By Ruth Ellen Gruber
Barry Mazor writes in the Wall Street Journal about an interesting collaborative project that intersects bluegrass and Appalachian mountain music with the traditional music of the Himalayas....
Itinerant musicians who play simple, almost instantly recognizable tunes on four-string fiddles, chickens running in the yard, and some strong homemade drink nearby to match the homemade music. These images, surprisingly, come from both Virginia and . . . Nepal. The people of the Appalachian and Himalayan ranges have rarely been depicted as comparable, but their lives and music are compared and intersect in "The Mountain Music Project," a film released in July on DVD, with a set of related intercontinental musical collaborations released on CD under the same title.
The film and album were the result of encounters in Katmandu between two traditional musicians from Virginia—Tara Linhardt and Danny Knicely—and such rural Nepali musicians relocated to that capital city as Buddhiman Gandharba, a maker and player of the eye- and ear-catching homemade Nepali fiddle called the sarangi. (His surname, Gandharba, is that of his caste; the Gandharba are a longstanding class of performers traditionally avoided by others in Nepal except when they need adept musicians for a wedding or other event.)Read full article