ONimctober 2014: Rajasthan Musical Adventure
“I can’t think of enough words to thank you SO much for an amazing, inspiring, magical, ‘wonder’ full and fun trip! I still have music singing inside my head, heart and soul…. and miss seeing Robi Jo’s little smiley face every day! Going off track and visiting the little villages and listening and learning about their music was a privilege and when I heard those voices soaring up into the desert sky I thought I’d died and gone to heaven! It was a great introduction to the festival which was indescribably out of this world and such fun … In one of the most beautiful settings, brilliantly organised and with amazing performers …. All this couldn’t have happened for us without you, Gopal and baby Robi’s input.” – Tiki
” As 3rd time Sound Travellers we feel so privileged to be able to share Georgie’s intimate knowledge of the musicians of Rajasthan. Unique access to the hospitality and virtuosity of amazing musicians in their homes in the villages – where else can you be hosted by international musicians in their front rooms and courtyards (and rooftops!) and be welcomed so generously and enthusiastically? Thanks again Georgie – looking forward to the next trip. Pass on thanks to Gopal too.” – Angie and Jeff (who have been on three trips with Sound Travels now!)
“Great trip – going to villages and meeting musicians in intimate settings we could never have experienced without Georgie Pope’s knowledge and contacts. We were looked after extremely well by Georgie and Gopal Singh. Altogether an excellent trip and a wonderful experience we would thoroughly recommend. Will never forget riding a camel at sunset in Rajasthan!” – Ken and Janet
“Visiting the musicians in their villages (and on a building site!!) were absolutely wonderful and unforgettable experiences. Many thanks again to Gopal and Georgie for getting access to these great people…. And we loved Georgie’s mobile library!” – Duncan and Annette
July 2014: West Bengal Musical Adventure
“We had a tremendous time. Sahana (with Samantak) and Sompi (with Santanu) were terrific companions, relaxed, knowledgeable and simply good fun. We enjoyed four nights of music, with each having a particular flavour and mood; music is, of course, a great way of bringing people together. So MANY thanks for making the arrangements, finding great people to look after us and generally being my guide, along with Som, into the puzzle that is India. ” – Professor Annabelle Sreberny, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
April 2014: Assam Musical Adventure
“Magical. This is the only word to describe the Assam trip. Each day was filled with music, dance, culture, and history. Being in Assam during the Bihu festival was thrilling and we were so warmly welcomed by the tea tribes and the Vaishnavite monks on Majuli Island. Sound Travels takes you far beyond tourism; you really get to know the people and the culture. Instead of observing, we were right in the thick of things, dancing and singing along with everyone. And of course we drank some of that famous tea straight from the source. You really can’t get this experience with any other travel company. I’m not sure a day goes by where I don’t think about what an amazing time I had – I am so grateful to Georgie, Gopal, and Som for the beautiful experiences and an unforgettable journey. ”
Annie Hepburn-Smith, Classical Singer
July 2013: Bespoke tour for artist and musician Marisol Limon Martinez
“The Sound Travels adventure I took through Rajasthan and Assam exceeded my wildest expectations. I am so grateful to Georgie Pope, her colleagues, and the musicians and the families that we met on our journey. Traveling through incredible landscapes and meeting extraordinary musicians, I learned about musical styles, traditions and instruments of various musical communities, as well as different aspects of Indian languages, dialects religions, cuisine, politics, history, visual art, and dance. I wish everyone, musicians and novices alike, could have this multifaceted experience. Georgie is an outstanding musicologist and musician, and additional praises go to Gopal Singh and Georgie’s husband, Som. I will never forget their generosity of spirit! I returned home to New York with new eyes and ears and an enhanced perspective on culture and humanity. The Sound Travels experience continues to inspire and inform my life and creative practice.”
