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TRIKAAL Past, Present & Future

 

The name of this band is derived from the Sanskrit word meaning three strands of time. Tri could represent a trio, a triangle, a trinity or even Shiva's trident. The life force of this band is derived from these triangular unity of sound, symbols and cultural resonance of these two making it a 'cross-cultural musical troupe' uniquely formed in this little Himalayan kingdom.

Trikaal itself as a band, transcends beyond the limitation of a trio, though originally it was the project of three musicians and one producer - Navaraj Gurung (Tabla), Santosh Bhakta Shrestha (Ishraj), Sujay Shrestha (Guitar) and Sachida Nand (Founder/Director, SAC Music International). Salil Kanika later as a writer and performing artist joined the band to put the essence of these four initiators, their music and skills and weave them coining the name Trikaal.

Tabla and Rhythm player Navaraj Gurung takes the leadership of this band. In the third of the 'Trikaal ? past, present & future series, Navaraj has more strongly worked on his talents as a composer and music arranger together with his fantastic mastery over the Tabla and rhythm instruments. Navaraj makes each of his performance noted as he plays more than just Tabla - the Djembe, Box Drums and all percussion. The band has entitled him with the name 'Tabla Tantrik'. And indeed, on stage, this Tabla Tantrik shows his "tandav" with fingers and beats so much that it is unstoppable from tapping your feet on the ground. This is the very essence of this band - that its compositions are based on up-beat rhythms to soar the audience to different musical heights.

At the same time, high soaring beats are equally complemented by the soft mellow and soothing sounds of Ishraj - a Hindustani classical bowing instrument. Santosh Bhakta Shrestha uplifts the melodic spirits of the Trikaal sound resonating in oneness with this beautiful instrument loved by all. Santosh projects the quintessential quietness into Ishraj melody through his own inner silence - as a devout classical musician. Sujay Shrestha further adds 'soft fire' into the melodic lines of Trikaal. The beauty of Sujay's guitar, and what makes it stand out among other Nepali guitarists, is the creation of a very peculiar guitar sound - the band calls it the 'trikaal guitar tone'. The tonal coloring of a simple acoustic guitar is very notable and that is what makes Sujay's guitar parts speak for themselves whether they be folk melody lines to gypsy swings, the classical or jazz.

Trikaal's debut album, TRIKAAL - I (2003, SAC Music International), already was a collaboration among numerous musicians who are all noted for their professional and individual skills in crafting their own unique sound. TRIKAAL II (2004, SAC Music International) equally showcases the same collaboration.

For instance, flutist Raman Maharjan from the ancient town of Kirtipur is known for his innovative sounds on the bamboo flute. Shanti Rayamajhi carries with him the ethos of the Nepali folk, all the way from his hometown in Chainpur in East Nepal. Aman Shahi's unique techniques with Singing Bowls color Trikaal's ambient expressions on bells, gongs and of course the singing bowls. Shyam Nepali further adds the colorful sounds and melody of the Nepali folk with Sarangi - four stringed bowing instrument unique to Nepali folk culture. But with Trikaal's expressive energy to rupture traditional and conservative connotation over sound and instruments, Shyam has equally made his mark going beyond the boundary making the Sarangi shine its seven-colors not only as a 'traditional instrument' but rather a universal instrument capable of expressing every notes existing. This is the beauty of Trikaal, no borders and no boundaries as long as it is straight from the heart.

Perhaps that was the reason why writer Salil Kanika, while writing for the band's debut cover found deeper connection with the group and put aside his pen and pulled out his unique didgeridoo and blowed it beyond all cultural and social borders. Salil has transcended the earthy sounds of the didgeridoo drone, resonating and respecting the ancestral colours of the red earth of dreamtime australia, to the high Himalayan spirited rhythm. With Trikaal's energy of a team work and individual exploration/expression, each musician/performer are drawn deeper into expressions they have never tapped before. The powerhouse of Trikaal rhythm is bathed by the beautiful melodic/rhythmic structures of the Sabin Shrestha's bass guitar and neatly wiped clean by the warm treatment of Djembe and Crash and Splash cymbals intricately played/performed by the noted rhythm player Nikhil Tuladhar. Nikhil's power play always adds up to the building heights of Navaraj's tabla and rhythm thumps. In this cyclic forms of musical performance, Trikaal stands unique, undefined and autonomous on its own in the fusion music world - at home and abroad.

Behind this energy field of musicians, Sachida Nand Rauniyar, stands out not just as a music producer of Trikaal but as one important initiator and guiding light of this whole vibration itself called "Trikaal". Sachida has done the impossible and keeps surprising more musicians with this 'trikaal' vibration. The symbol of Trikaal for Nepal is that this is the first ever group of more than ten musicians lined up in an ensemble of rare and unique sounds - and one that still keeps continuing. In the upcoming TRIKAAL - III album, audience, listeners and musicians themselves are in the waiting for Sachida's new surprises as he brings forth in March 2006 this album to the public. More newer collaborations. Good spirits. Ever flowing harmony. The band has high regards for Sachida and Navaraj for keeping it not just as a band but as a commune of friends who understand the true art of 'sound'.

Trikaal has performed in many different venues - notably, its two album releasing performances have been among the most acclaimed - at the Russian Cultural Centre in 2003 and at Patan Museum in 2004. Trikaal performs with either the full troupe of 11 musicians or sometimes with specific forms of music and instruments in lesser numbers too. Its patron SAC Music International produces/publishes music and video CDs and DVDs for the international market.

To access more information on Trikaal and SAC Music International,
you can write to TRIKAAL at
kanika@mos.com.np or pgak2002@yahoo.com
or call 977-9851025107 or 977-1-4241483.

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