Jan 13, 2013

Knock, Knock, Knockin’ on Guinness door

So there you are, many hundreds all poised to knock down the doors of musical history. From Saturday, January 12, in Dimapur city, the world will hear of a tiny, hilly Indian State called ‘Nagaland’ and how her multitudes of music-blooded (mixed with pork), guitar-wielding generation knocked and knocked hard to knock down one of modern world’s greatest symbols of human endeavor, humankind’s indefatigable spirit to conquer new heights – the Guinness World Record.

The numbing weeks of preparations to Nagaland’s maiden attempt to set a practical Guinness World Record for the prospective title of ‘World’s Largest Electric Guitar Ensemble’ will be tested when multitudes of guitar players converge at the Agri-Expo ground in Dimapur’s 4th mile to impress Guinness World Record officials.

The subcontinent’s Guinness World Record representative Nikhil Kishore Shukla, representatives of principal organizer Sky Entertainment and sponsors-partners such as the Government of Nagaland’s Music Task Force (MTF) met with journalists today in Dimapur. The Guinness official and the organizers briefed the Media on the proceedings for the main event on Saturday, one of the biggest music buzzes in Nagaland in the recent times.

According to available records at the time of filing this news report, there are about 800 guitar players who have registered to attempt the record and numbers are expected to rise on Saturday when registration (free) would be open at the venue till around noon. Guitar players from Assam, Meghalaya, and Arunachal Pradesh – aside from across Nagaland – are expected to arrive in Dimapur by Saturday for the big event. The song for the attempt is American hard rockers Guns N’ Roses’ version of ‘Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door.’

Guinness official Shukla said the minimum requirement to setting the stated title record is 250 participants (there is no current Guinness record under the namesake category). ‘What we would be critically looking at would b performance,’ he said, ‘particularly synchronization and (technical) performance. For instance there would be a supervisor each for a stipulated group of participants. Those playing out of sync or have dysfunctional instruments would not be counted for the record.

More on the rules and minimum requirements, the record should be of some professional level at leas. For instance, a record would be counted on the essence of quality, synchronization and harmony and “not a jumble of sounds.” Likewise, every participant must have his own guitar, readied with all the required electronic facility (amps, cables, checked-in etc). There shall be no improvisations in the official attempt. All improvisation, if any, should me decided on and readied during the rehearsals itself, he said.

Also present during the pres conference Gugs Chishi of the government’s MTF said there would be additional guitars and amps for those who “can play but have no electric guitar” especially students. The trick here is not only about knowing how to play the guitar but being in harmony with other players and the musicians guiding the participants.

The organizers have informed that registration will continue expectedly till around noon. While the exact hour the official attempt would begin has yet to be decided on later on in the day (technical details such registration and entry, guitar tuning, placements and arrangements, rehearsal, tending to the details of amplification, sound and power etc would have to be complete first). However, organizers agree that the official attempt should have begun by 2:00PM.

After the attempt, all record and statements of invigilators and supervisors would be collected for the Guinness official to scrutiny. The result would be announced the day itself, it was informed.

Other highlights to the event would be exclusive stickers for the participants’ guitars, Guinness-record T-shirts and of course, a certificate. Organizers have appealed to all guitar players “who can not only play but hold up a tune” to participate and be a part of musical history. For those who have no electric guitar, arrangements are on to provide one at the venue. For those who have the gear, they are asked to bring an electric guitar, a cable and amp. Those who have electric guitars but no amplifiers, the arrangements would be in place. Also all the participants are advised to bring “the longest guitar cable they can find.”

Al Ngullie
(Published: The Morung Express, January 11, 2013)

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