Music For Diversity with Mazel B
It goes without saying that different cultures have given birth to unique musical traditions around the world. Culture also has a strong impact on musical cognition – moulding preferences, emotional recognition and even musical memory. What does this mean for a citizen of the world today who is witness to the confluence of different cultural and musical lineages? Perhaps the answer lies in world music bands like Mazel B whose works are a curious amalgam of several soundscapes. The band’s composition itself is an ode to this diversity – the lead vocalist and composer Ruth Bennaroch is Franco-Israeli, the guitarist Koustav Dey is Bengali, the percussionists Balakumar Paramalingam (Sri-Lankan origin) and Matthias Labbe are French and are accompanied by the Franco-Serbian Ivica Bogdanic.
A truly international quintet, Mazel B prefers to qualify their sound as universal soul music. The compositions are influenced by the musicians’ diverse backgrounda: Israeli, Sri Lankan, Serbian, French and Indian and are sung in several languages including English, French, Russian and Hebrew amongst others. The music has indelible traces of gypsy folk elements and incorporates elaborate instrumentation with the accordion, guitar and percussions. Their songs are composed mostly in C and A Major with impromptu improvisations on stage. The themes explored include love, birth, life, death, music, joy and sadness. The underlying message is simple – beyond the beliefs of religion or spirituality, we are all individuals who are united in our diversity. Whatever language we may speak, we all say the same thing.
A clip of their music can be found below :
Mazel B‘s six -city tour in India was piloted by Alliance Française du Bengale. The performance in Kolkata (March 10) was organised in collaboration with the Russian Centre of Science and Culture in Kolkata as part of the second Concert for Diversity. The band’s gypsy sounds also enthralled crowds in Pondicherry (March 12), Chennai (March 15), Hyderabad (March 17) and Chandigarh (March 18). During the tour, Mazel B performed songs in Armanian, Ladino, Comorian, Serbian and French. For some of these songs, the vocalist highlighted a more personal and softer side in which she spoke about her mother often addressing her as “my old lady”.
Rédaction, AF Magazine Inde-Népal