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The Rickshaw Muse fuses poetry and music to create an eclectic sound

Loreto Maimoni, her brother Barhunka Leonard, and their friend Pramod Shankar describe themselves as the three wheels of Rickshaw Muse. The group marries classical music with poetry to make for a unique sound that is both calming and inspiring.
For their next performance, the trio will perform from their collection of verses titled Love Notes. Tonight is a poem that talks about divine love and complicated relationships, Fire is a dialogue on all-consuming passionate love and the morning after. Written in Transit reflects a lover’s yearning for his object of affection when separated and For My Valentine is a series of rhetorical questions in the form of an unsent letter.
Then and Now is written in a lighter vein and talks about the everyday struggles of couples and the compromises and adjustments they are required to make to lead an unturbulent life.
Also lined up are classic hits like Annie’s Song by John Denver, Travelling Light by Cliff Richard, and Door Door Tum Rahe from Chalte Chalte.
Rooting for revival
“By combining these two mediums, we are trying to make poetry more accessible to people,” Maimoni tells us. “The music sets the mood for the verses. The type of music
depends on the lines — light for romantic and heavy for dark,” she adds.
Maimoni and Shankar, both advertising professionals, write the poems and Leonard arranges the music on his acoustic guitar. To break the heaviness of their pieces, the group adds old country songs, classic Bollywood numbers and ‘anything different’.
Maimoni and Shankar have been writing their own poetry for some time now and used to read at Tuesdays with the Bard at Urban Solace. Leonard, who was present at one of these readings, was struck by the idea of adding music. What followed was endless practice, hard work and their first gig at Societea, Indiranagar in March 2013. They have since performed at Atta Galatta and are scheduled for a gig in Kochi later this month.
—R R