So Close So Far

Music Issue 66 Jul, 2010

So Close So Far is a unique fusion album owing to the use of violins and cello alongside a guitar and sitar. Although the album is credited to Nevez and Vaidya, there is a huge contribution from the strings section (the violins & cellos). Some very accomplished musicians have joined hands to come up with something marvelous. It’s soothing music that has its roots in western and eastern classical music. The instruments complement each other beautifully and the resulting music is amazing and quite different from the run of the mill fusion albums.

The ensemble consists of Bijaya Vaidya on sitar, Yves Ribis on guitar, Rubin Kumar Shrestha on flute, Rajendra Lal Karna on vocals and percussions, Gael Bozec and Gregoire Hennebelle on violin, Laurence Babiaud on alto, Maud Caron on violincello, and Merina Vaidya on tanpura.

The album opens with Al Lizher, a melody that comes from North Britany with a beautiful blend of sitar, guitar, violin and cello gives the track a rich sound. Vocal improvisation by Rajendra adds another dimension to the music. Another track, Janakpur brings back memories of ancient Mithila, a kingdom in southern Nepal. War ar barlenn, originally a lullaby is played as a cross between two melodies. Birahani brings the feelings of the eastern hills of Nepal whereas Kas Ha Barh Kreisteiz is a dance from south Britany and the music is based on an ancient scale that has strong oriental accents perfect for a flute and sitar. Jatra brings the festive mood reminiscent of festivals in Kathmandu valley while Hanter Dro Loeiz is yet another dance from south Britany using an old scale. Eternal Bond is a song specially dedicated by Bijaya to his friend Louis Bertignac. A lotus on a Scottish stream is Celtic music with oriental influences. The final track Mother Nature is a prayer for the well being of children around the world.

Superbly arranged, the dominant sounds are the strings, which have contributed immensely to the richness of sound. They bring strong texture to the music as a whole. Overall, an album worth having.

CD Courtesy: East Meets West Music Box, Thamel, Phone: 4256411