April 2013: Assam Musical Adventure
“I have to say that I really enjoyed being a Sound Traveller. It was pretty full on, there was a tremendous amount to stuff to process: sights, sounds, smells, smiles, etc. But it remains very vivid, I remain very energised and would be happy to meet up with any and all of you in London. So thanks Georgie, for the time and the memories.” – Professor Annabelle Sreberny, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
October 2012: Rajasthan Musical Adventure
“An amazing tour. It was unforgettable. By the time we reached the RIFF, we were exceptionally well prepared with our new knowledge of local musical styles and the trip to the Ajmer Sharif was life-changing. It was a very fitting experience for our 30 year return to Rajasthan. Nothing to be improved on – we look forward to similar trips if possible, Georgie” – Angie and Jeff
“There are three sorts of trips. There are the ones where you go home and you say that was a lovely holiday. And the ones where you go home and you think, you’d like to go back. And then there’s ones where all you can do is sit in a room with a big smile on your face. This was one of those. Thank you Georgie. Five stars!” – Charlie
“Highlights? I loved visiting musicians in their own villages, their enthusiasm and energy… and the musical surprises. Especially the workshop on Pushkar lake. The music and atmosphere transcended the ‘now’. Lowlights? Going home. Georgie, you are a wonderful musician, teacher and all round wonderful woman. It’s been a privilege to be with you as our guide.” – Sandra
“Words cannot express my thanks to you. You opened up a new world of experience, emotion and spiritual fulfilment. Thank you for sharing your love of India with me.” – Brian
“I have really enjoyed the trip. It was all organised extremely well and we all felt very privileged to meet so many wonderful musicians from different backgrounds, thanks to Georgie’s musical connections. Georgie, thanks so much for a memorable, magical, musical journey. I am taking home so many memories!! Thank you for all your hard work, knowledge and your love.” – Beccy
“Beyond words… beyond expectation! The musicians shared something very special with us. Georgie Pope was off the scale. Her itinerary, pacing, knowledge and care for the group were awesome.” – Jan
“Georgie, you have made our trip such a wonderful rich, full, human experience/adventure. A wonderfully planned trip, smoothly and sensitively led.” – Mick
“Words cannot express my appreciation for all you have done and shown us. The experience will live on in my mind for a long time – even the tents and dogs!” – Hilary
January 2012: Thar Desert Musical Adventure
Peter Monaghan – Sound Travels Guest
I really enjoyed the authenticity of the adventure and the village will stay long in my memory. I enjoyed your tour and highlights keep coming back.
January 2012: Bespoke tour
Thanks again for a hugely enjoyable trip. Met some fantastic people and heard some outstanding music – all I’d hoped for. Thanks for the intro to Mukesh and many other colorful characters. Deepest and most sincere thanks for arranging a kick-ass musical adventure for me and for the like-minded observations, wit and chit-chat.
“Georgie’s really the best person I can think of to take you on an unmissable adventure in India. We landed in Jaipur: me, singer Krupa and Truffix with his bass. The plan was to fill up the stage with Rajasthani Musicans on the final night of the Jaipur Literature Festival. I had no idea how this would happen. The wonderful organisers hooked us up with Georgie Pope from Sound Travels. The next three days the show grew and grew as Georgie introduced us not only to the folk musicians of the district but also added the classical edge of tabla and harmonium and then finally joining us on stage herself singing harmonies and playing beautiful harp. The show climaxed with the stage full of fire-eaters, beautiful twirling dancers with burning chandaliers on their heads, huge drums, men dressed as sparkly dancing horses and a french kit drummer Georgie had brought in from Delhi when I requested it with one days notice. An incredible night for me and the 2,000 people in attendance. Thanks Georgie!”
The highlight of our trip was the Jodhpur RIFF where Georgie advised us on the most appropriate schedule based on our musical tastes, to which we were not disappointed.
With Georgie’s contacts in the music industry and her passion for travel, she makes a perfect tour organiser and guide. Thank you very much for making our holiday to India a memorable and magical experience; one which we shall never forget.
We hope to join one of your group trips in the future.
…I really appreciated getting to know Anokhi, too. Great to meet Faith [the founder of Anokhi], to see her home and the factory, go to the museum and shop thoroughly at no fewer than 3 branches! The ayurveda consultation also fulfilled a wish I’ve been nurturing for a while.
On Qawwali in Ajmer and Delhi
What else? Oh yes, groovy qawwali at Ajmer and Nizamuddin. Loved them both. I felt very honoured to be shown round Ajmer Sharif by one of the saint’s descendants. I adored throwing roses at the tomb, and was swept up by the surge of religious fervour at the inner sanctum.
…Pushkar was my favourite place. It’s a really magic location, and we had such fun with Nathu [master nagara musician] and Mukesh [a holy-man who acted as our local guide] and everyone. I’d like to have had a week there! The classical concert there was also one of my highlights, a wonderful contrast to all the other music. However, my number one musical experience was hearing the Bhopa and Bhopi that evening in the bush. Unforgettable.
On the Jodhpur RIFF (the Rajasthan International Folk Festival, in Mehrangarh Fort)
…The best moment of all in Jodphur was when we all walked up to the fort for the first evening’s concerts. The dusk concert had just finished, it was almost dark, the lights were all on, illuminating the splendid structure. It felt like we were personal guests of the Maharaja, turning up for a grand party, like in days gone by. I adore experiencing historical monuments in an exciting, living way like that. Musically, I was knocked out by Parveen Khan, the beautiful 19 year old classical singer. Her singing gave me goose-pimples.
January 2011: Sound Travels Launch
Susheela Raman, singer-producer and Sam Mills, guitarist-producer – nominated for Mercury Prize for their album Salt Rain
Sound Travels is such an exciting enterprise. As musicians and producers who have spent years discovering the fabulous musical treasures of India, we are impressed with the level of research and appreciation that has gone in to creating these magical tours. Georgie is a reliable and efficient producer and someone we work with regularly. She’s facilitated collaborations for us, sorted visas for musicians, toured with us and we can’t wait to go on a Sound Travels tour as soon as we get the chance!