Published On: September 25, 2019 09:00 PM NPT By: Kiran Lama

Setting Nepali music in world music map

Setting Nepali music in world music map

Photo: Facebook

In the world, Nepal is recognized as the country of Mt Everest and birthplace of Gautam Buddha however, its rich culture is yet to be exposed. Nevertheless, artists from Kutumba and Kanta dAb dAb are all set to represent Nepal in the world’s biggest music expo World Music Expo (WOMEX) to give the world a taste of authentic Nepali music.

Nepali music also has diversity because of diversity in ethnic groups found in Nepal. But, due to the effect of globalization, Nepali musicians are heavily influenced by western music. This has affected traditional Nepali music, which is on the verge of extinction. Moreover, Nepali music has been overshadowed by Indian music as well.

Therefore, with an aim to preserve and promote the traditional music in Nepal and build sustainable pathways for musicians to perform in global market, three artists including Sunil Kansakar(sitarist), Arun Gurung (manager of Kutumba) and  Rizu Tuladhar (bassist of Kanta dAb dAb) are set to represent Nepal in WOMEX for the first time.

WOMEX is a gathering of around 3,000 professionals involved in world music such as musician, publisher, the record label that happened every year in Europe according to  Rizu Tuladhar who has been participating for the discussion sessions for past couple years.

He added, “From my past two years of experiences in WOMEX, I’ve learned that whenever the world looked at the countries from South Asia, only visible musicians are from India. So last year, I attended the WOMEX as delegator to present the paper on the topic ‘Accessibility, Equality, and Equity’. So basically, I got to talk about accessibility for countries like Nepal. After the presentation, we got the invitation for three artists to participate in WOMEX to promote Nepali music there.”

Road to WOMEX

This year WOMEX 2019 is going to happen in Tampere, Finland.  According to Rizu Tuladhar, participating in WOMEX is a golden opportunity to set Nepali music in world music map.

 “We’ll not learn until we see, so participating there will give an exposure to Nepali music in global market,” he believed. “We get influenced by what we see in television and internet. Consequently, we follow western music. So, participating in WOMEX, we’re trying to set the foundation to inspire youngster to embrace Nepali music as well.”

He stressed that Nepali couldn’t compete with western music just playing a western instrument. “We must know our reality and ground. The foreigners couldn’t compete with us in term of playing folk instruments such as madal and sitar because we inherit them.”

As Nepal is rich in unique and intriguing folk instruments, the world is interested to do research on it, shared Tuladhar. “Latin music used to be uncommon—playing only in the countryside of South America. But due to proper research, this music has got its position in the mainstream music world. Hence, we need to initiate proper research ourselves before someone else does.”

Meanwhile, in the WOMEX they will also promote Nepali fusion music bands including Kanta dAb dAb, Kutumba, Night Band and the aspiring band like Triplex and Panchamtrit. “We will present the session about these bands with the band portfolio in WOMEX. So that the world will have a real taste of the Nepali music,” he said.

After participating, these three artists will conduct workshops and mentoring sessions amongst professional musician and music student in Nepal about the knowledge and training they received throughout the WOMEX.

 Fund Raising Musical Event

WOMEX has invited Kutumba and Kanta dAb dAb to represent Nepal.  And the entry charge to participate in WOMEX is almost 500 Euro. But due to student quota, the organizer is only charging 100 Euros, according to Tuladhar.  However, the participants have not enough funds for traveling to Finland. Hence to generate the fund for their travel, Kanta dAb dAb and Kutumba is jointly performing at the Patan Museum, Patan on September 28.

Basically in other countries, the Culture Department has allocated the budget to participate in WOMEX; however, this kind of practice is hardly seen in Nepal, said Tuladhar.

 Initially, Kutumba and Kanta dAb dAb will perform with their own band. That is followed by a collaborative performance in the event. Tuladhar appealed to support the Nepali band by buying the tickets of the event and shared, “Please do come and support Nepali music.”



Kutumba, Kanta_dAb_dAb, WOMEX,

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