In the last decade, we have seen the rise of various genres of music in Kathmandu-from rock to hip-hop to even trance. We grafted the Mtv culture into our own and neglect long-standing musical traditions. After the short burst of enthusiasm over 'Wari Jamuna', Nepali music gradually fused with international genres, not to mention the techno-electronic sounds. In the midst of this entire scramble to imitate and add electric zing, the pure sounds of the flute accompanied by sarangi strings keeping time to the beat of the madal is soothing to the ears.
The new band Kutumba was formed precisely to promote traditional Nepali folk music. They are from the Shukrabar event team and realised that at every event they planned, the musicians played classical music and very little folk. They understood the potential of the lost sounds of traditional folk as Rashil, a band member, says, "We are trying out instruments that are new to us as well as those played in the villages but not much in the cities."
The band consists of Arun Manandhar (tungna), Rubin Kumar Shrestha (flute), Pavit Maharjan (madal). Raja Maharjan (percussion), Sambhu Manandhar (effects) and Rashil Palanchoke (sarangi). The music created by Kutumba is not only unadulterated, it is inspired by harmony and rhythms that all Nepalis have grown up with.
The band prefers performing live to releasing albums, though they have already released two. The first was their namesake Kutumba and the other Folk Roots was recently released. The next Kutumba event 'Acoustic Vibes with Kutumba' is organised by Wave magazine and scheduled for 18 December. You should be there, not just because Kutumba is a promising band but the concert will be a rare opportunity to hear traditional oldies like Maitighar and Resham Firiri.