Tigramuna at Moksh in Kathmandu – Viva la Musica!
“I don’t know but I’ve been told, music makes you lose control!”
Have you ever wondered why and how music becomes such a potent force in our lives? (What can one say? It’s music!!) The Tigramuna is a contemporary ensemble that pulls in influences and instruments from the Incas of South America to the Jazz Classics with perfect rhythm and tempo. Surprised? I was completely enthralled. (Now, that's what I call music, I thought to myself.)
The Tigramuna comprises of the following band members:
Carlos Villanueva (Musical Director, Composer, Guitar, Vocals)
Wendy Upjohn (Manager, Percussion, Charango)
Nick Bowd (Saxophone)
Peter Firth (Bass)
Daniel Rojas (Keyboards)
Having spent most of my life listening to a ‘crazy’ mix of musicians and music genres, I had not imagined, even for a second, that I would be enjoying, right up close and personal, a fusion of Latin Jazz, Salsa, Merengue and Traditional/Indigenous music quite like the Tigramuna. The Band played at the Moksh Auditorium last Saturday with amazing virtuosity and to great aplomb.
The first part of their concert comprised a workshop during which they introduced indigenous music forms and instruments from Latin America in an astounding complement to the re-discovery and revival of ancient music forms currently gaining currency in serious musicology circles.
It was a rare treat to see that our own bamboo 'bansuri' was among this prismatic collection. Listening to sounds of the seas and mountains rendered musically, through passion and performance, was ‘unreal’!
The concert was close to a serenade – I found myself thoroughly absorbed by the vocals, the percussions, the base and the piano. Daniel, the Pianist is a native of South America, trained in Western Classical Music and yes! a kindred fan of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture. (This does seem hyperbolic but the music speaks for itself.) A fitting metaphorical conceit for the band and the concert, in my mind, would be a pristine rain forest chanced upon by an open soul, captivated by the sounds of the surroundings.
Carlos, the Chilean Guitarist, and Wendy on the Percussions brought to life an admixture of rhythm and harmony perfect in tonality and with ease. Wendy’s gifted style often seemed hidden behind the music she made while unobtrusively giving each piece the backdrop of a lost tribal paean. As the concert drew to a rhapsodic end, the musicians started to smile, possibly at the rapt and open-mouthed attention of the audience. A show and collaboration of this nature, I hope, is the first among many more in Nepal.
As a music student, I could not have asked for a more inspiring and beautiful concert with its casual blending of styles and sounds. The musicians themselves are seared amongst my musical favorites as as beacons of harmony and true “music makers.”
For more information, log on to the Musica Viva website –