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Revels’17 – Crescendo

Battle of the Bands
By Sanat Mharolkar

Credits: The Photography and Videography Category

Talent, passion, and the knack of performing onstage came together in a perfect confluence at Battle of the Bands, Crescendo’s biggest and most awaited event. After an intense competition in the Pre-Revels stage, the ten best bands (which included seven outstation bands) headed for the final showdown at the Quadrangle. The judges for the event were ‘Lagori’, a Bangalore based folk rock band, who later took to the stage themselves and treated the audience with a set of original songs as well as their renditions of Bollywood songs. Prior to that, the judges and the audience were treated to multiple genres of music in a short span of time. The bands showcased their original compositions along with some popular covers and made the most of the fifteen minutes that they were given on the stage. Heavy churning of low notes on guitars coupled with wicked double bass rhythms on the drums kicked off the contest. Heavy Metal with an influence of Indian-classical music was put on display followed by splendid Bengali Pop, and even Carnatic rock from NIT-K’s foremost performers. Cloudburst added a twist to the evening by covering ‘R U Mine’ from the Arctic Monkeys. The competition also had some interesting performances, like ‘Stay’ which is a part of the Interstellar soundtrack, by Under the Cross and an original composition called ‘Soul Trippin’ by The Empyrean. All in all, Battle of the Bands kept true to its nature.

Unplugged
By Sriya Koduru

Credits: The Photography and Videography Category

Crescendo’s acoustic-band event, ‘Unplugged’ held its finale on the second day of Revels with a total of six teams. The melodic tunes of the guitar, the soothing tenor of the piano, and the singular yet versatile violin made for a mellow setting in contrast to the sunny afternoon at the Quadrangle.

The teams had to comprise a range of three to six participants and no more than two vocalists. They were also permitted to use electric and bass guitars without distortion as well as pianos without synthesizers. Multiple genres were covered by the bands; songs such as ‘Losing My Religion’ by R.E.M. and ‘Sound of Muzak’ by Porcupine Tree were played to near perfection. Instruments such as the violin and the tabla were beautifully incorporated into the acoustic music produced – one band even performed an entire song in Malayalam to retain authenticity. The bands did a wonderful job of setting up a lively yet tranquil atmosphere at the venue. When asked about the judging criteria, Kartikeya Rastogi (Coordinator of Crescendo) remarked,“We are looking for a band that excels as individuals as well. Their stage presence and confidence is also being judged.” Although the event started off with a one and half hour delay, the event sailed smoothly afterwards. The organizers of the event also did a splendid job of keeping technical glitches to a bare minimum.

Zamir
By Spandana Sai

‘Zamir’ was a fine example of the cultural diversity at Revels. Crescendo’s eastern vocals competition was organised outside the Innovation Center. By virtue of its location, ‘Zamir’ had a large audience cheering the participants. The previous rounds of this event were conducted during Pre-Revels. Ten finalists from MIT managed to qualify to the final round. Along with the outstation participants, the event started at 5 pm. Each participant was given four minutes to produce a tune melodious enough to get the audience swooning. Being the final round, the event lasted for a couple of hours as more people flocked to the venue.

Chorale
By Suruchi Narang

Credits: The Photography and Videography Category

‘Chorale’ was every acapella specialist’s dream come true, with its teams happily mouthing melodies under the scorching afternoon heat. The singers didn’t let the disappointing turnout of three teams deter them from putting on a good show. Each team could perform for a maximum of seven minutes. The maximum strength of each team was limited to six and instruments were optional.

The participants were judged – by Mr. Naresh P Nayak (Assistant Professor, WGSHA) and Mrs. Carol Sloan – on the basis of synchronisation, voice quality, and song selection along with other measures of their musical competence. The presentation of melodies ranged from Kailash Kher’s ‘Teri Deewani’ to Queen’s ‘Fat Bottomed Girls’ and left the audience asking for more.

Swara
By Afridi Majeed

Credits: The Photography and Videography Category

‘Swara’ brought the local tunes to life. Organised on the first day of Revels’17, the participants were asked to showcase their command over endemic classical songs. Scheduled to be held in the Library Auditorium on 8th March., the event got off to a rather rocky start due to an abrupt change in the venue and an hour long delay.

Carnatic music rang through the walls, which was a welcome change from the Hollywood frenzy that seems to have gripped everybody. Unfortunately, these soulful Carnatic songs were foreign to a large part of the audience. One particularly gripping performance told the tale of a woman’s painful separation from her husband, who left her behind to go to a foreign land. The event heads and organizers felt that the only major hiccup was the deficit of participants, stating that the unforeseen change of venue caused a lot of problems. Sanjay Kashyap (a spectator) remarked, “Though I don’t normally listen to such music, I came today to watch a friend perform. I was riveted by how the music enveloped me in its own eccentric way and resonated within me.”

Serenata
By Souptik Kar

Credits: The Photography and Videography Category

‘Serenata’, an event that had mesmerized its audience during Pre-Revels, was back again on the second day of Revels’17. After blissfully serenading crowds near the Food Court during the initial rounds, it was now time for the audience near the Innovation Center to be thoroughly entertained.

A total of ten participants progressed into the finals after going through the rigors of Pre-Revels and were joined by a handful of outstation participants. Armed with their guitars and playback tracks, the contestants took to stage to enthrall the audience with their Western renditions. A stage time of four minutes was allotted to each participant. What followed next was an onslaught of the most popular Western hits as participants captured the attention of everyone in and around the outdoor venue. Barring a few organisational hiccups, ‘Serenata’ was organised proficiently. Besides discovering several hidden talents, the event treated a large portion of the crowd to an excellent exhibition of music.

Harmony 
By Rhitam Dutta 

Credits: The Photography and Videography Category

Music is said to be the language of the soul and ‘Harmony’ perfectly endorsed that statement. The dual-singing competition brought everyone together and made them take some time off to listen to well-crafted music. Musicians amazed the audience with popular songs like ‘Price Tag’ by Jessica Jones, ‘Say You Won’t Let Me Go’ by James Arthur, and ‘Miracle’ by The Last Shadow Puppets among others. While most performers came without a musical instrument, there were a few who performed with pairs of instruments such as the Ukelele and the electric guitar. When asked about the event, an organizer perfectly summed it up by saying, “Two people being in tune is what Harmony is all about”.

Virtuoso
By Pratiti Sharma

Credits: The Photography and Videography Category

One of Crescendo’s many solo events, ‘Virtuoso’ was held on the first day of Revels. Twelve contestants took part and, despite the fact that the event took place in the sweltering heat of the afternoon outside the Innovation Center, the audience turned up in large numbers. The rules for the event were very relaxed, with the only limitation being that it was a solo event. Every participant was given a time limit of four minutes and their choice of an instrument. From a rendition of Indian classical music to a near-perfect performance of ‘Closer’ by The Chainsmokers, the performances covered the entire range of the musical spectrum. Two flutists managed to add even more width to the cultural diversity by playing a few devotional songs. ‘Virtuoso’ was organised smoothly and everything ran according to schedule. The organisers of Crescendo surely went out of their way to make sure that Revels’17 truly felt like a Carnaval.

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