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Thu, 20 Sep 2018

Northeast Today

A Mid-Summer’s Music Tale

A Mid-Summer’s Music Tale
May 18
12:52 2018

April Edition, Music, NET Bureau

What started on one of the bygone summers has now become a chant for the music lovers. The band from Meghalaya, Summersalt, has been garnering applauses for their outstanding musical contributions to the Northeast and beyond. Chirasmrita Devi moves a little closer to the band and explores the music that is in their DNA as they tell their story.

The Beginning of the Summersalt Saga

It was in the summer of 2006 (oh that makes us really old) when Kit our songwriter just came back to town that we started to jam for the fun of it after a Christmas gig the year before. The jam-pad was a shack in one of Summersalt’s 87 member’s bedroom. There was no intention to form the band but we felt the connection. All of us went home – then the idea which translated into a call to form a band developed. The call to go indigenous with a heart to embrace a multi-genre style was equally strong and since then, we’ve loved every moment of it.

Summersalt doesn’t need to mean anything if you come to think of it. It’s a fun word, a juxtaposition of Summer, the season and salt, the Chef ’s key ingredient. Salt is a word we’d like to think more than ‘Summer’ though. Salt being the preservative, the minority, the key taste addition and the taste changer is the main course of our music, but let’s cut the idealistic crap. We like the name – it’s easier for people to remember.

WHO’S SUMMERSALT

Kit @ Kitkupar C Shangpliang

Kit is a thinking and prolific songwriter. By 2016, this artist had written about 100 songs, 30 of which were written for and with Summersalt. He is the lead and the architect of Summersalt. At a very young age, Kit had received formal piano and guitar lessons that gave him a good foundation to structure his music. The performer and communicator’s confidence came later as he shared the stage with many local and international artists. To sum it up, Kit is a songwriter, musician, music and film critique, photographer, filmmaker and a writer, all wheeled into one personality.

Ador @ Adorbha C Shangpliang

Ador is the indigenous conscience of the band because he plays the traditional instrument known as the Duitara– also an instrument where Summersalt wants to call it as the SawsaiIn his own right, he is the preserver of Khasi music. Ador is the first musician to play the duitara in rhythm form. Ador is the first duitara player who was able to free this instrument from those restrictions making it a rhythm based contributor.

Suk @ Pynsuklin Syiemiong

She is the powerhouse of Summersalt, a strong voice who works multi-lingual. She has done fabulous vocal rendition in French, German, Assamese, Hindi, Khasi, Jaintia and English. Pynsuk started off as a choir girl and shared her stage with India’s celebrated artists and gospel rock band Petra. During her days with the famous Shillong Chamber Choir – she was the leader always in healthy competition with her peers, yet it all worked out well. In every sense of the word, this lone female member of the band sings multi-genre, sometimes, crisscrossing cultures and languages. The traditional elements of her attire are a fashion statement that reflects the matrilineal identity of the state of Meghalaya.

Weet @ Dawadhok C Shangpliang

Not that it matters so much, but he’s a double graduate in arts and music and holds a Grade 8 certificate from Trinity College, London and Masters in Fine Arts and Music, Martin Luther Christian University– Shillong, Weet is without a doubt the anchor of the band, a composed percussionist whose versatility is worth recognizing. Drumming came naturally to him at the age of ten and stage fright has never been an issue. In fact, Weet runs an independent drumming school teaching children of all ages basic and advanced drumming. Give this man drummer any tool, he will likely turn that into a rhythm instrument.

Nah @ Baiaineh C. Shangpliang,

Nah is a studio man. He runs a recording studio and has hit half-century mark some time ago, as he keeps recording audio albums for various local artists. Some of his key achievements are in the albums he helped produce. When with Summersalt, Nah plays around with the low frequencies, yet gets musically high when he’s on stage. He is a critique the band needs so badly. His pride and prejudice humble Summersalt to stay above the waters comprising with popish music. He brings enough intelligence to the music of Summersalt not just with the kind of bass he plays but mostly with the kind of creative questions he asks – then the band figures out the answers.

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