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23 February 2000

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And what's the food of music?

Huge feasts and chaotic musical melas are no longer the prerogative of middle class marriages. Techies do it too!

Subsidised beer at Rs 25 a bottle, jacked-up samosas that cost almost as much, pav bhaji, veg and chicken rolls, coffee, Coke, and for the health conscious, fruit salad... you name it, the hosts had it.

A party? No, a music concert at International Tech Park, the Whitefield enclave set up by the Karnataka government for Bangalore's software workforce. Moonlighting@techpark in late February was meant for "techparkites" and was by invitation only.

Why the mela? "Recreation is serious business. It helps to increase productivity," according to one of the many comperes of the show.

And so in the first edition of Moonlighting, international guitarists were invited to share the spotlight with Bangalore's mridangam master T A S Mani for some east meets est fusion music.

Only, the musicians had a little problem being heard. No, no, I'm not even suggesting that the din was too much, just that the mike was causing problems. So the two guitarists, Manuel Delgado from Spain and Ralf Siedhoff from Germany, played a game of merry go round. One strummed the guitar, the other ran down the aisle and checked the mike. This went on for quiet a while before the start.

And then, as the compere remarked, "Even the rain gods want to join us".

So the event moved indoors, and the actual music started an hour and a half late.

Many were high on beer. The reaction to the music was lots of hooting and cheering, depending on how the crowd felt at at a particular moment.

The whole concept of Moonlighting originated from the "noon binge" the Techpark has every Friday. The binge is about letting yourself go, DJs, music, a hundred people boogeying and a thousand others watching.

Moonlighting has nobler intentions. This quarterly event will bring in "exponents in the field of music, both mainstream artistes and first time performers, providing an opportunity to see masters at work." As the P R lady said, there is nothing stale or predictable about the show. There wasn't at the one we attended.

P B Parvathy

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