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Swiss Bengal Musical Collaboration

Jopo and Ingeborg Poffet, two musicians from Switzerland travel the world as Duo Fatale. They focus on collaborations, network improvisations and musical research. They experiment with several instruments from all over the world, but Jopo patents the Clarinet and Saxophone and Ingeborg plays the Accordion. Duo Fatale play at International festivals, Club concerts and film music studios. They work with electronic, are producers and create nonstop new formations, compositions, concepts, multi-media-events (with projections, installations, chain-saws and movies), CDs & DVDs, scores, booklets and other projects. Both are composers, teachers and producers as well as soloists for different projects.

Duo Fatale recently came to West Bengal to explore the heritage of the region and collaborate with local musicians. They extensively traveled through the state, absorbing different folk cultures and indigenous art forms of the locals as well as their lifestyles. In the course of their exploration they also collaborated with various groups of local musicians, including Bauls, Fakirs of Bengal and other urban musicians coming from various genres.  The collaborations comprised of many instrumental conversations between Eastern and Western cultures of music like a dialogue of Dotara and Saxophone, Accordion and Tabla. They visited some village festivals like POT Maya Festival, a Patachitra annual mela, at Pingla, Paschim Medinipur between 11th to 13th November, 2016, where they learnt about the heritage of patachitra paintings and interacted with the artists and in the evenings collaborated. They were at the Baul Fakir Utsav  in Gorbhanga, Nadia between 18th and 20th November, 2016. They felt that the bauls bring out the soul sound of Bengal. At Akhra @ Baitanik Duo Fatale did a collaboration concert on the 6th of November 2016 which was received very well by the audience.

What excited Ingeborg absolutely was the concert at the Bookaro Festival at the Indian Museum, Kolkata, 5th of November, 2016, where she played tunes from a series of children's songs that she has composed on Rapunzel.

Their experience at a two day workshop they conducted with the students of Rabindra Bharati University was remarkable, where they did an impromptu jam. The enthusiastic students played various Indian instruments like Sarangi, Flute, Esraj among others while the Swiss musician duo taught them lessons on vocal chord structure and Western music.

Having interacted with local musicians and craftsmen, Ingeborg and Jopo are greatly moved at how the traditional local art forms are being continuously revived. Duo Fatale not only collaborated with local musicians across genres but also learnt quite a lot about indigenous art forms of Bengal. Overall it was an experimental experience for them, which they have documented to some extent and would like to work with elaborately as a project soon, with recordings and International concerts.

Watch their journey here


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