If you would like to purchase a Chariamilo Kala Samuha CD or book the band for a gig, contact them at baileynightingale [at] gmail [dot] com
How did Chariamilo Kala Samuha form?
We are originally a community (commune) living together, and we needed some more financial sources, thus forming a band that does shows in the art collective was the best option. Chariamilo kala samuha means chariamilo (a type of clover) art collective. It currently has 5 members, it is a art collective with clothes sowing, a band, poetry, soap making, organic farming, living in general.
Can you explain the band’s name?
Chari amilo kala samuha – Chariamilo is a type of clover- a nitrogen fixing plant. It is used by us a lot in permaculture. Kala means art, and samuha means collective.
Your drummer uses a really distinct sounding crash or cymbal. What is it? Has she always used this sound or is it unique to Chariamilo Kala Samuha?
Yes. She uses a china cymbal instead of a ride, and a newari cymbal as her crash. She has always been using them. They are one tenth the price of mainstream music giant company made expensive cymbals and they sound unique!
Singing duties are shared, how about song-writing? Is it an individual or group effort? What do you think non-Nepali speakers will get from your music?
Singing duties are shared, song writing is shared, our lives are shared. We all live together in a community trying to be self sufficient. We are trying to build something similar to an earth ship. We want non-nepali speakers to read our english translations. But also would be happy if they noticed the energy coming from a political band.
Who are some of your musical and non-musical influences, as a band and individually?
Rojeena Tamu (drums): the people’s war in nepal, father fought in the war; Hindustani music.
Maki Gurung (guitar): Tamang music, Masanobu Fukuoka, Gandhi, Anarchist literature.
Rojan Lem (bass): the people’s war in nepal, father fought in the war, comrades.
You told me that I could freely copy your CD to share with friends. Don’t you see your music as a way to earn a livelihood?
Yes we do see it as a livelihood, 50 percent of our income for the commune comes from doing gigs. But we do not believe in copyright, music and art, all forms of art are owned by the world, by humanity. Art is not a commodity owned by an individual.
The band recently toured in Southeast Asia. Why did you choose to tour in Southeast Asia? How did the tour go?
We have a close farmer friend in chaing mai. He said that he knew all the venues, thus we acted on a small idea of travelling outside of nepal. Rojan and Rojeena never had travelled outside of nepal. It was about time that we travelled. But we could not get thai visas. They have a new rule that you have to have a six month old bank balance containing two hundred thousand rupees. None of us had this. We had to do it the wrong way. The tour was great though! Especially eating foreign food (thai food) everyday, and meeting new comrades were the best part. We met a new farmer comrade while travelling to a coffee farm in chaing rai district. Meeting like minded people is the best part of playing music.
Future plans for Chariamilo Kala Samuha?
We are moving to our permanent commune this september. The current place we are living at is in the city, it is a bit too small to be self sufficient in food. The new place we are building is also an orange orchard, from where we will gain the initial financial source to live. We also plan to tour Australia, Indonesia, and Malaysia, as soon as we get to.
What’s happening with the contemporary music scene in Nepal? Any other bands that ASEAM readers should be checking for?
The music scene in nepal has been eaten by multinational companies. They sponsor every event. The music scene is dependent on them. Thus the only real music scene here is the independent music scene. Check out Rai ko Ris.
Any particular songs that you would you like to share with ASEAM readers?
Yes, all of them. But this one has been very relevant to us in the past few weeks.
Women of the third world (translated)
The focus starts from the embryo stage
happiness when a son is born
a girl is born makes tragedy
a burden for the household
men enjoy while
questions arise when women step forward
in captivity of family rules inside the household
being raped by economic exploitation in society
Women of the third world
abandon slavery, wrestle oppression
erase the Sindoor with your own will
daughters escape patriarchy!
Citizenship laws keep women in the house
property laws make no sense
asked the name of father and husband
the cage of injustice never ends
years of oppression by men
who think patriarchy is natural
stop! to rebel is the necessity
everyone lives their lives.