Musica Medicina

Music

Musica Medicina is a free form exploration bringing together sounds from classical, folk and nature traditions from around Asia and presenting them in a contemporary form.

The central theme of our music is making a bridge between ‘musical’ and ‘non-musical’ sounds.

After a little listening the non musical sounds begin to have an unexpected meaning and sometimes even the whole experience becomes somatic, we begin to listen with our whole body..
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What pop and electronic music have done is they have created a certain sound that should be ‘ideally’ likable, the world with colonization, globalization, internet is moving towards a monoculture; clotheswise, foodwise, thoughtwise. Experimenting and evolving our ethnic music traditions seems essential to us, it is a way for us to listen to our land.

Vishesh Kalimero and Rahul Jigyasu play many string and percussion instruments that are unheard of and have vanished from present day music scene.

Except instruments, voices also play a major role in their music although they avoid using language. Their attempt is to create their own vocabulary which has no intellectual meaning so they can communicate the essence of their sound.

Their concerts are beyond a solely musical experience. It is one where sound invokes the memory of high mountain peaks, grasslands, rivers and tropical forests and sometimes another realm altogether.

Instruments

Played by Vishesh Kalimero

Along with Throat singing from Tuva(Siberia), and Dhrupad singing from North India.
Yayli Tanbur (Turkey)

A long neck bowed Ottoman Lute. Vishesh has customized it extensively, changing the strings, the bridge in such a way, that it can also be played on a lower register and can go lower than the Cello. In the same time it doesn’t have a clear sound like most melodic instruments instead it has more ambient textures. One of favored instruments to express subtle emptions, fragility and in the same time boldness. Vishesh’s playing uses a lot of overtones, harmonics, microtones, ornamentation techniques from all around Asia. Vishesh started playing this instrument in 2011, after seeing it in Turkey in a Sufi Whirling Ceremony.

Erhu (China)
A small yet powerful 2 stringed bowed instrument with Snakeskin. Unlike other bowed instruments, here the bow is stuck in between the strings, so both sides of the are used, one to play the lower string and one the higher. High Pitched, dramatic, piercing sound, its sound enhanced if played alongwith a bass instrument. After trying Indian, Persian, Turkish, Arabic music, Vishesh got interested in Chinese music and especially the way they used silence and a total different world to Ornament Music.
He picked the Erhu in 2016, and began experimenting with the tuning and playing styles after being inspired by the Korean Haegeum and Indonesian Tarawangsa to find his own sound on it.
Setar & Tar (Persia)
Vishesh picked the Persian Setar in 2012, and instantly fell in love with the one finger tremolo technique of the instrument. The sound of the Setar is fresh, bright and full of hope. Picking this instrument was also a way for him to understand the roots of Indian Music. Since according to his research the North Indian Sitar is a result of meetings between Setar, Tar and the North Indian music culture.

He got the Tar in 2017, a thin skinned instrument which has a maturer sound than the Setar, if the Setar is young person, the Tar is a grown person who has experienced all kinds of emotions and life situations. Having the nuance of the Indian Sitar and in the same time the youth of the Persian Setar.

Igil (Tuva Siberia)

The 2 string fiddle, horse hair strings, the most natural instrument to throat sing with.
Both strings are played together, slow paced rhythms to as fast as horse gallops.
Its sound is primal, animistic and it carries the feeling of a journey.

Vishesh picked the Igil in 2019.

According to the research of Vishesh, Igil is most likely the oldest bowed instrument and as it travelled towards Central Asia it took a different form. From there it travelled and took various forms everywhere.

Cretan Lyra with Sympathetic strings (Greece)

Cretan Lyra is a bowed instrument from the island Crete in Greece. It is considered one of the ancestors of the violin. In 1990, instrument maker Stelios Petrakis customised the design with sympathetic strings like the Indian Sarangi with the help of musician Ross Daly.

A go to instrument for Vishesh, a sound which has balance,richness, depth and versitality.

Vishesh began playing the Cretan Lyra in 2o20.

