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  • Writer's pictureFiorella Camilleri

The Mumbai experience Dec2019

Mumbai - Mood Indigo Festival

In June 2019, the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra received an invite to travel to Mumbai to perform at the Mood Indigo Festival between the 25th December – 29th December. This festival is one of the largest events across India, organized by students from the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay.

Initially, the organizers requested for the full 60-piece orchestra to travel to Mumbai. However, this was impractical, mainly due to the time of year the event was schedule to take place, and the expenses in travelling costs, as the MPO was responsible for flights and artistic fees.

After further consideration, it was then decided to send my flute and guitar duo to perform in the festival. One of the reasons I was chosen was because I usually collaborate with distinguished artists and my repertoire ranges from classical to Tango, among others. I was given the liberty in choosing the program and to collaborate with an artist of my choice. I decided to ask Mexican guitarist Andres Gonzales Najera to join me and perform at the festival and from that moment the flute and guitar duo 'Cinco flores' was born. Apart from that Anastasia Megally, the MPO CEO PA, joined us as well. Her valuable help and presence made our trip a successful one. She made sure that everything followed smoothly.

And this is what brief :)

Wednesday 25th December: We travelled to Mumbai via Istanbul with a 6hr layover.

Thursday 26th December: We arrived in Mumbai early in the morning and were greeted by one of the organizers. On the same day, we had our first performance in an outdoor theatre. We had some technical issues as the organizers had not prepared 2 microphones for the instruments, and no tent, despite having requested it multiple time prior to travelling to India. Following our first performance, we were invited to go to the Honorary Consul’s residence, a two-hour drive, to perform for Ms Ruia and her family/friends.

Friday 27th December: We performed at the same outdoor theatre. We received an outstanding feedback from the audience and were asked to perform for an extra half hour. Later that day, we met with the Honorary Consul Ms Ruia, where she showed us around Mumbai and further discussed the possibility of collaborating on a tour in India and Dubai.

Saturday 28th December: On the third day, the performance was held at a different outdoor venue. The organizers surprised us by having a synesthesia artist paint during the our performance.

Sunday 29th December: We had to leave early in the morning to catch our long-haul flight, first stopping in Istanbul in a 6hr layover.

Music has a way to unite cultures and building bridges between nations. We are currently still in contact with the Honorary Consul Ms Ruia as we hope to be able to collaborate one day.

  1. The duo after their 1st performance.

  2. The duo performing at the Honorary Consul’s residency.

  3. With the Honorary Consul Ms Chandra Ruia and her family/friends.

  4. Synesthesia artist painting during the duo’s performance.

  5. Group photo with the organizers after the duo’s performance. Fiorella is holding the finalized painting by the Synesthesia artist.

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