Ason’s alleys resound with Echoes in the Valley

Kathmandu, March 25

The ever-populous alleys of Ason, Kathmandu turned into a ground of celebration as it hosted the first edition of Echoes in the Valley Music Festival 2017 on March 25.

“Echoes in the Valley is a music festival that hopes to preserve and promote the spectre of traditional performing arts in Kathmandu. This festival is just a pretext for us to create a general awareness among the masses, among the everyday man, to preserve our identity that is interwoven within our traditions and culture, particularly in our music,” says Bhushan Shilpakar, Festival Coordinator of Echoes in the Valley.

The full-day affair, which started from 10:30 am, witnessed performances by 18 different national and international bands with more than 200 artistes performing at four locations in and around Ason. Musicians like Kanta Dab Dab, Hari Maharjan Project, Project Sarangi, Resonance of Roots, Shree Annapurna Gyanmala Bhajan Khala, Sounds Sketch, Tara Bir Singh Tuladhar, Dapha Group, Dha: Group, among others were joined by international artistes Helsinki Uniarts Collective from Finland and Daniel Givone from France.

“There are many social and economic barriers that hinder the growth of traditional music in Nepal, and through this festival we strive to make relevant the disappearing sounds of traditional tunes by showcasing local music, art, and performances,” he says, adding, “Besides the festival, we are also focusing on uncovering and recording all the researches that have been conducted on traditional Nepali music. This will help revive this genre of music.”

“Music festivals like these rarely happen in Kathmandu. And because it is happening in Ason, perhaps the most crowded place in Kathmandu, even passersby are getting engaged and interested in what is happening,” says Sarita Maharjan, a local of Ason.

In addition to the concerts, the festival also hosted an array of interactive educational and creative workshops, poetry recitals, food stalls, and an open museum of communal art and artefacts. The programme also hosted two workshops, along with two guided tours by Impact Productions about the history and the evolution of architecture of Ason. A photo exhibition was also hosted at Paltan Chhen from 11:00 am onwards, which was supported by Nepal Picture Library.

“The reception has been great and we hope we can turn this festival into an annual event,” says Shilpakar.