Seni Rabab (Afghanistan-India)

The sound of the rabab feels like a sound that each and everyone can relate to even if we come from different countries, backgrounds, lifestyles, interests. The sound of a broken heart, the sound of an open heart, the sound of a full heart. Rabab is defintely the instrument of the heart. Similar version found from East India to the Middle East as well as Central Asia and South East Asia.

Vishesh began playing the Afghani Rabab in 2013, and slowly shifted to the Seni Rabab, which comes from the region where he was born.

Dotara (Bengal, India)

The dotara, a folk instrument of the Bengali people. Its sound feel like you are sitting in a boat in a slowly moving river. 

Vishesh picked this instrument in 2016 and many a times plays it in such a way that it sounds like a middle eastern banjo.

Sarangi (North India)
4 playing strings made out of gut and 37 sympathetic strings made primarily of steel.

This goat skinned bowed instrument can be found in Folk music, Classical music and even Bollywood.

Vishesh began playing the Sarangi in 2023. After playing bowed instruments from different parts of Asia, he felt the need to learn an Indian Bowed instrument. For a certain reason he found it easier to experiment with an Indian instrument in comparison to instruments from other countries. Probably due to the fear of misrepresentation and disrespecting other cultures, he felt if he would be able to learn and successfully break the Sarangi. Then, he would go back to the other instruments with a different light.

Playing the Sarangi is no easy task, its swirly, loud and slightly roaring feminine sound is pleasant to the ears for most people and many a times calls for tears.

Rudra Vina (India)

Vishesh was always fascinated by the Rudra Veena, its buzzing sound that felt like was touching not just the body but even more.

He succesfully got one Rudra Veena in 2014, unfortuntely due to a shoulder injury he developed in 2018, he stopped playing it. Hoping to come back to it someday.

Sanshin (Okinawa)

During a tour in fall 2023 to Japan, Vishesh picked the Okinawan snakeskin lute Sanshin and felt he could express a new and simple music on it that he hadnt explored before. 

The Sanshin is perfect for Vocal accompaniment, a warm and resilient sound carrying a peaceloving message.

Instruments

Played by Rahul Jigyasu

Pakhawaj (India)
The pakhawaj or mridang is a barrel-shaped, two-headed drum, originating from the Indian subcontinent,[1] a variant and descendant of the older mridang.

It is the standard percussion instrument in the dhrupad style and is used as an accompaniment for various forms of music and dance performances.

The pakhavaj has a low, mellow tone, very rich in harmonics. Set horizontally on a cushion in front of the drummer’s crossed leg, the larger bass-skin is played with the left hand, the treble skin by the right hand.

The Pakhawaj is tuned like the tabla, with wooden wedges that are placed under the tautening straps.

It is said that, during the 14th century, the great mridangists experimented with the materials used in mridang construction, and finally started using wood for the main body as opposed to the original clay. Thus, a new name pakhawaj emerged, whilst the older name, mridang was still used.

Tabla (India)
The tabla is a membranophone percussion instrument originating from the Indian subcontinent, consisting of a pair of drums, used in traditional, classical, popular and folk music.

It has been a particularly important instrument in Hindustani classical music since the 18th century, and remains in use in India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka.

The name tabla likely comes from tabl, the Persian and Arabic word for drum. However, the ultimate origin of the musical instrument is contested by scholars, some tracing it to West Asia, others tracing the evolution of indigenous musical instruments of the Indian subcontinent.

Kacapi (Indonesia)
The kacapi is a harp/zither-like Sundanese (Indonasia) musical instrument.

The word kacapi in Sundanese also refers to santol tree, from which initially the wood is believed to be used for building the instrument.

According to its functions in a musical accompaniment, the kacapi is played as:

  1. Kacapi Indung (=mother kacapi); and
  2. Kacapi Anak (=child kacapi) or Kacapi Rincik

The Kacapi indung (mother) leads the accompaniment by providing intros, bridges, and interludes, as well as determining the tempo. For this purpose, a large kacapi with 18 or 20 strings is used.

