Saturday, May 1, 2010

The Nomadic Orchestra of the World in Delhi – and other thoughts

A few years ago a friend of mine asked me “if you could choose, would you be a farmer or a herder?”.

Good question. On the one hand I strongly feel I need roots, a house, a land, the security of the cyclic succession of the seasons. And I highly value the value of waiting: waiting winter to pass before spring comes again, waiting years before a plant grows and gives its fruits...

But on the other hand every time I observe the nomadic life of the herders, the harshness and yet the beauty of their lands, the neverending horizons and the sense of freedom of their rangelands, and the sense of uncertainty and yet the opportunities that the constant search of new grazing areas offer them, I cannot not be fascinated by their lifestyle. Perhaps because, in a way, I feel a bit nomadic myself. A modern nomad...

Last week-end we went to a concert of the Nomadic Orchestra of the World, a group of nomadic musicians from Rajasthan that plays a fusion of traditional and folk Rajasthan music. The group has been created through an initiative to promote music as an alternative livelihood opportunity among nomadic communities.

The Orchestra played with contagious enthusiasm. I post here a couple of short videos that I took during the concert (sorry, the quality is not up to much and my memory card filled up during the concert - but still, they give a good idea of the rhythms and the kind of music they played): and

Within this context, we met Andrea, the leader of ‘Le Nuove Tribù Zulu’, a bohemian street-group from Rome that plays a fusion of gipsy, folk, rock, punk, ska, polka and tarantella music. One of the projects of this group aims at bringing together various nomadic groups from all around the world and blending their rhythms and music. Andrea was here in Delhi to formalize the collaboration with the Nomadic Orchestra, with whom Le Nuove Tribù Zulu already played a couple of years ago.

Below a few videos of the group:

- (‘Zingara’ with Chejá Celen)

- (Concert with the NOW in Villa Ada in 2008)

- (videoclip of ‘Da domani cambio vita’)

As time passes and as my musical tastes evolve, I realize how much I am intrigued by these gypsy rhythms. Perhaps because, as I said above, in the end, deeply inside, I am a bit nomadic as well…

And by the way, you, if you could choose, would you be a farmer or a herder (or a fisherman)?

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