The Samata Sessions – a global composition

The First Samata Session

The Samata Sessions is an exciting new collaboration between a new collective of international artists and activists which involves bringing together global voices in dance, music, poetry, arts and other creative areas to experiment with international hybrid performances.

For this first session we had; Tinderbox Orchestra playing live original music from the Pianodrome in Edinburgh, Scotland; Indian Wedding Rockers, a high octane drumming band who are part of Kathputli Colony in Dehli, India ( ) ; Hadassah Louis, an amazing poet and activist from Zambia ( ), Chitrakoot Collective in India ( ) , a fantastic dance group in Kenya ( ), and ( ) from Ireland.

What we had in effect was a mini global festival timed so that people could tune in from far and wide.

The day started with prepping everything for the setup, this was to be an experimental session. Here, in Scotland, we gathered at the Pianodrome in a warehouse in Granton, Edinbugh. Musicians bustling in with instruments, audience members taking their seats, and finally, going live on the Zoom call that was being projected onto the wall of the warehouse

It was 3pm UK time, 4pm Zambia / 5pm Kenya / 7.30pm Delhi and with a little fine tuning, we were off to a start.

Vijay, the Dhol players and percussionists from Jagriti got everybody grooving. The urge to bhangra was very present. A smooth transition onto the Elimu dance group, where Kenyan students presented , they moved in to the drumming too! There was such elegance to their rhythms and it was beautiful to watch. We then had some evocative words of poetry read by Hadassah in Zambia, with undertones of the orchestra in the background and some percussion. This was an experimental composition and it synced in well. What a success! Suffice to say we and all the audience were moved. Chitrakoot Collective followed with sharing digital zines about their work with bettering the lives of women in their local communities. We heard words from a project called Sapno Ka Haq which translates to the right to dream’, this piece involved hearing from young people about their dreams and some of the challenges they would face in accomplishing them.

We completed the session with another drumming round and it was superb. Vijay and his group can bring such liveliness to a room, even over zoom.

If you happened to miss this session, keep an eye out for any future sessions we might hold. It was an inspiring afternoon and we are keen to do it again.

Here are some snaps from the session: