For years, the possibility of dialogue between India and Latin America has intrigued several of Music & the Earth's team members-- namely, Carlos Bedoya, Paulette Beauchamp, and Priya Parrotta. As a result, Music & the Earth has taken particular care to create space for such dialogue. Since the start of M&E, our curiosity has acquired a new dimension: an interest in the environmental commonalities between these two vast regions of the world, and the potential of music to explore that common ground.
We (Carlos, Paulette and Priya) engage in projects which celebrate the ecological, musical and spiritual counterpoints and resonances between vastly diverse cultures of South and Central America, the Caribbean, and South Asia. To date, we have presented two concerts-- Callejón Sangeet and Melodías de Primavera-- which integrate South Asian and Latin Caribbean music to honor the tropical ecosystems common to both. For these concerts, we have developed half a dozen new performances, and combined these with older projects by Carlos and Paulette. Most notably, we have collaborated on a version of a North Indian ghazal about childhood, in which the cuatro, an iconic Puerto Rican stringed instrument, plays a leading role.
To complement this ongoing collaboration, Priya has authored several articles, presented a conference paper, and created a podcast episode on the relevance of Sufi and Vedic music to the environmental realities of the Caribbean. She has also released four Latin/ environmental interpretations of Sufi and Bollywood music.
These projects, and those on the horizon, seek to give to environmentalism the cultural benefits that Latin America and India have to offer. By making connections between the two, we hope to support an environmental philosophy and practice that draw from the histories and strengths of both.
For a sample of our music, please listen here: