I’ve just come back from my final visit, to a folk orchestra. Combining Kolkata musicians with members of all the villages I have visited this week it was a little bit like a supergroup- the Chou drummers were there, a Fakir, all the posse.
There were plenty more people, about 15 in total, in this tiny recording studio but I couldn’t actually get in far enough to get a better photo so this will have to suffice.
I was sat with the Fakir before rehearsals having tea and a cigarette. We don’t speak each other’s language. It was a little strained. He sang to me. Which was very sweet of him. I was at a loss to know what to do. Those of you who know me will testify that I am not a musical man. But there seemed nothing else for it. I sang a couple of verses of a Mumford and Sons song. It seemed apt in a folk way. He joined in towards the end. We both grinned like idiots at each other.
I played him Benji Kirkpatrick’s WallBreaker on my iPhone, explaining with hands this was a kind of British folk music. The banjo sounds a lot like an Indian instrument if you are in the frame of mind to believe so. The Fakir was. He sang along like a trooper- both of us sat there singing to an iPhone.
If you don’t know Benji Kirkpatrick’s WallBreaker you really should get it in your ears. It has cross cultural attraction don’t you know.
It was nice to see the guys again from the village- lots of hugging and smiles.
A fitting way to finish my folk art form visits.