|Jim Ankan Deka (2nd from left) with Students of Eastern Fare's Noonmati branch|
"Upon the fabric of silence does one weaves notes and creates music."
Eastern Fare Music Foundation is one such turf which still holds on to such a thought and the music institute proudly propagates it. In an era where music is being bargained over as a fast moving commodity, Eastern Fare affectionately tries to preserve the accent of sound. The institute has now opened branches in Guwahati and Shillong.
Jim Ankan Deka, the first branch of the institute in Koramangala, the heart of Bangalore, went on to become one of India's premier music institutes. The school engaged in providing tutelage to music enthusiasts of all ages. By 2015, Eastern Fare had half a dozen branches all over Bangalore giving music education to more than a hundred pupils.
After providing music education for over 10 years in Bangalore and 8 years at Eastern Fare, Jim decided to return to his homeland, the beautiful North East India, and open new branches of the institute. With help of his musician brother Ankur Deka and friends Prince Mahanta and Debjani Hazarika, Jim opened two branches in Guwahati and one branch in Umroi, Shillong. Although, in Bangalore, the Eastern Fare provides training for instrumental music only, but in the Northeast, the institute has classes for vocals and contemporary and classical dance forms. The main focus of the branches in Northeast is to provide a proper curriculum for music and dance education and give a platform to the students to showcase their talent through the Eastern Fare Production House. A concert cum recital for the students will be held annually.
Eastern Fare prepares students for grade exams conducted by Trinity School of Music, London; but it diverts itself from the regular method of teaching. The institute focuses on a concept based learning method where students are made to understand the core concepts of Music before strumming a guitar of holding a key. "Play the music, not the instrument" is what they preach. Currently classes for Guitar, Keyboard and Western Classical vocals are being conducted on a regular basis, but there are also provisions for instruments like drums, tabla, flute etc.
Jim says "The idea behind the genesis of this institute was to incorporate the thought that Music can be pursued as a mainstream career instead of a hobby or pastime. Eastern Fare encourages and motivates people with a musical inclination to explore their full potential and be able to create amazing work. All the students are given individual attention and guidance making it easier for them to discover their musical abilities. The students are generally screened based on their basic knowledge of music but most importantly they must have passion and sincerity for learning music. The very best of the students and the ones who have constantly exhibited progress never go unrewarded."
The institute plans to open its recording facilities in Guwahati which will be made available to the students at zero cost so that they can prepare their samples easily. The institute also promotes aspiring musicians, and artists through various media. The institute recently started a music project called 'Chai Tunes' in association with Music Malt, where musicians of various genres collaborate to brew a fine blend of music. These projects are shared with the world through a series of music videos viewable on the internet.
When the melodic notes fade away, it vibrates in the memory. Eastern Fare hopes to influence people on similar notes. Even when the students are over their training and are long gone, the musical sojourn will linger on in their hearts and the amorous poetry of sound that they will sing will ripple, spreading the magic of music further and beyond.
Branches in North East -
Noonmati and Narangi in Guwahati
Umroi Army Cantt. (near Barapani or Umiam) in Meghalaya
Find more about Eastern Fare here.
Edited by - Ranjan M