Celebrity Guest Blog: Sona Mohapatra's Tribute to RD Burman

Sona Mohapatra , 10 Oct 2014
Sona Mahapatra
Sona Mohapatra

Performing with a 100 piece Philharmonic is a once in a lifetime experience for any musician. So when I received an invitation from the BBC Asian Network recently to collaborate with one of the best, the BBC Philharmonic, to commemorate one of India’s musical legends on his 75th birth anniversary RD Burman, I knew that this would be a life changing experience for me as an artiste.

4 hours of total rehearsal before show time with the musicians, a month of discussions, mails back and forth with the music arranger, Timothy Pottier (and subsequently the conductor of the orchestra Dave Heath) resulted in a re-interpretation of RD ‘s biggest hits and a re-telling of his life story .

Sona Mahapatra
Sona Mohapatra

The glorious sound of so many live musicians playing under one single roof is beyond description. It’s sublime to say the least. The respect and love that is shown to these musicians in the west is something India needs to learn from before we lose a valuable part of our own heritage. This concert was transmitted globally and live on the BBC Asian Network and that was immense pressure on me to say the least. It was also filmed, and the concert videos will be available soon for all to watch.

Meanwhile, do check out a mobile video from the final rehearsal leading up to the show:

Wearing Rohit Bal’s signature creeper, lotus and leaf motifs on the Kasab Kashmiri embroidered jacket was telling another story at a time when the land is experiencing the pain of the floods. It was a reminder of hope and victory in the middle of strife and struggle. The Eina Ahluwalia hath phool and tear dropped earrings with the boat pendant added to the story telling of beauty and nostalgia.

Sona Mahapatra
Sona Mohapatra

I wore a gypsy style printed dress by Anita Dongre in my second entry. She is a label I’m always proud to collaborate with and stands for the adage that fashion has to be democratic and for everyone! This particular outfit celebrates the world traveler in me.

Sona Mahapatra
Sona Mohapatra

The build up to the show included a press and radio trail at the iconic NBH BBC studios where I enjoyed wearing my favourite designers – Kallol Datta, Payal Khandwala, Pero by Aneeth Arora. In addition, I had a whale of a time meeting new people, telling stories, listening to new ones and making some magic music!

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