Preserving the Lingering Earthlore Beats of Tribal Music | entertainment music
When you hear tribal music, your immediate connection is to the Kalakatha song by Prithviraj and BijuMenon-featuring “Ayyappanum and Koshyum” or Thillele, the Irular tribal festival song in “Kumbalangi Nights”.
But, Sruthin Lal, co-founder of the Archiving and Research Project (ARPO), says these songs only partially capture the essence of tribal music, while the real and raw exuberance of tribal community music is still confined to deep woods with little exposure. to the modern outside world.
ARPO, an independent non-profit organization, is an attempt to preserve, protect and popularize the music of the tribal communities of Kerala.
It is also a unique and noble offering to raise awareness of the language and culture of tribal communities largely unknown outside of their closed collectives.
The ARPO Earthlore, a tribal music concert in which Irulas of Palakkad and the Kattunayakans will perform at Bolgatty Palace on Sunday evening.
“We want the raw music, sound and rhythms of the tribes to reach people without any hindrance or outside intervention. Currently, we have focused on the Irulas and Kattunayakans tribal communities.
ARPO is also trying to trace and explore the songs and music of every tribe in Kerala, a mammoth task considering that the music has not been recorded for posterity.
Also, the younger generation in the tribal communities are not very keen on passing on the songs or knowledge of their ancestors, so there is a risk of losing everything,” says Sruthin.
The music and rhythms of each community are unique.
“Tribal communities use instruments made from the natural materials they receive from the forest, which makes their music very unique. What is common between them, however, is that they communicate their happiness, sadness and triumph in the form of dance and music,” he said.
Although the government has taken some initiatives to preserve the rich tradition of the tribes and popularize their culture, it has yet to reach a wider audience.
“We are trying to make an international appeal so that the music of the tribes here resonates around the world,” he said.
Charu Harikrishnan is the percussionist while musicians Sreekanth Hariharan and Julian Shoming also collaborated on the project.
The organization hopes to digitally archive the music and hold similar concerts on a regular basis in the coming months to preserve a rare cultural heritage that might otherwise fall into oblivion.