A report by EarthBeat Bugs
When our advisor and good 'big brother' of our children - the renowned multiform artist Salil Kanika invited them in the EarthBeat Didgeridoo Band, it was nothing but pure excitement. In early June, eight potential didgeridoo players got into the selection and started blowing the drone sounds from the very first day. It was a surprise for them as soon they were to discover that they were going to be the 'teachers' for many other children on the opening day of the music week. So after much practice, despite the hectic first-term exam studies, the band managed to take some time off, in fact much time off, to practice practice and practice!! Little Saraswoti and big brother Raj Kumar stood out as one of the best performers who could already make improvised animal sounds on the didge. Rekha, Laxmi and Krishna were good on forming the foundation of the drone while the flamboyant Chitra played both the flute and didgeridoo together with Narayan and Nabin who equally accompanied with didgeridoo and Madal. So it was a much practice of multi musical talents in our children. Later the director of AFK Mr. Phillipe Martin gave away certificates and a special gift of an acoustic Guitar and honored the founder of Mitrata Nepal Mrs. Nanda Kulu amidst a beautiful audience of great personalities.
The International Music Week 2009 celebrated around the world this year was an incredible experience for our children of Mitrata Home because it was indeed a musical journey with the colorful sounds of Didgeridoo - an Australian Aboriginal instrument.
On 20 June, the opening day of the International Music Week, after a nice meal at Mitrata our eight didgeridoo stars left for the open garden of the Alliance Francaise - the French culture center in the city. There they were given an introduction on how to make a bamboo didgeridoo by Mr. Hasta Bahadur Rai and his son Amin Rai. After a fresh didgeridoo was made, Salil Dai gave a workshop about the sound and the history of the Didgeridoo and how it can be adopted into different rhythm and styles. Then he invited all the children who had come from different schools and other children home like the Voice of Children in Bijesori to join in painting-the-didgeridoo workshop together with our Mitrata didgeridoo band. Artist Juju Kaji Maharjan and his artist friends were already invited by Salil Dai to assist the children in painting process. Then after some sweet snacks in the afternoon, the big stage came alive with different musical styles being played by the children. The Digeridoo stars from Mitrata home were a hit among the audience because of their freshly painted didgeridoo and the sounds and performance they made in a fusion of Flute, Madal and Didgeridoo.
On 27 June, on the last day of the music week, the famous French Rock outfit the 'Kwak' band was about to perform live at the National Culture Centre in Kathmandu. The Kantipur Television was about to air the program live via its satellite channel to its audience reaching far and wide in Europe, Middle East, Asia and America. Together with the much respected Nanda Kulu 'mother' dear of Mitrata children Home as a special guest, the audience comprised of famous Nepali writers, artists, musicians and personalities together with the diplomatic circle including the French Ambassador and his counterparts. So exactly at 5 PM, the Kwak hit the stage after the director of AFK Mr. Phillipe Martin gave them their Que. While the band performed, the backstage was filled with rustle and little nervous breath, of none other than the eight Mitrata Digeridoo stars who were clinging on to Salil Dai who was also getting ready with his didgeridoo to go out on the stage with the little guys. And yes indeed, after performing half an hour, to everyone's surprise when the Kwak band gave a que, the eight stars ran to the stage amidst the powerful rock drum rhythm complimented by smoke and rocking stage lights. It was difficult for the audience to see what was happening that time as everyone took their place but when the real lights was flooded on the stage with the children and Salil kneeling in the middle of the stage each holding their colorful didgeridoo, the audience roared in joy and applause... And talk about applause... when Salil Dai started to jam up spontaneously with only the drummer and him taking the full stage, he got encores after encores and when other three band members joined the drummer and our children started to play, the audience were beyond frenzy. All left their seats and grooved their body and clapped brightly to the rhythm as our children pumped full life of amazing didgeridoo sound to the audience. It was an amazing moment to live. "This has been the best collaborative performance so far in my journey with sound, colour and children" said an overwhelmed Salil Dai. "So it proves the fact that children are no less in capturing the heart of the audience when given the equal chance on stage. And I also mean, the stage of 'life' - to allow them to live and grow with equal respect and love and let them perform the good deeds of humanity. It surely can happen. We just got to believe in us and the children."
There are many photos showcased in Salil's earthbeat.org.np website!!