All over the world, there is a tendency to venerate the classical arts, with the folk and tribal being considered ‘primitive', poorer. But, you are a label that has constantly drawn inspiration from it. Do you think your music, in some way, is an answer to that?
Classical music has historically been the music of and by the ‘elite' classes, and was given the patronage to develop as a ‘refined' art form. Folk and tribal music is the cultural sound of communities, connecting the stories of the past and present. EarthSync's music respects the traditions as much as emerging music, best exemplified by the diaspora whose music straddles cultures, and engages multi-cultural artistic dialogue.
There is always a lot of history and storytelling involved in folk music. How do you try to do justice to all of it, since you are taking it out of its context?
The beauty of these stories — and music — is that it can never really be out of context. The creation and existence is always is relevant; however it is the listener who needs to connect to the stories.
Each of your albums has drawn from very distinct and specific events, or cultural roots. How are these choices made — for instance, what is it that drew you to Sufi, to the veena, to The Great Songs from Myanmar, or to the tsunami?
We like the connection the music has, especially folk, to the land and people. We love to work with music that has a strong view of the history and spirit of the place where it came from.
The performance of Business Class Refugees also hosts live dancers and visuals on-stage?
For the November Fest, it will be contemporary Western dance. Our shows are not just about music — it is the entire experience. Visuals, dance and music all come together to create this.