Manose’s hometown, Boudha, Nepal stands on the ancient route leading from the Himalayan mountains down into the Kathmandu valley. It is just upriver from Nepal’s most holy Hindu temple, and is home itself to an important Buddhist shrine. An influx of Tibetan refugees who congregated around the great Boudhanath shrine, and the outward growth of Kathmandu city has created there a nexus where everyone from religious pilgrims, to enclaves of traders, and Western adventurers converged to meet, mingle, haggle, and gawk. It is dusty and colorful, a Babylon of languages and traditions.
Here eight-year-old Manose fell in love with the bamboo flute one night when a fortuitous breeze wafted its song through his bedroom window. Truly, the sound of the bansuri is seductive. Compared to a silver flute it has a husky warmth that mimics the human voice. And because it is not valved like a silver flute, its potential for subtle expressiveness is practically limitless.
Manose’s real relationship with music began when Manose heard about an old man who played the shenai. That man, Madan Dev Bhatta, a disciple of Ustad Bishmilallah Khan, initiated Manose into the study of classical raga music, often known as North Indian classical music. From the demanding study of raga music, Manose has acquired technical mastery and an astonishing ability to improvise. At the same time, we find him wonderfully free to draw inspiration from wherever he finds it, be it the swaying sweetness of a samba, or the lightening fast lines of Celtic masters. When asked what or who has had the greatest musical influence on his playing, he thinks for a moment and says “the sound of the flute.”
Manose has released four solo CDs and is increasinglypopular as a contributing artists for work by everyone from Deva Premal, and Grammy-nominated Jai Uttal, to bluegrass great Peter Rowan. He has also collaborated with the Chicago Children’s Choir, tabla maestro Swapan Chowdary, John Densmore of the Doors, and The New Maihar Band, an ensemble created by Ustad Ali Akhbar Khan. Even while living in the United States, he still manages to be a vital part of the music scene back home. He is a founding member of the classical raga group Sukarma, his music videos air regularly on Nepali TV, he performs annually in Nepal’s jazz festival where he has shared the stage with Australian maestro Don Burrows, and as a member of the nation’s top rock band, 1974AD, it has been his privilege to re-popularize his traditional flute in his country where he was the first to introduce it as a rock instrument. Manose has toured in Canada, Australia, France, England, Switzerland, Germany, Hong Kong, and Malaysia and it is his ongoing pleasure to be Nepal’s musical ambassador to the world.