Monday, December 27, 2010

Peter Saltzman - The revolution ensemble :)

As I get to know more about MOA (Music Online Alive), which is a platform for artistes from the world of music not just to be able to independently create, market and distribute their virtual albums online, but even interact with their fans and fellow artistes, I discover that my journey is endless.
It's like an artist lets loose his canvas midway through his journey to an ocean of enthusiasts and other better or worse peers, to have a go at walking some distance with him. Or then a film maker putting up half his film shot and loosely edited online and inviting whoever wishes to, to jump into the process with him/her to take the story further. If you are an artiste as secure with his craft as Peter Saltzman is as a pianist, then you can let float an idea online, and enjoy while others take it from one level to another, as you take the same idea, through your own interpretation.
Man, the world is getting closer than I thought and art can now be, not just experienced collectively, but even created collectively by varied people from different corners of the world without them even having met each other.
As I revel in the possibility as an artiste myself, who can't wait to release an idea in my head online, and create one piece of fiction while people I don't know, but who may be interested, take the same story I am writing forward, in different forms and styles, I choose to chat with Peter, who I find on Skype almost immediately after the thought crosses my mind.
I want to know what Piano Diaries, his blog, on MOA is about. And you can read his answer in an American accent, as I reproduce it verbatim for you here.
"The inspiration for Piano Diaries... umm... ah! well, actually, the very first album I thought of, for MOA, the virtual album platform, when we were developing it was Piano Diaries... and it was even in my prototypes of images which I developed and we did an early alpha prototype back in 2008 before I met all the people in India..." (he takes a long pause)... "and that was the very first album... and the idea is that, unlike a conventional album, or CD... the virtual album is ofcourse a dynamic ongoing album, and the obvious candidate for that from my standpoint, as a musician, composer and pianist, and singer, songwriter was Piano Diaries, like a Piano Blog... that I could just add entries to, whenever I felt like it... I think ideally on a daily basis, in reality that does not happen.... but the entries are essentially all improvised, kind of whats on my mind... musically that day, and I then, try to tie in some little pithy remark about that... sometimes there's some connection going through my mind with the music and I put that down in the track notes, so, it's really like a piano diary... its just... not structured, not planned... just kind of what goes on in my head musically on any given day... and thats the history behind it..."
Peter, the founder and CEO of Music Online Alive smiles as he relaxes back in his chair and continues, "now... interesting thing is, I believe that this is a really a great prototype for MOA, not only from artistic, but a commercial standpoint, and I think artists need to think about... you know... in a dynamic format like the web... where things are constantly being reinvented... redone... what can you do with it? What can you to with a format which is not static like the CD and the LP... but can grow all the time?... And this is just one idea... I'm sure a guitarist could do the same thing, or a songwriter could put down short songs everyday... different kinds of things that you could rethink the formats that you could put your music in, in as dynamic a format as the web..." he trails on... and leaves me thinking of the painters, writers, film makers, singers and creative people from all forms of performing and non performing arts who are missing out on so much because none of us has a Peter who has actually put together Music Online Alive for musicians, composers, songwriters from all over the world to experience what it is like to play with people who love their art as much as they do, and a fan base which appreciates it as well. Check out Piano Diaries on :)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


Film Festival in City gives a Wake up Call

December 3, 2010 Mumbai

Coinciding with the Human Rights Day, Mumbai city will play host to a hard hitting and thought provoking film festival on human rights issues. FLASHPOINT Human Rights Film Festival, that is being held from December 8th to 10th at the Alliance Francaise auditorium at Marine Lines brings together eight extraordinary films from around the world that deal with human rights issues Human Trafficking & Child prostitution; War Crimes; Religious Fundamentalism, Homophobia, Violence against Women, Death Penalty, Forced Disappearances, etc.

