A very appropriately title album is the focus for this post: Unheard Rajasthan. Pure folk music from the dusty and gritty bye lanes of India’s desert western State of Rajasthan.
This is rarely heard music. Most of it is sung a capella except for the rhythm section, you have to travel a bit off the beaten tourist trails to find this music performed in its intended setting.
- Bagan Ka Bhawara This pad or folktale is sung by the Meena tribe that narrates the act of the Bhanwra or the honeybee that sucks pollens from flowers and how this act causes better half to flare up in ire. The authentic instruments used in this track are Chhota Dhol and Chimta.
- Bilyu Dhaam This devotional song is performed by Meerasi community in praise of Gogaji, inviting the devotees to assemble at the fair that is held at the Bilyu Dham, a village in Northern Rajasthan. The folk instruments used as an accompaniment are Deru, Ghunghroo, Harmonium, Dholak and Manjeera.
- Dhomaldi Tracing it’s root to ‘Jangad’, a form of singing style, it is a welcome song sung by the Manganiar community on the occasion of the arrival of the procession of King and Queen. The instruments used as an accompaniment are Kamaycha, Dholak and Khartal.
- Helo Mharo Sambhlo A devotee prays to ‘Gogaji’ a local deity in Rajasthan pleading Him to listen to his vows and take care of him. The Bhajan is rendered by the Manganiar Meghwal community to the accompaniment of the Manjeera, Tandoora and Dholak.
- Jeera The spice that best describes the particular taste and flavor of Rajasthani food is Jeera that is actually a cumin seed. With an accompaniment of ‘Rawanhatta’ a woodwind instrument, the Bhopa and Bhopi get together in this folk song to describe the advantages and disadvantages of this distinct spice.
- Moomal A court or palace song, performed by the Manganiar professional singers and played on the Sarangi, Khartal and Dholak expresses the beauty of a pretty woman.
- Nabh Kamal Vich A Bhajan sung by the Meerasi group, signifies that true happiness can only be achieved when a man understand his inner being. The traditional instruments like Tandoora, Khanjeera and Dholak has been used to convey this message more strongly.
- Rasto De Shyam ‘Chang Nritya’, a dance form that integrates the sounds of Chang, Bansuri, Ghunghroo, and Manjeera. This song is shared as a common culture by the Khati, Meghwal, Harijan, Rajput, Jat and Brahmin communities and is sung during the festival of Holi in Rajasthan. The song captures Radha and lord Krishna’s love story and the antics involved when she requests him to move from her path and let her go to fetch water