Meet the bamboo artist from Kerala who has mastered the artwork of enjoying a tongali, a nostril flute instrument utilized by tribes within the Philippines
Bamboo artist Rajiv VK first heard the tongali, a nostril flute instrument from the Philippines, in February 2019, when he was attending a workshop Feeling By way of Bamboo Music, organised by Nationwide Institute of Design (NID) in Bengaluru. Rajiv was launched to the woodwind instrument via Edgar Balansi Banasan, a bamboo artist from the Philippines, who was one among the many members on the workshop.
Though tongali resembles a traditional flute, it’s four-holed versus common flutes which have eight or extra. But, the sound it produces is each mellow and soothing, “Listening to it is rather calming, making it best for meditation,” says Rajiv, including that he was fascinated by the instrument, although it was its historical past that caught his consideration.
“Banasan belongs to the Kalinga tribe of the Philippines…they’re among the many tribes that play the tongali. I puzzled if the folks had something to do with Kalinga, the battle that modified emperor Ashoka’s view towards warfare and violence. He [Banasan] says they could possibly be descendants of the tribes which will have migrated from India in direction of East Asian nations,” says Rajiv.
Whereas the Kalinga name it tongali, different Filipino tribes name it by names resembling pitung ilong and kalaleng. Variations of the nostril flute are performed in nations resembling Taiwan, New Zealand, Congo and Hawaii, though the fabric varies: wooden, bamboo, and even whales’ enamel.
Aiding Banasan and listening to his tales about how the flute was used, Rajiv wished to recreate the instrument and develop its attain. Returning house to Thattekani in Idukki, he crafted his personal tongali, primarily based on the one which Banasan had gifted him. “Amongst its different ritualistic makes use of, the tongali was used to ‘awaken’ paddy fields; its soothing music helped rice develop. That’s such a ravishing thought…of man and Nature being one,” he says.
Know the artist
- For Rajiv, bamboo is greater than a medium of expression; it’s a muse that continuously conjures up to innovate and use in several methods. Over the previous 20 years, he has been working with bamboo via his model Windcraft and has made sustainable items of artwork, utilitarian gadgets and curios.
- Among the many well-liked handicrafts he has designed are bamboo wind chimes that evoke sounds of the forest and a flowing stream. A Authorities license permits him to supply bamboo immediately from the forest. He’s additionally a craft advisor and design coach.
Rajiv went about not solely perfecting his tongali, but additionally studying to play it. “In reality I had participated in an occasion in Bengaluru early final 12 months, earlier than lockdown, the place the members took to it. The music is extra haunting, than being musical within the standard sense. It’s not a track, it’s extra a tune,” he says, describing its sound.
“You must be calm if you play it. With an everyday flute you may play it regardless of your mind-set. Nevertheless, with tongali or any nostril flute for that matter, you must be in a peaceable house,” says Rajiv, including that he spent the entire of final 12 months fine-tuning his expertise.