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Talking music, society and creativity

Nov 19(Staff Reporter)
Published on 19 Nov. 2012 9:47 PM IST
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In a rare encounter of creative individuals, folk fusion band veterans - Aren and Moa (both in their 50s) of Abiogenesis and young members (all in their 20s) of UDX, an alternative metal band Monday had a freewheeling exchange of ideas not only related to music but also to ways of leading a true Christian life and the pursuit of excellence in creativity.

The over two-hour session was organized and sponsored by Holiday Abode for Writers & Artists (HAWA), Duncan Basti, Dimapur. The session was introduced by HAWA founder Susan Waten.

During the running interaction, the veteran musician and Abiogenesis band member Moa while speaking about his musical experience said that the 1960s were the best creative phase of modern western music as people then had created landmark compositions. “When people do not have time or are not in a mood, creativity cannot emanate from within”, said Moa.

Recalling his early musical inspiration, Moa said the people of his age group in the 1970s had to tune in to AIR Dibrugarh, Radio Rangoon, Voice of America and BBC radio to listen to the latest western music hits unlike the current generation where one could keep abreast with global music trends at the click of a button on their personal computers or mobile phones.

On the occasion, Moa and Aren also recalled how they got their first recording contract in 1989 with Magnasound, an Indian record company. But their tryst with music took a different turn in 1991 with the formation of Abiogenesis.

Since then, the duo, accompanied by Bendang on bass guitar and Sai on drums/percussions, has gained respectability in the ‘world music’ category with their unique sound called ‘howey’ and their invention called ‘bamhum’.

Aren told the young UDX band members that perhaps God had a different plan for her as far as music was concerned. She disclosed that when she was 17, she got selected to go to the US for studies but her parents decided not to send her. She stayed back and now as a dotting grandmother, she still has the adrenaline to continue rocking her performances.

The young band members of UDX, Akihito (vocalist), Moatemjen (guitar) and Lanu (drums) who till now pay rapt attention to what the veterans have to say, opened up reflective new lines of thoughts and ideas about life as Christians and their continued experiments with the alternative metal metal genre.

When asked about the form and content of their own kind of music, Akihito expressed that as band members, they deal with both, in a creative way to translate their experience into music dealing with what it really means to be a true Christian besides standing up for social causes.

Akihito however felt that there were elements of “hypocrisy” seeping in even in the Church as many Church leaders are literally distancing themselves from the contemporary life of the youth today.

The UDX frontman while reflecting on contemporary Naga society said that people have now become bold enough to point out aberrations in social and political order and hoped that this trend would hold good for future generations as corrective measures were bound to follow. 

UDX band members’ belief in the power of music for change propelled them to release their first official music video “Panacea” on September 27. The lyrical content of their songs deals with the struggle, trials and tribulations of growing up in the society and the need for intervention from a “higher power” thus reaffirming their faith in the infallible God.

 Bendang Walling, a young alumni of National School of Drama (NSD), Delhi, who also participated in the interaction, succinctly summed up the need of the contemporary artists, musicians and those engaged in creative fields.

Referring to the kind of exposure and experience and ways forward he said, “We all have tasted various salads from everyplace, now it is time for us to create our own salad”.

He also stressed on the importance of authenticity and originality in all creative works for making them durable and unique.

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(L-R) Minister, Higher & Technical Education, Government of Nagaland, Temjen Imna Along Longkumer delivering his speech. DMC administrator Moa Sangtam releasing the music video. (NP)
(L-R) Minister, Higher & Technical Education, Government of Nagaland, Temjen Imna Along Longkumer delivering his speech. DMC administrator Moa Sangtam releasing the music video. (NP)
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