Ranjit Makkuni commends the selfless acts of migrant workers during his pandemic living room sessions.
A frequent feature of the blog as of late, Mahamaya Experience continues to impress us with their innovative art and otherworldly production. As the creative force behind the quintessential project, multimedia artist, Ranjit Makkuni, has consistently demonstrated why he’s one of the most intriguing performers contributing to the current World Music scene. Whether it be the elongated improvisational pieces, or his flamboyant cross-overs with contemporary western music, the renowned sitarist repeatedly expresses his mellifluent mind through the most transcendental musical experiences.
An absorbing composition extracted from his sporadic ‘Corona-Living Room Sessions’, the devastating circumstances coinciding with its release mean ‘Abhogi Kafi’ is one of the most impassioned tracks released by Mahamaya Experience. Materialising during a nation-wide lockdown, the public’s attention became drawn to the harrowing footage of migrant labourers being unlawfully beaten by police officers for disregarding government guidelines. In an appreciative bid to express gratitude for all their travail, Makkuni’s ‘Abhogi Kafi’ serves as a passionate commendation to the selfless acts of all the migrant workers, who placed their bodies on the line for the health and wellbeing of all the urban dwellers.
Adopting the Carnatic raga which has recently been integrated into Hindustani classical music, Ranjit Makkuni once again shows why he is widely considered as one of the most exceptional sitarists. Commencing with the open, reverberating strings, the resonant nature of the sitar generates a chilling aura, which becomes further enhanced when considering the excruciating narrative behind the track. Capturing the brutality with each and every harsh tonality, the track is suddenly propelled into sheer pandemonium, with Makkuni’s intricate playing delivering some nimble melodic composition.
An accompanying sentiment which is truly indicative of Mahamaya Experience’s vast catalogue, “surrender in order to transcend” beautifully captures the ethereality of the Southeast Asian outfit’s music. While frequently instigating a world of escapism, on this occasion Ranjit Makkuni’s emphatic sitar solo encourages a period of reflection, honouring the commitment of the migrant workers who fought for their people, even during the most turbulent of times.