Jason Kunwar is a Nepalese multi-instrumentalist and composer. A powerful advocate for social impact, Jason’s community engagement work is focused on the preservation of Nepalese traditions and his ongoing educational initiative ‘Know Your Instrument’ facilitates workshops for a new generation of folk music students. He has also produced and directed three mini-documentaries on traditional Nepali music and instrumentation, and collaborated with Academy Award-winning composer and director A.R. Rahman. On this work, Jason has said, “An ideology of preserving everything endangered is far from my conception. I hope and intend that the outcomes of ‘Know Your Instrument’ and my other research endeavors stimulate discourse on the issue of musical sustainability and the development of approaches to support musical tradition.”
With seed funding from the OneBeat Accelerator, he launched ‘Confluence‘, a program for musicians of diverse backgrounds in Nepal to engage in a virtual creative collaboration, offering a platform for artists to explore how they can create and work amidst a crisis, how to connect with audiences from complete isolation, and how artists can deal with the shared conditions of isolation. The program was initially given the Nepali name “Dobhaan”, which in English means ‘confluence’: the meeting point of two different rivers.
Six artists from musically diverse backgrounds were selected for the program. The artists, who reside in Jhapa, Nepalgunj, Dhading and Kathmandu districts of Nepal, were grouped into trios and tasked with creating original, collaborative music. All musicians participated in 8 full days of workshops and shared sessions designed to inform and inspire collaboration. The groups produced 4 original music videos (you can watch two of the videos produced below). To hear and see all the pieces produced during Confluence, visit their official website. Read Online Khabar’s piece on the project here, and FSN’s Nyokabi Kariuki ’s interview with Jason here.