MI KU: Singing Sweet Song

Students from Department of Music, Kathmandu University, formed the ensemble to hybridise ethnic influences with western music, and regale enthusiasts of music and poetry of all kinds || Text by : Priyadarshani Shrestha Photo by : Mr. Umesh Basnet

As I entered the central vicinity of Moksh, Jhamsikhel, on September 9, I felt as though fun was afoot. The place was dimly lit, and it was complementing the soft and mellow music that was renting the air of the pleasant evening.

Soft sounds of music occupied my ears, and I instantly felt my nerves relaxing at the sharp yet gentle tunes led by sarangi. The notes of an electric guitar synchronously followed it, while the smooth and groovy rhythms of drums and bass added some jazz into the mix. The percussions chimed in with different flare added effect and emphasis in the flow of the song. Finally after a minute of what sounded like a chill jamming session, a sweet and high pitched voice slowly melted into the melody. With her eyes closed and arms wide apart, the singer crooned Juneli Juneli as if she was attempting to touch the sky while completing the ensemble.

Though this was the first glimpse of Mi Ku that I had caught, the band had won my heart and soul already. My heart was pumping a little harder as the band progressed with more bass lines, and my eyes were twinkling upon finding the perfect mingling of sarangi and guitar.

Mi Ku, meaning ‘Mitho Kura’ or ‘sweet talks’, is a contemporary folk band that sings about sweet things of all sorts through poetry and music. Formed after the Project Sarangi, Mi Ku is not just any folk music band that only fuses traditional music with western harmonies; however, Mi Ku has succeeded in finding a perfect blend of music between eastern and western genres and mainstreaming it with psychedelic poetry.

With a desire to regale enthusiasts of music and poetry of all kinds, the band has purposefully chosen not to follow a certain genre. They are such a tight knit band where all band members emphasise on different kinds of music, and experiment with various genres to create new sounds. The band says, “Every time we play live, we bring some variations and improvisations; thus, people heard different variations of the same songs during our month-long tour.”

With the month-long Mitho Tour last month, the band had ventured to bring the ethnic musical instruments of Nepal into the limelight, and emphasised on the importance of blending traditional Nepali musical instruments and ethnic influences with the universal medium of today’s millennium. The philosophy of band relates to the existence of sweetness in all sorts of bitterness, and they depict this in the form of warm and witty poetic expressions and music derived from a wide array of world music. The band sings about the golden routes of dreams and imagination, the purple hazes, mother and family, and various aspects of a human life. Listen to them in Yomari Sessions II, on YouTube. It will definitely be worth your while.


line-up

Pushpa Palanchoke: Vocals 
Kobid Bazra: Sarangi/Vocals
Samyog Regmi: Guitars 
Merit Maharjan: Sound Effect Percussions
Riken Maharjan: Bass 
Bikesh Bazra: Nagara 
Prabin Maharjan: Manage
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