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Guy Buttery And Rachanachar Combine Forces In Style

Jul 22, 04:47pm

Their version of Guy’s ‘I Know This Place’ features guitar, mbira and the class of both musicians
 Photo Courtesy: Guy Buttery, Rachanachar, Pinecone Sessions

South African guitarist extraordinaire Guy Buttery did his maiden tour of India last year alongside Shimla guitarist Pranjal Uniyal (who goes by and inhabits a character named Rachanachar); their chemistry and connection led them to record a version of ‘I Know This Place’ in Bangalore after just a couple of gigs. The song has had a few different adaptations in the past with different instrumentation; this one is no less evocative than any other and features a great deal of simplicity.

The setup is sparse. Guy plays the mbira (a plucked instrument originating in Southern Africa and spiritual godfather to the kalimba) while Pranjal plays an acoustic. The fact that the song is expertly mixed is only part of what makes this rendition special; the other part is obviously their playing. The mbira has that rootsy sound one can’t mistake for anything else, and Guy uses it equally melodically and percussively. His playing creates something in the way of a series of repetitive grooves that somehow also act as leads. Pranjal follows with his delicate playing but there are little shades and moments of the song where he lets the volume and intensity rise just a bit before letting everything settle once again. This version is only three minutes and change in length but it ebbs and flows in an incredibly organic way. It shows two things: that both Guy and Pranjal know what they’re doing and work together well, and that ‘I Know This Place’ is one of those pieces of music better experienced than spoken about and broken down exhaustively.

 

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