The string instrument Gei-Ü functions in ‘Bollywood soprano’ Natalie Di Luccio’s version of the well known tune


‘You increase me up, so I can stand on mountains’ … Canadian-Italian Natalie Di Luccio’s voice soars around the blue-eco-friendly baize of Nagaland’s hills.

Wrapped in regular Naga colors, Di Luccio, who observed fame as ‘Bollywood’s soprano’ sings the common Nordic-Irish track ‘You Elevate Me Up’ with customers of the Phetsukiku Club, Khonoma. By her aspect, in the video unveiled last week that has garnered about 1.7 lakh views on YouTube, is Naga folks musician and luthier Atso Chasie taking part in the string instrument he designed, the Gei-Ü (pronounced Jee-uh) — its sound a blend of lilting bagpipes and resonant violins.

Naga folk musician Atso Chasie with the Gei-Ü, the string instrument he developed

Naga people musician Atso Chasie with the Gei-Ü, the string instrument he made
| Photograph Credit score: Exclusive Arrangement


“The Gei-Ü has 3 strings, a person for plucking and two for bowing. Manufactured from bamboo and neighborhood wooden, the sound bounces off the leading. I use a store-acquired bow. The Gei-Ü has a exclusive seem which signifies our Naga musical heritage but can mix in with present-day tracks much too. I had designed a Gei-Ü deal with movie of the gospel track ‘Via Dolorosa’ that Natalie chanced upon when viewing Khonoma. That is how the collaboration happened. I was fortuitous,” suggests Chasie about a cellphone phone from Kohima, wherever he life. “We started off filming in 2019 and the pandemic took place. We had to file some elements yet again and that delayed it even further. I have carried this track with me all this time.”

The hills are alive

In a area wherever war, melody and Mother nature breathe, Chasie has carried the audio of his persons, the Angami, for for a longer time. Distilled in excess of generations, their tunes now inhabits his dextrous fingers as he plucks and bows the Gei-Ü. His tunes journey around the immodestly inexperienced hills as steadily as the monsoon raindrops that rake the earth here. Khonoma, where by Chasie was lifted, is India’s 1st eco-friendly village. Emerald paddy fields jostle for area on the terraced slopes with Jurassic-period ferns that border streams.

Recognised for its prosperous conservation projects, its forests have been property to the rare Hoolock gibbon and the even rarer Blyth’s tragopan, the Condition bird. Khonoma is about the bend from Kohima, where British, Indians and the Japanese fought a savage, heroic battle all through the 2nd Environment War. Now, further than the cordite and crackle of guns that have peppered this anthropological paradise, songs has served maintain jointly a fraying culture.

Atso Chasie in a screenshot from ‘Via Dolorosa’ playing the Gei-Ü

Atso Chasie in a screenshot from ‘Via Dolorosa’ taking part in the Gei-Ü
| Image Credit rating: Unique Arrangement


“I have been practising music skillfully for 15 several years now,” states Chasie. “It is my passion, honed from a childhood invested listening to tracks on tape-recorders and radios. For my to start with formal tunes classes from Tamarez Lotha, I saved cash to pay back the service fees. Afterwards I attended a brief songs course at Patkai Christian School, Chümoukedima which broadened my horizon. Beneath the assistance of Nibanuo Swuro and Christine Iralu, I finished the Trinity Guildhall ATCL graded exam at Shillong in 2009 and finished up a classical guitarist.”

In the decades since Chasie has taught the violin and guitar to men and women throughout ages, tuned pianos and fixed bikes. But it is as a luthier that he has arrive into his have.

“I’m now focussed on the output of the Gei-Ü. I commenced generating one particular in 2014 it was formally released in 2017,” claims Chasie. “It now will take about 3 months to make a person and is a refined version created from our old devices — the nraiibu and marok kongki. I hope to begin building it commercially so that it delivers our musicians a stage closer to our society where by western affect is at its peak.” out?v=Vb_f7h2fH9s


Chasie has mirrored the Gei-Ü’s unconventional audio in two new music videos — ‘Via Dolorosa’ and ‘The Grand Bison’. Each are rites of passage to the cultural grandeur of Northeast India. So is ‘You Elevate Me Up’ generated by Di Luccio with cinematography by Chow Partha Borgohain, in which Chasie performs donning the colours of the Phom tribe “to boost inter-tribal harmony”.

The video clip opens with Kolierie Koutsu blowing the horn and features gorgeous visuals of the refrain by young grownups of the Phetsukiku Club that preserves Angami cultural tunes, game titles and practices. The phrase ‘Ra kemo lhenu zivi’ sung by them suggests “never-fading everlasting beauty” in the Angami language. As it rises earlier mentioned the halo of clouds and settles on listeners around the world, it is as significantly a tribute to the wonderful tunes as it is to the spirit of the Angami men and women.