Treat your soul with a fresh brew of Indo-Welsh music this month
Much like its name Burum, which means yeast in Welsh, the band is fermenting something new and fresh for its upcoming India tour. Globally, the sextet from the UK is known for blending traditional Welsh folk songs with modern jazz. But this time around, they will also fuse some Indian rhythms to their repertoire, as they are collaborating with guitar artiste Aditya Balani, sarangi virtuoso and vocalist Suhail Yusuf Khan and tabla player Vishal Nagar.
Since Burum’s saxophone player Daniel Williams and flautist Ceri Rhys Matthews won’t be around, Balani would also accompany the band for its first three gigs. Burum’s trumpet player Tomos Williams lets us in more about this Indo-Welsh project called Khamira, which features Bengaluru in the itinerary.
What inspired this collaboration?
Cross-cultural collaborations are always interesting. And, having played trumpet for Aditya and Suhail on their CD Culture Code Landscape last year, I felt there was potential for more creative music to happen. It was Suhail who recommended Vishal’s name for tabla.
What unique sounds can we expect from the fusion?
We’ll be rehearsing new music in Delhi this week. It will be a mix of Welsh folk melodies, and Indian traditional music shot through with the flexibility that jazz improvisation allows. Think Miles Davis (from the 70s) meets folk music, with some Pat Metheny and McCoy Tyner thrown in.
How would you describe your
signature Welsh music?
Welsh folk, for me, is very melodic and melancholic. But what Burum does with these melodies is infuse them with jazz, and to give plenty of room for self-expression. We stay loyal to melodies, but we play them in an uncommon, modern context.
Other traditional music you follow.
All of us in the band have ears for other traditions. Mark O Connnor, the drummer, is steeped in Brazilian and Cuban music. I’ve played with another Welsh folk band called Fernhill, and hence I’ve come across some great music from Estonia, Finland, Hungary and Argentina. The traditional music of Brittany, in the North West corner of France, is particularly creative.
An Indian music instrument you connect with.
By the end of the tour, sarangi and tabla hopefully! I’ve always wanted to play the tabla. And I’ve listened to Indian flute with Ceri intently.
When is your next album due?
We’ll record our third album in January 2016. I hope our new Indo-Welsh collaboration ‘Khamira’ gets the opportunity to record a CD too in future.
On November 27. At BFlat, Indiranagar. 9 pm. Tickets (`400) on bookmyshow.com
— Barkha Kumari