And, that you give me, with each climb, a descent.’
Unexpected. Unique. Totally lovely. Where have Night been all my life? Actually they’ve been around for a fair few years, just beyond my Indo-Pak centric radar. And now they’re touring the UK, rounding off with a performance at the Rich Mix on Sunday.
‘Night’ are a group of six musicians from Kathmandu who combine modern instruments with traditional, and in some cases endangered instruments from some of Nepal’s remotest regions. The most spectacular of these is the paluwa – a leaf flute which has traditionally been played by shepherds to while away the time, but also to communicate with friends across the hills. Also the tungna, a four-stringed lute traditionally played by the Sherpas, and the 12th century, nearly extinct, piwancha.
Their album Ani Ukali Sangai Orali took eight years to make, and brings together sounds and stories painstakingly collected and learned by the band members during their travels across Nepal. It’s an unabashedly social and political album, focussed on the everyday trials and victories of particularly rural Nepali life, with pointed reference to issues of poverty, homelessness, migration, and the rural-urban divide. It’s also a homage to the mastery of traditional folk musicians whose art has for years been an integral part of Nepali life.
The album’s breadth – in terms of geography, instrument and theme – makes for an eclectic sound, but one that’s beautifully crafted and seamlessly executed. Individual songs go from sweeping, almost cinematic soundscapes to intimate whispers, with beautiful vocals and delicate arrangements – steeped in rich heritage and completely transporting. This we say from having heard only recordings – how exciting will it be to hear them live!
Have a listen for yourself to this preview of the beautiful Ani Ukali Sangai Orali (‘With the Climb, the Descent’) which includes 24 instruments!
And the lovely Tuina ko chha hai Bhara about the perils of crossing rivers using tuins (rope and pulley bridges).
And then have a look at Night’s Shiva Kumar Bhattarai talking about playing the paluwa.
Website: Rich Mix
Posted by SK on 15 April 2016