Mahesh Ram & troupe
(Meghval Folk Music, Rajasthan, India)
This was my first introduction to ‘Kabir’. I believe Kabir was a 15th century poet in India. From the little that I know of it, his poetry seems to confront religion as external actions, offerings, chantings, temple visiting etc. God is within – something is within at least. Its refreshing to hear and read this after attending last week’s ritual sacrifice for a deity.
Many folk artists across the Indian subcontinent play this poetry in a mesmerising, rhythmic style.
The band above was part of a festival in Kathmandu – the Kabir project which showed four documentaries by the organiser Shabnam Virmani and others.
See: kabirproject.org/ and see also www.youtube.com/watch?v=suWaoJOb1ak for Pakistani qawwal style Kabir. Not sure if this is the same track as on the CD I bought. That, by Farridudin Ayaz & Party was certainly some of the extraordinarily tranquillising music I have ever heard.