Posts Tagged ‘sarangi’

If you don’t know it by now, I am the mendicant who is always on a lookout for music and I must say, thanks to twitter, I have had great success in getting some great music over the years. A lot of it happens to be non-hindi as well. Katyar Kalijat Ghusali is different. I was told about this film by a co-worker who plays super tabla. Going to work has finally made sense!

Getting down to the music of the film, Divya kumar, Arshad Mahmud, Arijit singh and back up vocals participate in Yaar Illahi which is a qawwali. You cannot change how a qawwali is done but even then thanks to the first-rate lyrics by Sameer samant and solid tonal treatment, the qawwali doesn’t weigh you down. The opening chants in Sur Niragas ho are so well done that you would want to give out a grand salute to the backup vocalists. A layered marathi devotional song, this one has Shankar Mahadevan and Anandi Joshi at the top of their game. The super super super talented Rahul Deshpande teams up with a fluid Sarangi to arrest our senses in Dil ki tapish. Right from the opening alaap, the way Sarangi accompanies Rahul is heavenly. I would surely like to know who has played the Sarangi. ‘Spectacular’ is the word for Mahesh kale’s Aruni Kirani and the Sitar in the song has a character of its own in the song along with a very ‘by the beat’ Tabla. It transported me to a big hall where I was sitting in a corner marvelling at an artist who had the entire attendance spellbound. Shankar Ehsan Loy have so much left in them, I wonder why they haven’t been giving such a durable treatment to their hindi projects off late?

In Bhola Bhandari, Arijit Singh has given us a song that sounds familiar and earthy, setting wise. Arijit is real and not trying too hard and that is always good. Composed by Late Pt. Jitendra Abhisheki, Shankar mahadevan’s Din Gele sounds vintage thanks to the Long play disc ‘bite’ sound in the song. Ghei chhand, sung neatly and with a lot of character by Shankar mahadevan and Ghei Chhand Makarand sung breezily by Rahul Deshpande are also composed by Late Pt. Jitendra Abhisheki. Both these songs are a treat to the senses. The richly ornamented theme is simple and while the humming was a bit contemporary for me (almost AR Rahman-sque), the theme is soothing and leaves  you with a sense of calm amidst the echoes of friendly instruments in a way only Indian classical music can. In what is Pandit ji’s old and extremely popular composition, you will realise the beauty of moderate instruments and pakki gayaki. I am talking about ‘Lagi kalejwa kataar’ in Pt. Jitendra Abhisheki’s velvet voice. It was a task to move to other songs, trust me on that.

We know how infinitely gifted Shankar Mahadevan is. In Man Mandira, Shankar Mahadevan makes it sound easy to the point of deception. Deception because you can be easily tricked into singing along with him only to realise your limitations. Structure wise, I just loved the song. That said, Shivam Mahadevan’s Man Mandira will give you goosebumps right from the first second of the song. The innocent voice (which is not a note off, mind you) dazzles the senses to put it mildly. The slight harkat in his Mandiraaa at about 1:53 mins in the song is assuring that we have yet another voice that knows pakki gayaki. What a relief!

Muralidhar shyam sung by Shankar Mahadevan is a short piece but quite addictive and the ‘bite’ sound makes you long for it more. Rahul Deshpande’s Sur se saji is clean, grand and quite nicely penned by Sameer Samant and Prakash Kapadia. Surat Piya ki is yet again a piece that is grand in character and a riot melody wise. The variations presented by Rahul Deshpande & Mahesh kale will give you a high no LSD can ever provide, trust me on that. Tarana is short yet quite effective because of the gifted backup vocalists. Tojonidhi Lohagol by Shankar Mahadevan opens with a signature alaap by Shankar Mahadevan. The composition and singing is top class especially the short appearances by Sitar.

