The music, cinema and performing arts festival returns to Mumbai with its third edition on December 12th
Among the dozen or so music festivals across India that are clamoring for attention this month, Johnnie Walker – The Journey stands out with its unique model. Apart from the mind-boggling music it offers, there’s exceptional cinema and theatre to witness, not to mention interactive workshops and conversations with inspiring global artists.
While the previous editions have brought music icons like Alan Parsons, Bonobo and Snarky Puppy, theatre act Dislocate and the inimitable Ouroboros – The Handspring Puppet Company to India, this year features another set of brilliant talent from around the globe.
Speaking about festival, Bhavesh Somaya, Head of Luxury, United Spirits – a Diageo Group Company, says, “We have once again curated a list of extremely talented and internationally acclaimed artistes debuting in India who embody our philosophy of inspiring personal progress. Their performances and back stories are sure to draw in all those who appreciate music, films and theatre, and soak in the unique vibe of Johnnie Walker The Journey.”
Here are five reasons why you shouldn’t miss the day-long cultural extravaganza in the city on December 12th at Mumbai’s Mehboob Studios.
It will be headlined by the75-year old disco legend Giorgio Moroder
Long before the term EDM or even electronic music became fashionable, Italian music producer was whipping up tunes that would change the course of synthesizer-based music forever. The septuagenarian is best known for producing the groove-bomb that was Donna Summer’s hit “I Feel Love,” apart from chart-toppers like Berlin’s “Take My Breath Away”  and “Tony’s Theme” from Scarface . All through the Seventies and Eighties, Moroder was the go-to guy for filmmakers looking for a spark of disco in their films.
But he underplays his own outrageously successful career [he’s bagged three Grammys and Oscars apiece, besides securing countless hit production credits] to attribute the resurgence of his career to French artists Daft Punk [Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter]. The duo’s 2013 track “Giorgio by Moroder” on their album Random Access Memories introduced millions of millennial Google-happy fans to the Italian producer. “The fact that their album was disco and retro-disco -- that helped a lot to establish again disco,” he says in an interview with ROLLING STONE INDIA, blissfully unaware of the countless producers and DJs who still play out and continue to be inspired by his tunes. Closer home, check out Biddu’s straight rip of the Moroder bass-line for “Boom Boom,” featuring singer Nazia Hassan, from the 1982 Star soundtrack.
Ambient band Tycho promises to pull a spell on fans with their tunes
Tycho uses the familiar sounds of everyday life to add an element of surrealism to his music: breathing, weather forecasts or plain conversations. Spearheaded by composer-producer Scott Hansen, the California-based band performs laid-back ambient tunes which are themed around nature, childhood and nostalgia among other ideas. Tycho’s sound, although essentially electronic, has been termed organic and fluid.
At their performances, Tycho marry their pristine electronic sounds with live instrumentation, creating a wholesome sonic effect. At their Mumbai show, expect a bout of comforting moody melodies that traverse a whole range of emotions.
Physical theatre act Leo will present a gravity-defying act
If you claim to have good perspective in life, Leo will shake that in a second. Leo is a physical theatre act that is a mix of acrobatics, circus, mime and pantomime, and it is presented by a solo performer – William Bonnet. With an underlying theme of a man caught within the confines of a small room, Leo plays with both funny and dark situations.
This goosebumps-inducing act has traveled across the world and presented shows in Sydney Opera House, as well as Berlin, New York and Montreal. This performance a must-watch at Johnnie Walker – The Journey.
You get a chance to listen to Marlon Brando talking about his life
Johnnie Walker – The Journey will host the screening of this year’s most compelling documentary, Listen To Me Marlon. The film directed by Stevan Riley chronicles the life of the legendary Hollywood actor Marlon Brando through his own voice, which is compiled from private audio recordings.
Listen To Me Marlon is a rare treat for Brando fans, and has recently been nominated for a Gotham Award.
American instrumental rock band Explosions In The Sky will create music magic without words
They might not ever write lyrics or sing in their songs, but American instrumental rock band Explosions In The Sky [EITS] have a way with words. In an interview with ROLLING STONE INDIA, guitarist Munaf Rayani says about their songwriting, “It is not an easy thing to write a song, but once we catch a rhythm… Once a few raindrops fall, it just starts pouring and it’s quite nice to be standing in the rain, like a rain of melody.”
Explosions In The Sky, who have been around since 1999, have been one of the forerunners of ambient, instrumental rock alongside the likes of Scottish band Mogwai and Iceland’s Sigur Ros. True to how they describe songwriting, EITS have been working on a follow-up to their 2011 album Take Care, Take Care, Take Care for four years now. In between, the band has worked with film composers to score music for films ranging from 2013 action film The Lone Ranger to last year’s Al Pacino-starrer drama film Manglehorn.
Johnnie Walker – The Journey will be held on December 12th 2015 at Mehboob Studio, Bandra (West), Mumbai. For more details, click here.