UAE | Society

20 instruments in Sharjah resident’s record bid

One-hour concert by 20-year-old will see him drawing on a variety of musical genres

  • By Jumana Khamis, Staff Reporter
  • Published: 21:00 February 1, 2013
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: Arshad Ali/Gulf News
  • Ebin George said he will play the piano, guitar, saxophone, violin, drums, and harmonica during his record bid but sought to keep the other instruments a secret to spice up interest.

Sharjah: From climbing the highest mountains to claims to the longest hair, people around the world are endlessly attempting to break records. Sharjah resident Ebin Rec George, 20, will be attempting to create a new world record by playing 20 musical instruments in a performance on February 2 showcasing what he calls his “God-given talent.”

What makes the record attempt special is that George, a biotechnology graduate from Manipal University in Dubai, is a self-taught musician. It shouldn’t come as a surprise then that his one-hour instrumental concert at the Sharjah Worship Centre’s (SWC) auditorium is titled ‘Nothing is Impossible’.

With over 10 organisations that register world records having already approved his upcoming show, the young man is spending a lot of his time practicing for his multi-genre performance.

“It will be a one-hour medley where each instrument will have its own class and genre,” said George, who hails from India. Switching from funk as he plays the drums to jazz as he moves on to the saxophone, the young musician is planning to highlight a different genre with each instrument he plays. “It will be an instrumental fusion at the end,” he added.

“The concert will include multiple genres like ethnic, African, Latin, rock, funk, jazz, and Indian,” he added.

Listing the piano, guitar, saxophone, violin, drums, and harmonica as some of the instruments he is planning to play, George holds back on the names of the other instruments. “I want to keep some of the instruments a secret, just to increase the suspense for the show,” he said.

If he succeeds, George will create a new world record under one of two categories — ‘the most number of instruments played in a one-hour concert’ or ‘the maximum number of instruments used by a single person in an instrumental music concert.’

Having played his first instrument, an electronic drum pad at the age of two, George says he drew his early inspiration from his parents who were active members of their church choir. At the age of three, he gave his first public performance, playing the drums at a church programme in Bahrain, where he was born.

With music continuing to play a big part in his life, George took part in several inter-school competitions and performed at multiple music events both at school and his church throughout his middle and high school years. After moving to the UAE at the age of nine, he started to play the guitar at the Emirates National School where he won top honours at the annual music competition for five years running.

“I haven’t been to any institutes — music is a passion of mine,” says George. “All my free time and my leisure time, I spent with musical instruments, just playing one instrument after the other — it all happened like that,” he added.

Looking at music sheets and videos on the web, he taught him self how to play a range of instruments. “I looked at webpages, but it came to me by itself, it’s God-given,” he says.

With music being an essential part of George’s life both at school and home, he became a part of a band where he started practising the violin, piano, bass guitar, Arabic drums, and recorder in 2010. “We started a musical band, the ‘Praise Band’, with six members, where we play our own music,” he said. Just a year later, he performed his first Soprano Sax recital in Sharjah.

After getting a chance to sing a solo at a live show by the Indian guitarist and world record holder Dr Benny Prasad in Sharjah just over a year ago, George was motivated to try something new. “When I met Benny Prasad, I was so inspired by him and his show — he was the main source of inspiration that made me think of attempting to break a world record,” recalls George.

Prasad who designed the world’s first Bongo guitar, earned the title of the fastest man to travel to 245 nations — in six years, six months, and 22 days in 2010.

Sending a proposal to several world record organisations, George tried his luck and received a response asking him to play 12 instruments in half an hour. With the growing number of instruments, he had taught himself to play, George set himself the challenge of playing 20 instruments in an hour’s time.

Excited about his big chance, George will be taking the stage in the presence of a number of officials from several ministries in the UAE besides officials from the Indian embassy in the UAE.

Gulf News