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Border-breaking music notes

50 artistes from across the world come together to make music

World music group Maati Baani has managed to do what ambassadors haven’t managed — to unite 20 countries. Their latest project, The Music Yantra, sees 50 Indian and international artistes from 20 countries create music.

Nirali Kartik and Kartik Shah of Maati Baani shooting for the video at a subway station in New York
Nirali Kartik and Kartik Shah of Maati Baani shooting for the video at a subway station in New York

For the first track, Lagan Laagi, which was uploaded online last Friday, the group has collaborated with subway musicians from New York. “We were invited to perform in NYC in August 2015. Kartik (Shah, member of the group), who is always looking for talent, said that the subway performers have immense talent and we should create music with them,” says Nirali Kartik of Maati Baani. The duo got in touch with Mithun Bhat, who had made a documentary on the musicians of New York’s subway, and he referred them to various musicians. For the video, they also performed at the subway stations.

“We were nervous; it wasn’t easy to work on it. There is nobody watching and we are used to an audience standing in front. But when people like your music, they wait to listen. Mooralalaji (folk singer from Kutch), said, “yeh kaha aa gaye hum.” But when he noticed that people were smiling and listening to him, he was happy,” recalls Nirali. The lyrics of their songs spread the message of love and peace.

Their theme for the project is Borders No Bar and their next song, which will be uploaded on Women’s Day, they have collaborated with musicians from Iran and the Netherlands too. They will release six tracks for the first season. The videos will include trivia about the participating countries too. Other countries include Brazil, Germany and Singapore. They were lucky to meet the musicians for their first track, and for the rest, there was the Internet. “We wanted to combine the power of technology and music and transcend borders. There is a lot of negativity around today, and we wanted to show that we are different, but as musicians, we can celebrate and revel in this diversity,” she sums up.

Log on to: Maati Baani’s
YouTube channel

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