In Fall 2019, the MIT-Nepal Initiative welcomed to campus Dr. Lochan Rijal, an ethnomusicologist at Kathmandu University. Dr. Rijal’s visit was supported by a Visiting Artist grant from the Center for Art, Science, and Technology at MIT (CAST). Originally a Nepali pop musician, he completed an ethnomusicology doctorate at Kathmandu University and UMass–Amherst in 2014 and has been working with Kathmandu University students for the last several years to preserve and foster ethnic musical traditions throughout Nepal. He is currently restoring a historic heritage site that was damaged in the April 2015 earthquake. When completed, this temple complex will feature performance spaces, studios, classrooms, libraries, and instrument collections.
While at MIT, Dr. Rijal offered a public concert of Nepali music and his original compositions played on indigenous instruments. This event took place on Saturday, October 5, 2019, and was open to the MIT community, Nepali student groups at other local universities, and the greater Boston Nepali community. For more information about the concert, and Professor Rijal’s residency at MIT, see the CAST web site. He also visited classes in the History and Music Sections in the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences.
(Photos: Lochan Rijal performing at MIT by Caroline Alden)