KOCHI: One of the hardest things about the pandemic and lockdown for me, personally, has been the inability to travel. The more time you spend scrolling through your virtual reality, in front of screens, on your balcony watching the world spinning madly, the more you miss the rustle of the woods.
And so, Shanka Tribe’s new release When Nature Calls brought back a certain longing in me, a peculiar nostalgia, which sans its upbeat musical brilliance, may have invoked sorrow in me about how nature is away, awaiting me. Shanka Tribe plays nature trance — a genre that you will hardly find, and more importantly, is hardly done well because of how hard it is to bring the flow and fury of nature into a song.
The band is a mix of Oud, Handpan, Murchang, flute, Udukku and one of the oldest known wind instruments Didgeridoo to name a few. “If you think about it, most of these instruments have a cleansing or spiritual effect on listeners. We start our performance after blowing a ‘shankh’ (conch shell), so as to create a purifying or tranquil environment. This is how we came to be known as Shanka Tribe. Even the Handpan has similar effects on the human body,” says Munna P M, one of the founding members of the band.
Though it was released last week, When Nature Calls was made by the band quite some time ago. The video shot in Wayanad features Alan Cliffi, Anurag M M and Shravan Satya from Kochi-based Parkour group Sapiens. They wake up in the jungle, on a tree, and the video chases their adrenaline rush, accompanied by a very organic, yet thrilling rhythm. Jayesh Mohan, familiar to Malayalis as the cinematographer of many projects including the film Mayanadi, has done a brilliant job in capturing the ways of the wild. “I love being in nature.
My life revolves around it and I learn from it every day. Working with Shanka was, for that matter, easy for me, because their sounds are very close to nature too,” says Jayesh. “Alan and Anurag were doing parkour in the forest for the first time. They had a tough time getting us the right shots, but their dedication and skill gave us outstanding results. Associate cameraman Rahul Varghese was running through the difficult, narrow paths. But one of the best things about this music video is the use of first-person view.
Mathew Sebastian and Balu made it possible,” adds Jayesh. The song also features Joel Jackson on drums, Nithin M Menon on percussion, Sreeraj K on Didgeridoo, Bonny Abraham on Oud, Aswin Lal on bass guitar, Libin Noby on flute and synth. Rex Vijayan mixed and mastered the song that was produced by Tentagram.