The Kacapi rincik (child) enriches the accompaniment by filling in inter-note spaces with higher frequencies, especially in fixed metered songs as in the kacapi suling or Sekar Panambih. For this purpose, a smaller kacapi with ~15 strings is used.

Didgeridoo (Australia)
The didgeridoo (/ˌdɪəriˈd/; also known as a didjeridu) is a wind instrument.
The didgeridoo was developed by indigenous peoples of northern Australia, likely within the last 1,500 years and is now in use around the world. It is a wooden trumpet.

A didgeridoo is usually cylindrical or conical, and can measure anywhere from 1 to 3 m (3 to 10 ft) long. Most are around 1.2 m (4 ft) long.
Generally, the longer the instrument, the lower its pitch or key. However, flared instruments play a higher pitch than unflared instruments of the same length.

Traditionally, the didgeridoo was played as an accompaniment to ceremonial dancing and singing and for solo or recreational purposes.

For Aboriginal peoples of northern Australia, the didgeridoo is still used to accompany singers and dancers in cultural ceremonies.

Kendang (Indonesia)
Kendhang (Javanese: Kendhang, Tausug/Bajau Maranao: Gandang) is often a two-headed drum used by peoples from Maritime Southeast Asia.
It’s constructed in a variety of ways by different ethnic groups.
Rahul playes a five-headed version.

Kendang is one of the primary instruments used in the Gamelan ensembles of Java, Bali and Terengganu, the Malay Kendang ensemble as well as various Kulintang ensembles in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, and the Philippines.

In dance or wayang, the kendhang player will follow the movements of the dancer, and communicate them to the other players in the ensemble.

Gambang (Indonesia)
A gambang, properly called a gambang kayu (‘wooden gambang’) is a xylophone-like instrument used among peoples of Indonesia and the southern Philippines in gamelan and kulintang, with bamboo or wooden bars as opposed to the metallic ones.

The gambang is used in a number of gamelan ensembles. It is most notable in the Balinese gamelan Gambang. In Javanese wayang, it is used by itself to accompany the dalang in certain chants.

Within a full gamelan, it stands out somewhat because of the high speed of playing, and contrasting timbre because of its materials and more because it has a wider melodic range than the other instruments.

Jal Tarang (India)
The Jal Tarang is a melodic percussion instrument which originates from the Indian subcontinent. It consists of a set of ceramic or metal bowls filled with water.
The bowls are played by striking the edge with beaters, one in each hand.

In modern days, it has fallen into obscurity.
Literally, jal tarang means ‘waves in water’, but it indicates motion of sound created or modified with the aid of water.

Among wave-instruments, it is the most prominent and ancient.
This traditional instrument is used in Indian classical music.

Albums

Notable Performances

Amarass nights at The Lodi(as reaching the roots) – New Delhi, 2013

Yaga festival(as ‘Reaching the Roots’) – Lithuania, 2013

Cosmic Convergence(as ‘Reaching the Roots’) – Guatemala, 2014

Ozora festival(as ‘Reaching the Roots’) – Hungary, 2014

Korean Culture Center – New Delhi ,2015

Ozora festival – Hungary, 2016

Sufi Saarc Festival – Jaipur, 2016

Midnight Sun Festival – Norway, 2016

Alliance Francaise – Kolkata, 2017

Twice in Nature – Goa, 2017

Emmanuel Vigelands Mausoleum – Oslo, 2017

Indian Habitat Center- New Delhi, 2018

Sufi Inayat Khan Dargah – New Delhi, 2019

India International Center – New Delhi, 2019

Indian Habitat Center – New Delhi, 2019

Emmanuel Vigelands Mausoleum – Oslo, 2020/23

Museum of Goa , Goa, India, 2022

Harkat Studios, Mumbai, India, 2023

Uru Festival, Wayand, 2022/23

Lahe Lahe, Bangalore, India, 2023

Garso Kupolas, Vilnius, Lithuania – 2023

Geltonos Sofas Kulbas, Vilnius, Lithuania – 2023

Capital letters alongwith Maya Rao at IIC, New Delhi – 2023

Tedx Amity University, Nodia, India, 2024