Echoes in the Valley 2017 was a grand affair. Two-hundred Nepali and international artists took to stage in Ason and Janabahal, Kathmandu, to perform for the sake of promoting and preserving traditionally practiced performing arts, more specifically music.
The festival also made initiations in the form of workshops with the hopes of preserving intangible heritage. The next edition of the festival will only be held in 2019, but as a satellite project—organised by Kanta Dab Dab, in collaboration with Kutumba and the local community of Banepa—titled Echoes in the Valley Resonance, was held on March 17 in Banepa.
Resonance was held in two adjacent locales in Banepa—in Tin Dhara and in Narayan Mandir. During the day, 15 different performances were held on the two stages, featuring artists from Banepa, Kathmandu, India and Italy. The audience witnessed an assortment of genres through performances by traditional music groups, contemporary music artists and poets.
Though in an old Newar town, the performances were not limited to Newar practices alone. Nepal Music Center’s ensemble Earth’a played at Tin Dhara while a Percussion Ensemble from Indian Culture Center; Word Warriors, a spoken-word poetry group; Tamang Dance group; Zeromile, an electronic music duo; and folk contemporary ensembles Ma and Miku performed in the Thanpati Narayan Temple.
An art exhibition, organised by Banepa Institute of Music and Arts, featuring Banepa-based artists was also held in the sattal of Lokeshwor Temple. Dhupya Making Workshop, a workshop conducted by Newa Guthi Samaj, also saw participants making traditional Newar incense.
The festival had also organised several workshops, prior to the event, as part of the festival. Music Confluence: a musical exchange workshop, ‘Music for Children’ teachers training workshop by Laya’le Sikchya; Of Culture and Life: A workshop on the documentation of intangible heritage by Fuzzscape, and Music Workshop for Kids were all held in the Medieval town during the week.
Members of the Gunla Baja Khala play the clarinet and the trumpet. Traditionally, melodies of the Gunla used to be played through the mwahali and the bansuri, which have now been replaced by western instruments. PHOTO: Bivek Maharjan
The Lakhe of Banepa prances around, chasing a Jhyalinchaa, Tin Dhara Chowk, Banepa. Sahi Baja accompanied the Lakhe as he left the stage and danced around town. PHOTO: Nhooja Tuladhar
Electronic duo Zero Mile perform at EITV Resonance. The act, made up of Chandresha Pandey and Ranzen Jha, performed a set that fused ambient sounds and drum and bass beats with Hindustani classical melodies. The performance was a pleasant surprise for the audience who were mostly enjoying concerts by traditional music groups throughout the afternoon. PHOTO: Bivek Maharjan
Italian music artist Marta Del Grandi performs an electronic set for her audience. The artist also collaborated with Kosha: Dafa Bhajan of Banepa during the show. Grandi and singer Chandresha Pandey had done a two-day exchange workshop with the group prior to the event. PHOTO: Nhooja Tuladhar
Senior women of Banepa witness a poetry recital by Nasala Chitrakar at the Narayan Mandir, Banepa. The poet is a member of Word Warriors, a spoken-word poetry group. During the festival, four members of the team—including Yukta Bajracharya, Rownika Shrestha and Nirajan Tripathi—performed poems in Nepal Bhasa, Nepali and English. PHOTO: Nhooja Tuladhar
The leader of Dipankar Chudakarma Sangha Gunla Bajan plays his dholak. The band is Banepa’s very own Gunla team. PHOTO: Bivek Maharjan
The Tamangshya group leaves the stage after performing an ethnic Tamang song titled Yha Lasho Danla Manlala. PHOTO: Nhooja Tuladhar
The clarinet player of Dipankar Chudakarma Sangha Gunla Baja. PHOTO: Nhooja Tuladhar
Marta del Grandi and Chandresha Pandey perform in the Tin Dhara Dabali, Banepa. The Dabali, a Malla era invention, was used, traditionally, to perform theatrics on tales of gods of the Hindu and Buddhist pantheon and of legendary kings. Their purpose, now, have been reduced to market platforms and parking spaces. PHOTO: Ankash Shakya
Young men pose for a self-portrait in front of a painting—displayed on the walls a sattal in Lokeshwor Temple. Sattals were traditionally designed as resting places in old Newar towns for travelers. In recent days, art and culture programmes and festivals have started making use of it as art exhibition venues. PHOTO: Nhooja Tuladhar
An onlooker at the exhibition organised by Banepa Institute of Music and Arts. The art exhibition featuring four Banepa-based artists turned the Sattal of Lokeshwor Temple into a gallery. PHOTO: Nhooja Tuladhar