Ever since the first hand struck the stretched hide of an animal, we’ve been dancing. Ever since the first human being touched a perfect tonal note, we’ve been listening in awe. Ever since the first violin was constructed and played, a connection has been established with our souls. This is the power of music.
But what is it about this eternal art form? Why do we respond to it as we do? When you hear someone sing a particular note or when someone strikes the surface of a djembe, why it that our hearts miss a beat or the hairs on the back of our necks stand on end? There’s no denying it: music is a part of us. Take away the layers of commercialism and stigma attached to it and we see music for what it really is: timeless rhythm and tone.
Music has come a long way, but the music of the soil, the original form of music, often referred to as Folk music, remains an intrinsic part of many cultures around the world. Studio-recorded albums are great, but more often than not I love myself a bit of rusticity. There’s just something about the spontaneity and ‘out-of-the-box’ vibe that gets me. In such performances, anything is possible. One place where folk songs rule is the Indian state of Rajasthan where nomads can be seen, sat on the dunes of the Thar desert singing century-old, uncorrupted songs in the same way they were originally sung in.
The video at the top of this post begins with singing sensation, TK Tunstall jamming with a group of villagers in the remote town of Tilonia in Rajasthan. As soon as she completes her fantastic acoustic piece the villagers join in with a famous folk song Diggipuri ka Raja. There’s something about the rhythm of the drums and the intoned voices of TK Tunstall and the folk artistes that will get you bouncing, even if you don’t understand a word. And, that’s the beauty of music: It goes beyond language and creed.