Reimagining Ashoka’s words in musical form
CHENNAI: Popular Carnatic vocalist and activist TM Krishna got inspired by the universality of Ashoka’s thoughts and has come up with a music project called The Edict Project.
This is the first time the edicts have ever been sung. “The edict project began in 2020 in collaboration with Ashoka University. The vision is to bring into aesthetic discourse the ideas that Ashoka shared over 2,000 years ago. His words were thoughtful yet complicated, and very relevant to our times. We, unfortunately, live in a vitiated environment where noise pervades. We hope that through this rediscovery of Ashoka we can learn to listen with compassion and live,” TM Krishna tells DT Next.
Sharing with us the reason for making Ashoka’s edicts in a musical format, the musician adds, “When words become part of a musical form they reach people with greater ease. Often the subtle and the nuanced are just experienced and need not be explained. I do hope that listening to Ashoka’s words in melodies will move people to reflect upon their own thoughts and actions. The process was invigorating. It is probably the first time that Magadhan Prakrit is sung. I not only had to understand the meaning of the words, but I also had to find the musicality in the language. This has made the entire journey fascinating.”
TMK is presenting Ashoka’s edicts on the theme of memory and remembrance.