All that pop & jazz, with a dash of Manipuri folk

Indian artiste Mangka and Portuguese band Clã collaborate on single for international album

By Avishek Sengupta in Guwahati
  • Published 29.04.17

Guwahati, April 28: From India to Portugal, music has no boundaries.

Manipuri folk musician Mangka, in collaboration with Portuguese band Clã, has composed a single, Nura pakhang (young boy in English), one of the songs in the album T(h)REE - A Musical Journey from Portugal to Asia, that will be released worldwide today.

The song, based on the state's polo culture, is a fusion of Manipuri folk tunes and lyrics with the jazzy pop rock flavours of Clã.

The track has two versions - a full length version more than six minutes long and the radio edit version of 4.29 minutes, which was played on the release date o n Antena 3, one of the biggest radio channels in Portugal.

"To be honest, I am very rooted in traditional music, and most of my work and collaboration has been mostly with traditional and folk music from different countries. When we first started collaborating with the pop and rock band, Clã, we weren't very sure of how our music will blend. But it was really a good experience working with them," Mangka told The Telegraph today.

The lyrics are by Mangangsana, the artistic director of Laihui, a folk music ensemble in Imphal.

On recording the song, Mangangsana said, "The beauty of the collaboration is that the Portuguese band and the Indian artiste have never met. They composed and recorded tracks in their own studios and the producer finally fused it into a single. Mangka and I thought for quite some time and sent the Portuguese three tracks, of which they chose Nura pakhang."

Members of Clã

"Clã had their own lyrics and they blended these into our Manipuri tune. Initially, Mangangsana was a little worried on how Manipuri folk and traditional music would blend with a pop/rock band like Clã," Mangka said.

The album contains of three discs and features iconic names such as Peixe, Amélia Muge and Old Jerusalem, from Portugal and Indus Creed (India), Dinesh Subasinghe (Sri Lanka), Mohichehra (Uzbekistan), Magic of Nomads (Kazakhstan), Mohammed Haddad (Bahrain) and Sherine Tohamy (UAE) from Asia.

It is an Omnichord Records edition, with production partially supported by Fundação Oriente. The proceeds from the album will be donated to an NGO, Make a Wish Foundation.

T(h)REE - A Musical Journey from Portugal to Asia is a musical outreach programme by a Portuguese team of musicians in which they reach out to Asian musicians.

The team has so far released three volumes, collaborating with Hong Kong and Macau in 2010, the Philippines and Singapore in 2012 and Japan and South Korea in 2014.