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Jagaan by modus factor: Konnakol in action (performance and breakdown lesson)

By May 31st, 2022No Comments2 min read

If you can say it, you can play it! This song from my band modus factor (from the album The Picasso Zone) is using Konnakol, which is a spoken rhythmic system from India. The drumset is only just over a century old, but many rhythmic systems around the world go back hundreds, and even thousands of years. After I learned Konnakol, it was such a valuable tool for me to breakdown ideas, and HEAR them by saying them before playing them. Counting is over-used! SPEAK and SING the rhythms to express your ideas, because MUSIC is the goal.

For this modus factor song Jagaan (which means awakening) this is a main feature of the song, breaking it down first in the voice, then combined with the hihat, and then within the drum groove itself. This started as a small idea that grew into something very different, and went to a place no one was expecting. Along with the Konnakol, DJ Shadow was a big influence on this one for the over all soundscape and vibe. One ultra valuable process in modus factor is the taking of an idea and passing it to the next person, and then passing it to the next person, and like the classic ‘telephone’ game, once it gets to the end it is a completely different animal than it was when it started! I had the Konnakol / DJ Shadow idea, which led to Ian creating a bassline over the rhythmic hits, which led to Brownman coasting a soundscape over that. The result is totally different than we thought it would become, but if freedom of expression is the goal the ART will tell you where it wants to go, and we listened.

The whole point of learning these older traditions is to propel them into the future to create anew and disrupt. It is a TOOL. Learn from the concept, STEAL it making it truly your own, and have fun boldly creating!

modus factor is:

BROWNMAN – Trumpet / Illegal Effects (Jay Z)
IAN DESOUZA – Bass / Kaos Beats (Sisters Euclid)
CHRIS LESSO – Drums / Beatz (Independent)

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