The Portuguese musician and composer Rão Kyao presents in February, in Goa and New Delhi, India, the recital “Um Português honors Gandhi”, with themes “evocative of some teachings and most important episodes in life” by activist Mahatma Gandhi.
According to the agency of Rão Kyao, the musician and composer will present the recital “Um Português honors Gandhi”, in quintet, in Goa, on February 9, at Festival do Monte, at the invitation of Fundação Oriente.
Two days later, February 11, Rão Kyao “will be performing at the India Habitat Center, in New Delhi, on the occasion of the state visit of the President of Portugal [Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa] to India”.
As part of the celebrations for the 150th anniversary of the birth of the Indian activist and pacifist Mahatma Gandhi, marked on October 2 last year, “the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MEA) [of India], through the embassies of each of these countries, launched a unique initiative of Indian missions in 124 countries, for the participation of local musicians and groups “.
In Portugal, “the invited musician was Rão Kyao”. “Disciple of Pandit Raghunath Seth [Indian musician and composer], created a rearrangement in 2018 for the theme ‘Vaishnav Jan To Tene Kahiye Je’, ‘bhajan’ that Gandhi loved very much and that became in India as a hymn that has a firm home and safe in the hearts of millions of Indians “, recalls the agency of Rão Kyao.
The arrangement of this theme “was conceived and recorded using the bamboo flute, the Portuguese guitar, the ‘harmonium’ (accordion family and used in India) and the classical guitar”.
After creating this theme, Rão Kyao “wanted to pay more homage to this unique figure of humanity, composing a series of themes evocative of some of the most important teachings and episodes in the life of Mahatma”, thus having emerged the themes “Mahatma”, “Respect for Nature “,” God is Love “,” Back to the Traditional “,” Peace is the Way “,” Be Merciful “,” Sathyagraha (Non-Violence) “,” March of Salt “and” Independence “.
With Rão Kyao’s version of “Vaishnav Jan To Tene Kahiye Je”, these are the themes included in the recital.
Rão Kyao, born in Lisbon, started musical studies with saxophonist Victor Santos, with whom he studied music theory, solfeggio, saxophone and flute. In 1976, he edited his first album, “Malpertuis”, and in the following year, “Bambu”, in which he was accompanied on one of the themes by pianist António Pinho Vargas.
In 1978, he represented Portugal at the International Yatra Jazz Music Festival in Bombay, India. This was followed by the albums “Goa”, “Live at Cascais”, “Ritual” and, in 1983, “Fado Bailado”, which catapulted his name into the musical spotlight.
He has since recorded about two dozen albums. In 1999, with the Macao Chinese Orchestra, he also recorded his own compositions, in order to illustrate, through music, the 450 years of Portuguese presence in that Chinese territory.
In 2000, he made his debut as a theater composer at the invitation of director Carlos Avilez. In 2001, he released the CD “Fado Virado a Nascente”.
His most recent album, “Aventuras da Alma”, which refers to a summer party in a village, revisiting different traditions, such as Hindu, Gypsy, Hellenic and African, was released in May 2017.