Crescendo brought out the budding musicians of Manipal on to the stage, giving them an opportunity to display their mettle. With its multitude of events and lucrative prizes, this category evoked a spirit of healthy competition among the contestants. From soft rock bands to R&B singers, Crescendo had something in store for everyone.
After a rigorous screening round at its Pre-Revels event, Virtuoso had its final round on the last day of Revels at the Quadrangle. Virtuoso aimed to provide a platform for instrumental music and hoped to bring out skilful performances to the audience. Off to a late start, the event began at 3 pm with a limited audience. The participants were required to present a solo performance to a panel of two judges. They had a maximum of five minutes to do so and were allowed to use any instrument that they wanted. “Under no circumstance is the participant allowed to introduce himself or herself, they will be addressed with their id number,” announced the emcee.
Accordingly, the first performance was a tabla instrumental piece that was a rhythmic variation of classical Hindustani Teental, the sounds of which reverberated in the open space long after the set was over. The next performance was on a keyboard, and the contestant played out his rendition of the famous Jazz piece titled, Autumn Leaves, originally composed by Joseph Kosma, following which he played the familiar opening score from Mr Bean, produced by Howard Goodall.
The third was a guitar performance that created a serene picture of love, as the player rendered a medley of Asturias by Issac Albéniz and the famous Nokia tune Gran Vals by Francisco Tárrega. It was followed by a drums performance on a mashup of Queen’s We Will Rock You, an electric guitar piece on a rendition of Frank Ocean’s Self Control and a saxophone piece on evergreen Bollywood numbers. All the performances were well received and well heard. Virtuoso ended on a high note with a large crowd applauding the performances. All in all, the event was highly appreciated by those who lent an ear.
Jugalbandhi started on the first day of Revels’19 at the Library Auditorium. The event involved two artists jamming with any instrument of their choice sans the vocals. Participants ensured that the audience was fully engaged as they performed. Even though there was a delay in the beginning, the organisers made sure that the judges and the participants were comfortable with the proceedings.
The first round witnessed a turn out of five teams. The performances ranged from a rendition of the Game of Thrones theme song on an acoustic guitar and a table to a group performing with a composition that they created an hour before the competition. A duo consisting of a drummer and an electric guitarist brought the audience to life with their incredibly energetic performance. Out of the five teams that turned up for the first round, four made it through to the finale.
The final round took place at the Library auditorium on the second day of Revels. Teams were supposed to improvise as they were given a pre-recorded track, which they could listen to, for ten minutes before their performance. All the artists worked their way around the tune in an incredibly unique manner. “It was the first event of its kind, with the exact amount of participation as we hoped for,” said Akash Sahakundu, the Event Head. The event was reasonably successful in serving its purpose as it allowed Manipal’s musicians to express themselves through music.
Just before the Proshow concert on the last day of Revels ’19, Crescendo hosted Disc Battle. The participants were given a DJ set and the freedom to mix any songs of their liking. They were judged based on song selection and transition among other factors. Even though only four participants turned up to participate in the event, it didn’t affect their morale, and they battled head to toe for the crown. The Event Head, Rithav Jhamb said, “Through this event, we wanted to make everyone appreciate disc jockeying, an art form that has found its place in mainstream media but underappreciated in the work that goes behind it. We also wanted to give the young DJs of Manipal a platform to showcase their talent.“
The event featured songs from various artists such as Avicii, Marshmello, and David Guetta, to name a few. The participants were in their element and were filled with energy, as they danced and banged their heads to every beat change or bass drop. Overall, the event was a success, and the organisers were content with how things turned up. In addition, the participants were pumped about having gotten an opportunity to showcase their mettle.
Zamir was an eastern solo vocal competition where the participants had to perform songs from an indigenous language. The contestants could sing for a maximum of four minutes and had the option of using a back-end track or accompanying instruments. The singers kept the crowd enthralled with their sound, belting out classics like Lag Jaa Gale and even modern day hits such as Moh-Moh Ke Dhaage, and Deewani Mastani. The contestants from MIT had to undergo a screening process during Pre-Revels. A minuscule ten out of the 40 contestants that participated made it through to the final round.
Furthermore, seven outstation participants partook in the event. The performers drew a significant crowd as passers-by stopped to listen to the tunes. “It was quite a different experience performing here since the audience kept moving throughout,” said Soumyadeep, a participant. The organisers believed that the event perfectly captured and displayed Indian culture. Overall, the organisers were incredibly satisfied with the outcome of the event and looked forward to repeating the feat during the next edition of Revels.
