“Basanta” translated to Nepali means the season of Spring. As we know Spring is the period when nature acts as the time for a new beginning to arrive. We, being human and a part of nature arrange our lifestyles accordingly. Different cultures have various approaches to welcome the season in their own way. One of the oldest civilization in the world, Nepal, have its own way of celebrating and welcoming the season. They perform a variety of activities throughout honoring the time as it is the culture of devotion to nature. They include Music, Dance, Festivals, etc. For this instance, we intended to mark by recreating ancient folk tunes into musical documentation.
How it started
It all began with an idea. We all know how the year 2020 has affected every part of our daily life and schedule. Like every part of the world, we also were forced to keep ourselves isolated. Spending time unproductively. As an institution and group of creatives, we felt we could utilize the pandemic time as an opportunity to think and act as Nepal is rich in culture. Defining the time with lots of discussions, the decision was made to recreate the song for Spring, “Basanta”.
At first, we needed a musical draft, demo audio track was done. It came to be audible as we thought. Our plan was to include the native musical instrument fusing with the western. We begin to arrange the meetings with native players (musicians) for their input. As expected, everyone was excited and ready to contribute. We found huge hope, but there were challenges as well. People were not settled back into normal life. The project starts to become larger than we thought. Many tasks were to be done including arranging the music, preparing the artist to perform, practice sessions, studio recordings, audio mixing & mastering, video shooting, and post-production. The whole process costs us 3.5 months to complete and the shooting work took us 21 days. We created a project launch program gathering all involved individuals on the first day of the spring season.
Of the 73 people involved in this project, almost half of them were current or former students of the Musica program. The Basanta project has provided an enriching cultural, musical, and educational experience for Nepal’s young people and a creative outlet for the whole community during a very challenging time. This project and all involved have proven that when times get dark it’s important to find the light.