Danish musicians Lars bo Kujahn and Kasper Soeborg coming up with music inspired by Rumi and Neruda
For instrumentalists Lars bo Kujahn and Kasper Søeborg, "If there is anything that brings together people and not divide them, it is music”. Travelling all the way from Copenhagen to Calcutta, the duo recently performed in collaboration with two young talents Sadhu Das Baul and Kangal Khyapa at Akhra, Baitanik on Elgin Road in south Kolkata.
Baitanik, once the residence of Saumendranath Tagore, grand-nephew of Rabindranath Tagore, has now been transformed into a cultural space with a homely atmosphere.
The Danish duo played music inspired by the Flamenco Andalucia art form on oriental instruments and the notes included lyrical meditations as well as explosive moments filled with energy. Lars is an expert in music from the Middle-East as well as the Balkans and focuses on world-fusion in general. His instruments include the Qanoon- a historical relative of the Santoor and percussions such as the Darbuka- an oriental goblet membranophone. Søeborg, on the other hand has been playing the guitar for almost fifty years now.
“Based on an invitation by the organiser of this event, we first met with Sadhu and Kangal at Tepantar- a theatrical village located in Bolpur, Bengal and exchanged some music. As we do not understand each other’s language, music was the only mode of communication and we instantly fell in love with it” said Lars. Speaking of his new association “There is no end to learning. We are getting to come across different cultures and music that we were not aware of, as well as witness unique instruments. This collaboration opens a whole new world in front of us and adds to our experience,” smiled Kangal, a disciple of the Baul guru-Late Tarak Khyapa.
The gig began with dual performances by Sadhu and Kangal who staged folk ballads from the roots of Bengal. It was followed by Baltic notes performed by Kujahn and Søeborg. The duo presented some original compositions such as ‘Villa’ which is a tribute to the seas surrounding their homeland, and ‘Indifferent’ a musical representation of the state of mind. The evening ended with the two pairs coming together and performing pieces like ‘Indolusian Raga’ which is the Indianised version of Søeborg’s original- ‘The Andalusian Raga’. “The piece is an amalgamation of tunes from India and Spain,” said Kasper. The musicians also performed a piece called ‘Rumi’, composed by Lars and is a tribute to the 13th century Persian poet.
When asked about their upcoming projects, the duo from Denmark mentioned a new project called ‘Word’n Global’, in which the compositions will be inspired by poems of Rumi, Pablo Neruda and ancient Chinese poets.