“These movies will shock you and wake you up to the new realities that we all must understand and counter. The Flashpoint Human Rights film festival will hurl you into the hearts and the lives of those brave people who had the audacity to stand up alone against the tyranny of the oppressor”, says Mahesh Bhatt, filmmaker and rights activist, who will Inaugurate the Flashpoint film festival on December 8th at 11am. Well known theater person Dolly Thakore will also be a Guest of Honour at the opening ceremony.

The eight films set in Algeria, Cambodia, China, Cuba, Iran, Italy, Nepal and the Gaza strip show how brave human rights defenders campaign for justice and human rights, often paying a very high price for their work. “These activists and/or their organizations play a crucial role in the worldwide protection and promotion of human rights”, says Taco Ruighaver, Director of Movies That Matter Film festival, Netherlands with whose support this festival has been organized.

Apart from screening of films, there will be panel discussions on urgent and important topics like ‘human trafficking and inadequacy of the law’, ‘violence against women’ and ‘religious intolerance’ with eminent filmmakers Kalpana Lajmi, Bishakha Datta & Vinta Nanda; rights activists Priti Patkar & Flavia Agnes and advocates Maharukh Adenwala, PA Sebastian & Colin Gonsalves.

“For me, it was a simple human response”, says Sridhar Rangayan, Festival Director, who also organized the hugely successful KASHISH Mumbai International Film Festival at PVR Juhu earlier this year, “I saw these films as a Jury member at the festival in Netherlands and I was so moved by the films, that I was determined to bring them to India to share with audiences here”. He hopes that the film festival and discussions will bring about a change in perceptions and mindsets and initiate action. “I want the festival to urge us to reflect, react, revolutionalize and act as a ‘flashpointers’ to usher in change.”

This three day film festival being organized by Solaris Pictures, Mumbai, Magic Lantern Foundation, New Delhi and Movies That Matter, Netherlands.

The festival will also screen in New Delhi from January 20-22nd , 2011. Gargi Sen, Festival Director, who will be organizing the Delhi screenings, says “The impulse to question, criticise and resist is varied but the films also fundamentally present the spirit of the change makers and their abilities to paint a future for mankind. I believe that engaging with these films will make us pause, think and take a re-look at our own lives and thereby create possibilities of change.”

The festival organizers are expecting a good participation by the younger population, like students and youth groups, who have shown an interest in attending the festival.

“If a change has to be made to end this human rights abuse, there has to be an outcry from the public, from every strata of society, from people of all walks of lives. The starting point of this could be very simple – just being informed and aware”, says Nandita Das, award winning actress, filmmaker and social activist in support of the festival, “A human rights film festival like FLASHPOINT makes us aware of the issues and if you are aware, you can possibly make a difference one day”.

Details about films and schedule can be found at

Phone: (022) 28618239 ; Email:

Support Messages from FLASHPOINTERS:

Review of films in Time Out by Nandini Ramnath :

About Solaris Pictures:

Solaris Pictures was one of the organizers of the hugely successful KASHISH Mumbai International Queer Film Festival that created history by being the first ever gay & lesbian film festival in India to be held in a mainstream cinema multiplex. Solaris Pictures is also producer and distributor of award winning films on social issues like HIV/AIDS and gay rights.

About Magic Lantern Foundation:

Magic Lantern Foundation is involved with: Production of documentary films that explore aesthetics and politics, Campaigning with films on issues of social justice, culture and censorship, media education to critically assess the dominant media, training in the use of media and media education, intervening in the construction of media policy, dissemination of independent films, curation and organization of film festivals.

About Movies That Matter:

‘Movies That Matter’, an initiative of Amnesty International, in the Netherlands, promotes international human rights film screenings, offers advice and assistance, and stimulates the exchange of knowledge and experience. They offer a platform for feature films and documentaries made by filmmakers taking a stand for human rights and a sustainable world.

About Alliance Francaise:

Alliance Fran├žaise in Mumbai and New Delhi collaborate closely with the other prestigious cultural centers, promoting cultural exchanges between France and India and initiating a dialogue of ideas and debates through contemporary creation that is accessible to all. The centers are also a unique place for dialogue, learning and transmission of knowledge and culture. and