Mumbai event: City-based band aims to heal through music
Ahead of their gig tonight, a Mumbai-based band tells us that their music is for just one cause Ã¢ÂÂ to help heal the world
The three phonetic components of the Hebrew word "merkaba" transalte to light (mer), spirit (ka) and body (ba). Put together, it means the union of the spirit with the body, surrounded by light. And a five-member Mumbai-based band, which borrows its name from the word, aims to do just that through their music today.
Comprising Gino Banks (drums), Sheldon D'Silva (bass), Rohan Rajadhyaksha (keys), Vasundhara Vee (vocals and lyrics) and Sanjay Divecha (guitar and songwriting), Merkaba is the brainchild of Divecha, formed with the sole aim of creating music that heals, an idea prevalent in ancient culture, but one that we have forgotten. "We are so entertainment-driven that the healing aspect of music is lost. We want to bring that back. I believe that music is the one true energy medicine," says Vee.
It wasn't fate or just musicians coming together to write music and put it out there that got the members on board two years ago. "It had to mean something more because Gino, Sanjay and Sheldon are all legends. All of us relate to music in a very similar way and we connected with spirituality. We wanted to write coping, strengthening music, specifically for the purpose of community and self-healing," says Vee.
Sanjay specifically wanted to bring together members who would not only get the right vibe but would also have the same intention. "Everybody shared this same belief about what we do as musicians — we are not just entertaining but resurrecting the historical role a musician or music has had. And that intention gave direction to the lyrics and themes of the song," she adds. The 32-year-old artiste is working towards creating the performance space as a safe space for the audience to process their life. "We know for a fact that the performance space can be converted into a place of self deflection and development. It's a place where people let their guard down. It's the ideal time to reach out and make a true emotional bond," she explains.
The result is a hybrid sound, where you'll see bits of one sound peeping out, but won't be able to put your finger on it. It's not completely funk or jazz or Latin American, but at the same time, it's all of those things. This shows Sanjay mastering the art of juxtaposing different styles to make them sit together so that it gels well at a compositional level.
Sanjay Divecha from the band
The band has written 12 songs so far, one of which is called Re-memory Blues. It focuses on mental health and new ways of remembering, acknowledging and processing the past. "It's about being able to look into your past and finding new meaning to it, because that's when the innate reaction to what happened changes and you develop as a human being. We suppress trauma, as a result of which things tend to get difficult for us because we don't know how to process the past.
"In fact, we tend to completely bury [in our subconscious] the negative things that have happened. But the only way to get over them is to face things head on and find safe spaces for yourself, be it through therapy or music or groups where you can develop trust," Vee summarises.
On: November 13, 9 pm onwards
At: The Little Door, Citi Mall, Plot No B31, Ground Floor Shree Siddhivanayak Plaza, off New Link Road, Andheri West.
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