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Tassa Thunder: Folk Music from India to the Caribbean

15 Sep 2015 by admin in Documentary, Flicks

This 53-minute video documentary explores Indo-Caribbean music culture through focusing on a set of neo-traditional music genres, relating them to sources and counterparts in North India’s Bhojpuri region and Indian communities in Fiji. Topics covered include chutney, chowtal, birha, nagara drumming, Ahir dance, the dantal, the Alha-Udal epic, and most extensively, tassa drumming. Tassa music is explored in reference to its rhythmic structures, its performance contexts of weddings, competitions, and Muharram (Hosay), and the construction of its drums. The film combines unique performance footage and interviews taken between 1990 and 2010 in India, Trinidad, Suriname, New York, and Fijian communities in California. It conveys how Indo-Caribbean music culture comprises a unique and dynamic combination of both resilient marginal survivals as well as innovative forms.

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