The Musical Mosaics of Maati Baani: Redefining Collaboration in a Technological Age

On the power of music to build connections and shape resistance.


To say that the Indian band Maati Baani is pioneering the new music scene would not be an over-statement. The spirited couple that is Nirali and Kartik, who hail from Ahmedabad, recently came into the limelight as their cover for Michael Jackson’s ‘Heal the World’ became one of the most widely shared music videos to emerge from India, ever, with the likes of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Ken Kragen lauding it. What was striking about this song was that it brought together 45 child prodigies from around the world, solely through online collaboration. We see here an altogether new way of making music – where communication and rehearsals all happen virtually. The final musical piece is essentially like mosaic-work, but bases itself on the powerful universality of music.

Giving a simple example to illustrate how universal music really is, Nirali describes, “If I’m at an airport and I meet a musician and I tell her ‘let’s jam’, we’ll be jamming the very next moment. Can you imagine this in any other profession?” The joy of this connection is what prompted the duo to make collaborations with other musicians the basis of their work. Their approach is truly path-breaking in many ways because they are evolving a new working style – one in which street musicians, common people and folk artists are involved in their process. Every creative person knows how difficult it is to relinquish some control over one’s work and allow room for improvisations. But the duo has somehow cracked this open-ended process.

To read more about how they perceive music to be the language of the earth, follow the link to Creative Yatra.



(Cover image: Artwork by Jiri Kolar. Source: Espoarte)

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Niharika Sanyal

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