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Ta Dhom Project Of Nagaland: Taking Rap Beyond Boundaries & Connecting People From Different Communities

A multi-lingual rap project representing the country with different languages and cultures was launched in Nagaland on Wednesday. 

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Called the Ta Dhom project, where ‘Ta’ and ‘Dhom’ symbolise the idea of two worlds, two ideas and two cultures, the initiative aims to unite communities.  

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Art as soft power of Naga people 

Task Force for Music and Arts (TaFMA) launched this unique music project at the Regional Centre of Excellence for Music and Performing Arts in Jotsoma. 

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TaFMA has been operational since 2019 with a keen eye on promoting artists in Nagaland as it considers art to be a soft power of the Naga people.

Fusion of Indian rhythm and Naga chants 

Viveick Rajagopalan, the founder of the Ta Dhom project, urged the artists to receive and share and give back what they have learned. 

TaFMA chairman Theja Meru said the project will be a fusion of Indian rhythm, the taals, and the Naga chants and vocal singing. 

Ta Dhom project journey 

Viveick Rajagopalan says that the journey began over “Sunday morning sessions in a park, where a lot of time was spent in teaching, sharing and learning an art form called ‘konnakol'”. 

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viveick.com

Konnakol is a unique percussion language derived from the sounds of an ancient percussion instrument called Mridangam, which hails from the southern states of India. 

Konnakol, as a vocal percussion, brings emotion to rhythm and thus shares its lineage with languages, Rajagopalan says. This is when the idea of Ta Dhom took flight: of taking rap beyond its boundaries and Konnakol beyond its. 

The challenge, Rajapagopalan says, was to retain the ethos of this collaboration, and respect either culture’s identity, and yet create something that had an identity of its own. 

“We believe we have created a sub-text in the Hip Hop Culture, and added an Indian twist to it. Something, we believe, has not been done before. To complete the circle, we used the Mridangam and Kanjira to create a foundation of grooves / beats. We believe this has allowed us to keep the ethnicity of the sound, raw, bold, and intact,” shares Gopalan. 

Learn and also give back 

Adviser to Nagaland chief minister and chairman of the Investment and Development Authority of Nagaland, Abu Metha, who launched the project, said: “Collaborations and partnership are always progressive journeys. Our musicians and artists should not only learn but also give back. The sounds, songs and dances of Nagaland and the northeast can only add more shine and beauty to world music.” 

He added, “Our aim is to constantly strive towards making Nagaland a State of Excellence in all fields, especially in areas where our youth are in the forefront.”
Metha said that such initiatives that unite the rich culture of India and push brand India to the international platform while emphasising the voice of Nagaland are much required.

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