Friday, April 8, 2016

Faith and Folk Traditions: Music from South Asia

On April 7, a packed chapel at the Concord Community Music School  listened in awe to the beautiful tones and music that came from 3 Bhutanese and Nepali Musicians who performed as part of the Bach's Lunch Lectures. Each artist shared the history of their instrument, their own musical background, and how appreciative they were to find such a receptive and welcoming community in New Hampshire. Shyam Nepali performed on the sarangi, a hollow-bodied stringed instrument similar to a violin, but carved from one singular piece of wood from a mango tree. Shyam's sarangi was carved by his brother and had their family symbol of a bird, or "a free spirit", on the back of the instrument.  Harimaya Adhikari shared that the harmonim was originally a German instrument but found its way into South Asain and Classical and Folk music in the 1600s. It is performed like a small hand-pumped reed organ. Harimaya is a current Master Artist in the NH State Council on the Arts Traditional Arts Apprenticeship program. She and her husband Sagar have been teaching up to 15 local Nepali youth the harmonium, tabla, and folk songs every Sunday. They currently have 10 kids on their wait list to join the music classes. Sagar Khatiwada's rhythms on the tabla echoed throughout the chapel in patterns sometimes unfamiliar to Western audiences.

The trio will perform again next week on April 14 from 12:10-12:50 pm at the Concord Community Music School. The event is free and open to the public.