Entertainment Music 25 Apr 2017 Notes of a theatrica ...

Notes of a theatrical Oorali!

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | SNEHA KALRA
Published Apr 25, 2017, 12:49 am IST
Updated Apr 25, 2017, 12:53 am IST
Inspired by the happenings around them, Oorali’s theatrical songs enthralled city folk recently.
Inspired by the happenings around them, Oorali’s theatrical songs enthralled city folk recently.
 Inspired by the happenings around them, Oorali’s theatrical songs enthralled city folk recently.

Beginning as an off-shoot of a popular theatre collective, Oorali was formed almost four years ago and has since composed over 30 songs. The band who performed in the city on Saturday as a part of the Gathr experience make music in Spanish, Malayalam and English, that are inspired by the happenings around them. Sudhish Velur, Martin John C and Saji Kadampatti key us in on how they came to be, what sets them apart, inspires them and more...

Letting us in on how the band was formed, Saji, the guitarist says, “I was working with Martin on a theatre piece of his. He wanted me to do the background score. Then we thought about this plan with the Magic Bus Tour.  The bus project sort of got paused due to permit issues.  Oorali went forward as we realised music was more accessible, we could perform it in a variety of avenues. And so Oorali continued.”

 

The band’s name comes from a character in Malayalam mythology. “It was a creature between god and man. It’s from a ritual called Padavani. The character was a spokesperson. It means ‘man of the land’ or ‘man for land’, which resonates a lot with our philosophy.  So we don’t have a distinctive genre, it’s a world genre,” the guitarist explains about their music which is mostly in Malayalam, but they also compose music in English and Spanish, since Martin, the lead singer spent some time in Chile and was influenced by Latin music. What sets the band apart is their means to interact with the audience through theatre. “We focus a lot on how we look and interact. Music is a way to tell the story, not THE story. Though I am a vocalist,  I am more of an actor,” says Martin.

For their inspiration, they look at what happens around them. “Events, conversations, meeting people, interactions, working with our network are what inspires us. And for our performances, we use lot of folk elements. Depending from space to space – if it’s an open space, we walk through the audience. It’s a kind of ice-breaker, we also believe, that the audience is a part of the performance. During the performance, we interact with the audience. Our whole performance is a ritual,” chimes Sudhish. And while they do spend tonnes of time together, and have regular squabbles, they still love what they do and the music they make together. “We are still figuring it out. We regularly fight. The idea is to get the best out of each other. And since we are constantly trying to inspire each other, we are not bored or haven’t had enough of each other,” concludes Martin.

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