Shillong-based folk-fusion outfit Summersalt released its sophomore album “Kliar” on Wednesday.
The date was chosen as it was also the birthday of a band-member Baiaineh C Shangpliang aka Nah who passed away two years ago.
The release of the song Mluh, literally meaning ‘Salt’ will open a pandora’s box of creative surprises when eleven originals will be out, one at a time over a period of 7 months.
This music video will also reflect their close relationship with nature and they hope that the indigenous knowledge systems will thrive in the future generations.
Mluh as a song has been around for some years now, and it has the mass appeal to call upon the listener to celebrate the nutrients and richness of the indigenous foods from the Khasi hills.
In the song, there’s a mention of the different delicacies and rarest food of the world, which so typical Summersalt to showcase the uniqueness the culture of the local indigenous people.
“Whenever we perform this foot-tapping Khasi song, whether in India or abroad, people naturally join in to sing along, whether they know or do not know the language. There are parts in the song, where even a non-singer can hum along. It is a typical picnic song that one can sit around the bonfire to have their slice of fun”, says lead singer Pynsuk Syiemiong.
In this attempt, Summersalt is honoured to partner with the North East Slow Food & Agrobiodiversity Society (NESFAS), an indigenous-food focused organization working towards defending and promoting local foods of their own class.
NESFAS has recently received a 2021-IFAD Indigenous People’s Award for its film ‘Sacred Futures – The Nesfas Story’, based on NESFAS’ three-year project ‘No one shall be left behind’ initiative that focused on Indigenous Peoples food systems for improved nutrition, livelihood and wellbeing.
Summersalt finds much purpose, to have been given a chance to work with NESFAS’ grassroot community in Khweng village, Ribhoi district where people’s indigenous trades are valued by the organization.
The community people including two children and two adults came with excitement to participate in the video as they brought their local organic vegetables with willingness to share with the crew and members of the band.
This time, the collab is set to produce an organic music video that celebrates the nutrients of the indigenous foods straight out from the gastronomy wisdom of the ancient world that found uniqueness in its roots. More so, the song seeks to celebrate salt as the key ingredient, its minority status and its ability to preserve, adding taste to the delicacies enjoyed by all of us.
The music video is set to resemble the picnic culture of the Khasi hills in the late 70s and 80s with stylized elements to connect with the gen X group, millennials and even the gen Z crowd. The giant bamboo table set for plating the exquisite dishes, some of which, can be rarely seen these days. The gala time just beside a stream draws the rural locals into the scene. There is dancing and merry-making with food and music taking center stage.
To have taken the music of the hills to Mumbai and record in one of the world’s best studios, the Yash Raj Films Studios was something the band never thought it could do, but things just happened.
“We thank the veteran Sound Engineer and friend Shantanu Hudlikar for being there with us and carried us through. His ears and mind are the expansion of his own personality that we as a band trust most”, says Dawad Shangpliang aka Weet.
Yash Raj was relatively hugely expensive for the band, but there was a unanimous thought that they should go for it, because of the strong belief that Khasi music deserves a world-class treatment.