Merkaba: New music project aims to highlight social issues

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New Delhi, May 31 (IANS) City-based soul singer-songwriter Vasundhara Vidalur, who has made her mark in the country’s indie music scene with her soulful voice, has now joined renowned musicians like Sanjay Divecha and Gino Banks for an experimental project called Merkaba. Vidalur says that the project aims to highlight the social problems prevalent in society.

“If we care for humanity, we have to care for all the voids and disconnections we have collectively created, and then find ways to forgive ourselves, forgive others and create better human connections,” Vidalur told IANS.

“Merkaba often talks objectively about social problems and seeks to first make people realise that we are socialised into fearful, divisive and defensive ways of being. Personal and social healing must go hand-in-hand if we want real change,” she added.

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Vidalur, who was awarded the Best Female Vocalist award at the Jack Daniel’s Awards in 2014 for her work on her debut album “Ampersand” with her former band Adil & Vasundhara, is “thrilled” to collaborate with Divecha, a veteran guitarist, who has performed all across India and also abroad at the Playboy Jazz Festival, Hollywood Bowl and the New Orleans Jazz Festival.

“Merkaba is Sanjay’s brainchild. I have looked up to him for so many years and was absolutely thrilled about this opportunity to work with him. Gino (Banks), Sheldon (D’Silva), Karan (Joseph) and I have all played together in different setups in the past. Having all these folks in one band was more than surreal,” Vidalur said.

Why the name Merkaba?

“One of the meanings of Merkaba is the energy form that is associated with a state of meditation. Music feels like this to each one of us in this project. It helps us access better parts of ourselves and be more compassionate,” she said, while adding that Merkaba seeks to “balance art, entertainment, social negotiation and personal healing”.

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Talking about the concept of Merkaba, Vidalur said that the band chooses to blend “entertainment and healing together”.

“Music can both incite and calm people. It can make one feel dread (oneself) and it can make one accept oneself. It can be a war cry or a statement for peace. We have seen this throughout history,” she said.

Merkaba — which recently performed at the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) Mumbai — also plans to release recorded material, Vidalur revealed.

“We have been playing our songs live and are bouncing them off of the audience. I’m certain that in a few months we will release recorded material,” she said.



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