soundbending

It has a sharp tongue, over 1500 names and shapes, has been to space and can hide among house keys. It also chases away all thought and can compose the universe, amplified by/in your head.

Ancient traditional and shamanic practices consider its vibrations a hidden code to time travel.

And for our resident lotuseater and president-of-the-lying-down-society Sameer, it all started with a big twang!

About a decade ago, Sameer embarked on his own sound-bending journey while watching hundreds of dead people turn to ashes on the banks of the Ganga in Banaras while vaguely considering afterlife and (im) mortality. As company, he only had a mutt and a Morchung, the desi mouth harp picked up that day. The mutt stretched, yawned left at some point but the instrument became his thought-chasing magic machine/ friend /guide/starship enterprise that very bizarre night. They are inseparable ever since.

Along the way, this self-confessed-emperor-of-lazydom has taught himself the didgeridoo and a few other curious instruments acquired on travel trails. He has since connected many many friends and strangers to the Morchung. Many have confessed to not sleeping much the first night of the big twang. Simple and ancient sound-bending stuff are his thing.

This summer of 2016, Sameer Thakur was invited to share sounds of his Morchung in Yakutsk, Russia at, convincingly, the world’s largest festival celebrating the traditions of the mouth harp. Khomus, the traditional version of the mouth harp is the national instrument of the republic where people say “Siberia? Pffft. That’s behind and we’re beyond!” He felt a bit like a cultural kosmonot, so he joined an ensemble to play Indian style in museums and festivals in Moscow, Hungary and Sicily. With a few impromptu solo gigs in hostels, parks, permafrost and volcano trails thrown in.

Sameer will share images, sounds and thrills of traveling where few have been and the magic of carving ice, forging iron and sharing sound-bending and time-shifting vibes with some amazing sentient beings – humans, horses and mammoths included.

He will also seek friends on a crowd-sourced project mapping unknown facts and stories around this magical instrument across the planet. Talk less, harp more. This is his new thing.