3) And here the journalist mixed everything up but nevermind... ;p

(4) I think this is rendered quite funnily - I was trying to describe the journalist what kind of music I like - which is extremely difficult in India, as people have no idea how broooooooooad western music can be and can't possibly imagine what "independent" music is!!! So I tried to say that I love that music which is ancient-old, played with the heart, I guess that in which I feel some sort of godliness, so I simplified it to "any (European) country's folk music really"... and he wrote I love my country's folk music. Hahaha.

(5) Actually, I started learning (western) violin in 2004, and only started learning Indian violin in 2008.

(6) This sounds far too direct and pretentious in English!!!!

(7) TOTALLY UNTRUE!!! I have never performed in France! (I told him that I was going to, not that I already did!)