Livestream Denver, CO
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Material: Steeped in traditions that produce an ethereal, richly historic sound, Shyam Nepali delivered a captivating livestream performance, highlighting songs from his recently self-produced album, Mero Sarangi. The soft-spoken world music virtuoso delivered a beautiful overview of traditional Nepalese sounds, introducing rare instruments and his own unique musical interpretations.
Musicianship: As a third-generation musician following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, Nepali nurtures his country’s folk traditions while breathing new life into a centuries-old art form. Through smooth playing, a gentle vocal delivery, and a blend of sounds that include nods to the Irish jig, Scottish bagpipes, classical violin playing and Indian dance music, Nepali produces a truly startling and memorable experience filled with a comforting, hopeful energy.
Performance: Nepali’s incomparable finger movements and rapid-fire command of his bows, smooth instrumental glissandos, and octave leaps make clear that this is more than a trained musician: Nepali is a passionate messenger. With easy transitions between each of the three instruments played (sarangi, tunga and guitar), this musician demonstrates his dedication to the traditions of his family as well as a genuine passion for the music of his homeland.
The gentle opener, “Ah Thuli,” reflected on nature and the mountains, while title track, “Mero Sarangi,” combined a tunga performance with haunting vocals and a sad but beautiful story about a Nepalese village. Nepali also shared “Chari Amilo” and “Sani Sani” from his latest album––the latter composed by his grandfather, Magar Kancha Gandharva––each song offering a different rhythm and flavor of Nepal.
Summary: The overall sound comes across as Gaelic musicality meets Bollywood lilt, delivered by a virtuosic musical master. Nepali’s emotion comes right through his fingers, moving across his instruments with no hesitation in a truly masterful performance of elegant sound. Shyam Nepali delivers an incredible experience for any dedicated musician or avid fan of sounds from cultures and traditions beyond their own.