An out and out winner of an album with not a single second that is wasted on silly theatrics to sound grand. Don’t worry if you don’t understand the language, the excellent music setting of the album will not let you notice the linguistic limitations. I still cannot believe that such a rich album has come out in 2015. I cannot write enough words of appreciation for the makers for showcasing to us Pandit Jitendra Abhisheki. Somehow, all the artists who have built melodious legacies remain popular within their niche set of followers. I hope at least one listener who wasn’t aware of Pt. Jitendra Abhisheki earlier digs deeper and uncovers the gems he has left for all of us, and then passes them along to one more listener and so on. Nothing can be more exciting than to see our legendary artists being showcased again and again and that too for a wider audience. No praise can be enough for the entire band of technicians who have made this album possible. Sameer Samant, Mangesh Kangane, Mandar Cholkar, Shankar-Ehsan-Loy, take a bow. The sound piques your senses to find out more about the film and oozes melody. I cannot ask anything more from an O.S.T.

The film revolves around musical rivalry in the court of a king. It is playing with english subtitles in Mumbai. I know i am watching it. Are you?

Rohwit

instagr.am

A good music album is a blessing.

When we discovered the Israeli Qawwal Shyz Ben Tzur’s designs on Indian music scene sometime back, we couldn’t wait for more. However, we had to wait till 14 Nov 2015 for his new album.

Any fusion attempt involving Rajasthan runs the risk of ‘kesariya-oing/mharo dholna-oing‘ the sound and playing it safe. This album doesn’t fall in that trap. What you will come across is an innovative brass married to part funk and part pop sound, sprinkled with superlative lyrics. Take for example Junun, the song. The groove is familiar yet the entry of brass band is almost shocking. The singing in this song is slightly predictable. Yet, chances are you won’t be able to remind yourself of a similar song in a long time, watch out for the  faint harmonium/organ on the left channel throughout the song! The brass version of the song is just a smart example of how you can mold the sound of any song with local flavor and ‘there are birds in the eho chamber’ was recorded when the brass version of Junun was being recorded with birds chirping. Great touch, that!

Roked, is a dance beat prayer to God almighty which might not be everyone’s cup of tea, yet it presents an alternative way to ascend in God. When Hu starts, you would be excused to think that a song of Kabir is about to start. However, what you get is an insightful offering about life in Hebrew. If language isn’t a barrier for you in relishing good music, you might even find yourself swaying like a dervish. The entire band is in top form in this song, yet – not a single loud note. Isn’t it fascinating to actually come across the varied sounds of far off lands and to see how they pay a tribute to the infinite, the creator? Hu is a drug. Simple!

In Chala vahi des, you will be amazed at the percussion with the ever so beautiful manjira and harmonium mesmerizing you. Razia Sultan &  Afshana Khan are a delight, and my favorite part remains the effortless bringing in of ‘meera ke prabhu girdhar nagar‘. I cried when I heard this portion for the first time. This is why the creator has given us all humans faculties to hear. The infectious composition is impossible to unlike. Similarly in Kalandar, you would have made peace by the 5th minute of the composition, it’s a beautiful instrumental piece that requires nothing else. Wait for those simple 4 lines which will take your breath away before the flute reminds you to keep dancing, because after all you are a kalandar. Aren’t you?

A repetitive chanting like Eloha might weigh on the senses due to its psychedelic presentation with nearly silent musical arrangement. Julus (जुलूस) stays true to its title. This piece is all brass and the tune would remind you of your favorite roadside dance moment with the brass bands which are popular with marriage/Happy procession parties. Allah Elohim is a message of piece and reminds us that Hindu-Muslim look best when they stay peaceful and love each other. With excellent guitars in the background and splendid brass Razia and  Shye Ben Tzur would surely make you sway. Ahuvi is a song of longing and the Sarangi by Asin Khan and Khamaicha by Dara Khan would make you forget that most of the song is in Hebrew, and then the last 1:20 mins of the song will pierce your heart. Hear it to know what I mean. Azov has a simple message of ‘let go’, and this flute dominated piece ends fairly quickly.

The element of finality in Mode, which is ