Shillong, Oct 26 (IANS) Meghalaya, India's northeastern state, Friday set a world record for the largest ever guitar ensemble, overtaking the existing Guinness Book of World Records held by Kansas city in the US for such an ensemble, organisers said.
'A total of 1,730 guitarists strummed in unison to create history. We are simply ecstatic over this show that went off without a glitch,' Aiban Mawkhrow, general secretary of the Meghalaya Tourism Development Forum, that organised the event, told IANS.
The earlier record was held by an ensemble of 1,721 guitarists at Kansas city in the US.
In the absence of a Guinness adjudicator, the organisers have documented and video filmed the entire event and would send the recording to London for formal authentication.
'An adjudicator from Guinness was supposed to come for the event, but due to some unavoidable circumstances he could not make it. We have followed the guidelines given to us by the Guinness authorities in going ahead with the record-breaking feat,' Mawkhrow said.
The organisers said it could take up to a month to get the official recognition.
The participants, most of them locals and from other parts of the northeast, started pouring in to the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Shillong since morning with the tune of Bob Dylan's classic number 'Knocking on Heaven's Door' already reverberating the hills of this picture-postcard capital city.
'The mood was upbeat all along. The northeast has proved to the world that music is an integral part of its culture,' said M. Lansing, another organiser.
The guitar ensemble titled 'Rhythms of Meghalaya' was the opening item at the 10-day-long Autumn Festival that began here Friday.
'Almost every second or third person in Meghalaya knows how to play the guitar and owns one and they have proved their passion for music today,' state Education Minister and chairman of the Forum, R.G. Lyngdoh, told IANS.
Last year, a band of about 7,951 drummers in Shillong had set a new world record for the largest drum ensemble by performing for more than five minutes in perfect rhythm during the annual Autumn Festival.
The previous Guinness world record for the largest drum ensemble was set in February 2005 by Po Leung Kuk, a charity organisation in Hong Kong helping orphaned children, which assembled 7,727 drummers.
'We are trying to promote the region through music...last year it was the drum circle and this time it was the guitar ensemble and maybe the next year something different,' Lyngdoh said.
India's northeast is known to the outside world as a land of rugged beauty and constant turmoil with ethnic conflicts and a myriad insurgencies claiming an estimated 50,000 lives since India's independence in 1947.