Swara was an event for people with a flair for Indian music. Held on the first day Revels, the solo singing competition could not manage to attract many participants. However, the ones that did turn up possessed exceptional vocal skills. The event was a way of paying tribute to our Indian roots as contestants sang improvised versions over a tune of Indian music notes.
Singers were allowed to use either an instrument or karaoke and were given a time limit of six minutes. Folk, film, semi-classical and classical music were not allowed. Moreover, profane lyrics would have led to disqualification. The participants sang beautiful improvisations, each different from the previous. While some participants chose to sing in a soothing tone, others chose to add power and vibrancy to their performance by singing several complex notes. The performances were thoroughly enjoyed by the judges and the audience alike. “The event was very well organised, and almost all participants performed wonderfully,” said Niveditha B Bhat, a student at MIT. Overall, the event was fairly successful and the organisers were also content with how things panned out for them.
Creative Jam by Crescendo, challenged the contestants to create compelling beats while avoiding the use of musical instruments to do the same. The event witnessed a turnout of three teams, each consisting of three contestants. The audience eagerly awaited the start of the event to understand what was in store. Most participants were a little nervous before the event began. “Participating in this event was a last minute decision, it was fun nevertheless,” said Sitara, a first-year MIT student. Bags, stationery, household items and several other objects were used to create music.
While some used their hands to create music, others beatboxed to create an impact. “Although the participation was on a bit on the lower side, we witnessed some great performances nevertheless,” said Lavish, the presenter for the event. The unique theme of the event attracted participants and audience members alike.
On 7th March, Seranata—the solo singing competition for foreign language songs took place at the NLH stage. A multitude of participants from MIT and outstation colleges partook in the event. All contestants performed their best songs and had the audience swaying with them. Seranata gave the audience and judges jazz, contemporary R&B, and pop tunes. From Micheal Jackson to Alicia Keys and Rihanna, the contestants attempted to recreate chartbusters.
The audience was even more engaged as the event proceeded without any significant technical glitches. In fact, one of the contestants also performed an original composition that he wrote for his grandparents. The last performer, however, misread the lyrics, while the rules clearly stated that only one vocalist is allowed while the other can accompany on an instrument. Furthermore, the participant sang in Hindi which was against the rules. Despite a couple of hiccups, the event was rather successful in accomplishing what it aimed to and gave the singers of Manipal a platform to showcase their talent.
Duets can be for voices, instruments, or a combination of the two. One part is a melody and the second part is the beat that harmonises with that melody. Harmony by Crescendo required participants to pair up to perform. The event witnessed five participating teams that included two outstation teams. While the outstation teams were allowed to participate directly, participants of MIT went through a selection round in pre-revels.
Owing to technical difficulties with the sound system, the event was delayed. The audience was active and involved. The room echoed with claps and cheer as the participants sang Bollywood, western and classical tunes. “It felt great to perform, and we are glad our voices made an impact,” said Raunak, a participant. With a wide range of performances, Harmony allowed some fantastic duos to display their skills.
Unplugged had the participants buzzing in excitement as they eagerly awaited the start of the event to perform with their bands. Even though soundcheck was conducted long before the competition began, the sound system caused a couple of hiccups during the event. In fact, an extra large shield had to be employed to protect the audio system from malfunctioning. Moreover, two of the teams had to perform twice owing to the technical difficulties.
Each performance was filled with soul and energy and had the audience grooving to the beat the entire time. While some performed original compositions, other teams chose to add their essence to songs and caught the attention of the audience. Some bands performed the usual soft-pop and soft-rock while others attempted to fuse jazz and funk. One of the teams was disqualified owing to breach of rules, the team performed with three vocalists even though no more than two vocalists were allowed. In spite of some mild interruptions, the event was a decent success.
Battle of the bands
On 8th March, one of Crescendo’s flagship events, Battle of the Bands took place. The prize for the winners included a whopping ten thousand rupees and an opportunity to perform alongside the Indian Ocean at Goa during the finale of The Stars of India. Just like in any instrumentally heavy event, sound check caused a delay. Despite the interruption, the bands and the audience were pumped.
The first team consisted of a saxophone player, who brought a rather jazzy vibe to an event generally dominated by rock bands. The next band performed an original song along with a tribute to Ozzy Osborne, leaving the audience in awe of their performance. Each band member played well off the other and won the crowd over. The organisers were incredibly pleased with the fact that each band was incredibly unique which made the event even more exciting.
Image Credits: The Photography and Videography Team, Revels’19