In Conversation With The Howey Guys-Abiogenesis!
A band that has evolved Howey music, a fusion of Naga and other Indian folk with various forms of music but this musical procreation was not enough and they ended up creating a whole new instrument, Bamhum, which has given a whole new direction to their music. Let’s hear their musical story from the band itself.
1. Invention of Bamhum was an accident, is it true?
A unique situation and compulsion brought about the invention of the Bamhum. When Arenla was appointed Guru to teach folk theatre & music by North East Zone Cultural Centre, she appointed me as her accompanist. Then, I couldn’t find any Naga traditional musical instrument to play all notes for her compositions. Guitar and other western musical instruments didn’t blend or gel so this gave me an idea and inspiration that I must do something .I tried so many things for quite some time trying to create a new musical instrument and Arenla always use to make fun saying what is that funny sound coming out, this make me even more desperate. And one fine day when she heard me try out and she complimented what is that beautiful sound coming out, Eureka, I said this is it! That’s how Bamhum was born.
2. The invention of Bamhum and becoming the first band to use bamhum, how do you think your band has grown with this instrument?
The invention of the Bamhum brought about a big leap and change to how Abiogenesis sounds now. This is the leading instrument of the band with Arenla playing the lead bamhum and me (Moa) playing the backing Bamhum.
3. You’re the first one to play Howey music, what’s special about this form of music that drives you?
Howey music is our brand of music. It’s a fusion of Naga and other Indian folk elements with various forms of modern music. In short, we extract the best of folk and blend it with the best of the present trends.
4. Your band’s logo seems so unique. Would you like to throw some light on this!
Yes, our logo is having lots of meanings – at the bottom we have two bamhums, the middle has two wings and the top has the guitar neck and head. I think without explaining it is understood by all.
5. Has there been any crazy incident around any of your live performances that you can’t forget!
We can’t remember of any crazy incident during our show/s but each show has been special to us. However in November 2005, when we were to perform Howey music with the Bamhum for the first time at New Delhi’s Pragati Maidan we were not sure how the crowd would respond. But to our delight, the response was better than what we expected, with the media also giving good reviews of our music and the Bamhum.
We were also featured on the cover of Northeast Sun Magazine. It was also a big honour to play for Bhutan’s Royal family at the Indian Embassy, Thimpu on Indian Independence day in 2011. Another memorable performance was at Mumbai’s Raj Bhawan the same year, where we performed in front of VIPs and more than 160 consuls. Interacting with all the VIPs had been an experience which we will always cherish. The reason being, when people from different cultures in different places tap and sway along with us there is no doubt that they are appreciative of our music and has that connection which really keeps us going.
6. What are your future plans? Anything special that you’re planning?
There are so many things we have in mind like releasing a few singles backed by music videos, performing in India and abroad and yes, we also make Howey musical feature films so we are intending to shoot another film soon. Our first film Lichaba’s Daughter was one of the three films selected from India to screen at the Days of Ethnographic Cinema Festival in Moscow.