Ceres Organic Farms, Brunswick, 3pm

To be honest, the sound of cooing doves reminds me of that bitter moment when you return to your shady car park on a summer’s day to find a newly dirtied windscreen – and that you still can’t touch the steering wheel.

My eardrums were sent into a tailspin this week, however, when I saw Kundalila, a band named in Zambian after those cooing doves, play at Ceres organic farm.

Diverse sounds

As I trotted down from the car park through the veggie patches, their rich a cappella harmonies washed across the gathered crowd, causing a temporary pause in their en masse burrito munching. No easy feat.

Rene Sephton, the group’s guitarist, drew the crowd into their set with her haunting solo of an old Greek folk song, accompanied by old school friend Alice Chew.

The group then traveled at musical light speed to Africa, where Zimbabwean sisters Sharon Makombeshamu and Ruramayi Stewart, sang out a message of hope even in the bleakest times of warfare.

I began to wonder how the group traversed so many cultural and musical styles. One lukewarm Mexican hot chocolate later, Kundalila walked me through the beauty and influences on their unique sound.

An encounter with Kundalila

There aren’t many groups like us – that really have diversity within the one group. I’ve seen African bands before but not the fusion between Greek, African and Australian.

Alice: When we sing in different languages, to sing the words is easy but it’s really hard to understand the meanings. I find a lot of African songs sound really happy and then when I understand the lyrics I realise it’s about children dying or tragic things! So you’ve always got to be on top of the music you are portraying.

Sharon: Because our backgrounds are from all different countries, our personal experience comes into the music. There are many things that influence our songs like HIV, loss of loved ones, even losing everything and then having to be strong an have hope.

We have a common appreciation for the human condition, and just really wanting to bring a message of hope and love and unity, our passion for music, just kind of marries the two together.

Kundalila can be found at www.kundalila.com, and have performed at a range of events including, much to their own surprise, the opening of a medical supply shop.