Night launched their second
By Mannu Shahi
Night needs no introduction to Nepali music enthusiasts throughout the world. The band has been publishing phenomenal mixture of modern and folk Nepali music for over a decade now. Comprising of six promising artists coming in together from various musical and ethnical diversities, Jason Kuwar, Niraj Shakya, Sudhir Acharya, Meena Kumari Damai, Birat Basnet and Shiva Kumar Khatri collectively form Night. They were among the initial contributors to introduce Nepali flavors blended with western approach in their music. Labelling themselves as new-school folk, Night has managed to win hearts of beyond a certain categorization type crowd globally.
This band employs a wide range of Nepali folk instrumentation to produce their distinctive sounds. Instruments like sarangi, madal, dhimay, pewa-cha, shisya, bhusiya, nagara, muhali, basuri, murchunga, tungna, paat (leaf) etc. can be heard in the music of Night. Due to the excessive influence of modernization some of these folk instruments are sadly in-active in their ritual duties and thus in the verge of extinction. While some of these instruments share a historical relation with certain tradition or ethnicity, but due to various unfortunate circumstances they have been out of practice and are not documented in a proper way. Such is the case of the lower registered fiddle called Pewa-cha that used to be the traditional instrument of the Newars of Patan. But after the arrival of Gaines, along with the Gorkha rule in Kathmandu Valley, Newars abandoned their instrument out of the mere doubt that they might be related with the untouchable caste, since both of their traditional instruments were from the fiddle family.
Mesmerizing audience with the most authentic sounding musical ideas inspired by various music practices dominant thorough-out the country, the band never disappoints to deliver a heart-touching live performance. Their songs about the flood victims, of the struggle faced by a differently able person in the sloppy settlement of the remote regions, of the rope-way transportation one must take on a daily basis, of the soldier who had to return back home on a coffin and many more similar local stories have melted the Nepali audience and taken them on a melancholy ride of a genuine Nepali lifestyle.
And they’re back with their second album bringing us similar stories loaded with more Nepali flavors. Though their debut entry, ‘Ani Ukali Sangai Orali’ consisted of few western instrumentation, however, this time they’ve remained more to the instruments built or practiced locally. Their album titled, ‘Jhalka Raya Buka’ is written in the khasa language prominent in the Karnali zone, the title track itself is a thadi bhaka based on the deuda dance widespread in the far-western regions of Nepal. The album launch took place on Rastriya Naach Ghar, Jamal on 26th of August. It was a full-house that day as most of us even had to stand because of the completely sold-out tickets and the experience was totally worth all the time and fortune one had to spend to reach the venue. A wonderful evening with the best band of K-town, what more an enthusiast listener like myself could ask for, it was one of the best shows I has attended after a long time. To conclude I would like to thank Night for producing their music and changing the face of Nepali popular music forever.