The Indian band Oikyotaan (meaning harmony of a universal melody) has developed a style in which rhythms and melodies of Bengali folksongs, especially from the Baul tradition, are joined in modern arrangements for modern instruments. Oikyotaan is a gathering of musicians keen to exchange ideas and to engage in a dialogue with traditional musical forms.
The band was founded two years ago in Chennai/Madras by Bonnie Chakraborty who, as a singer of the cult band Krosswindz in Calcutta till 1977, was firstly devoted to pop and rock but has since turned to Indian film- and Bengali folk-music. He is especially interested in bringing ´western´ instruments like the guitar and double bass into folk music without lessening the latter´s earthy vitality and likes to work together with various virtuosi of traditional music, one after another. He has played already with the Irish fiddler Lazare Reznik and is presently working with Kartick the Baul, a traditional Baul singer from West Bengal, the Bauls being a community of musicians wandering through east Indian Bengal and Bangladesh and rejecting the traditional distinction between religions. Chakraborty is now planning to work with a Qavvali singer.
Other musicians in the band are Paul Jacob (bass, song, salangais), Donan Murray (electrical and acoustic guitar) and K.V. Balakrishnan (percussion: dholki, mridangam, kanjira, African talking drum, dandia and bells).
Oikyotaan is to perform in the House of World Cultures as part of the Festival of Sacred Music 2004 in the Long Night of Baul Music. The musical forms underlying their pieces are murshidi/fakiri, developed from Baul music with an Islamic background and from Dehototto, based on Hindu Krishna motifs.
This artist took part in the following project(s) organized/funded by the culturebase.net partner institutions.
(05 December 03 - 14 December 03)