We will always be grateful to music for keeping on allowing us to travel even in these days of lockdowns and bans. So, for our first online event of 2021, we went the extra mile, in the true sense of the word, and ended up in Nepal!
On Sunday, we will indeed accompany you throughout an afternoon of Nepali music from Kathmandu and the world. Between 3PM and 6PM (UK Time), we will have the honour to virtually host six acts presenting different ways to bring forward Nepali music tradition. Musicians who, embracing distant styles and approaches, are reinterpreting their roots and culture.
We will set things in motion with Rajan Shrestha / phatcowlee, a Kathmandu based inter-disciplinary artist, who primarily works with music. Rajan is a DJ, bassist, ethnomusicologist, music producer, member of the post-rock outfit Jindabaad and one half of electronic duo Anaasir. On Sunday, he will present a DJ-set linking the Nepali traditional repertoire with more contemporary and forward-looking sounds.
The second act performing is Jaire, formed by two Kathmandu-based friends who share their “love for animals, nature, music, life and each other”. Their music can be described as math-rock but is far, far more, reflecting Nepal and all its distinct landscapes. Last August, they released their debut EP, which gathers a collection of stories about what the musicians “see, face and hear being a part of the magical natural realm…”
We will then travel to Barcelona to introduce you to a gifted bansuri flute player. Binod Katuwal is a musician and teacher who currently performs solo or collaborates with local bands and musicians in Spain. He is a multi-instrumentalist, in fact: next to bansuri he also plays percussion, didgeridoo and ukulele and is an experienced overtone singer. His music moves from his Nepali origins to embracing the world and the experiences he has had throughout his globetrotting life with a spiritual and ambient emphasis.
We keep on with the Nepali-Spanish connection, because the third act is a collaboration between Kathmandu-born composer, keyboardist, producer and educator Abhisek Bhadra and María Fajardo Martín, a vocalist and composer born in Madrid. The two recently gave life to Jooni, a music project narrating Kathmandu and their very own life journeys employing the language of jazz, improvisation and a global perspective. For the occasion, Maria and Abhisek will be supported by Chilean outfit Ser O Dúo.
Also based in Kathmandu, Kanta dAb dAb is another characteristic musical representation of the Nepali capital. “Through sitar, bass and percussion, the trio blends ethnic, traditional, Nepali classical and various western musical influences to create a groovy, soulful Asian fusion which is distinctly contemporary with Nepali sound”. Next to being one of the most interesting acts in their country, Kanta dAb dAb members are also the founders of the only world music festival in Nepal called Echoes In The Valley.
We will close the event with a grand finale. We will indeed be travelling back to Europe and in Oslo, we will meet Sanskriti Shrestha, an outstanding and versatile tabla player, next to a composer and bandleader of jazz fusion sextet Avatar, accompanied by Norwegian jazz drummer Andreas Wildhagen.
Sanskriti firstly approached tabla when she was 4, since then she has grown into one of the most recognised interpreters of the hand drums, developing her own original style “blending her Nepalese/Indian musical background with jazz, electronics, and western contemporary music, also introducing tabla into the scene of free improvised music”.
Please note that the event will be free to watch and “attend”, but we will be asking for donations on the day to support the musicians participating.
Photo ©: Mehmet Turgut Kirkgoz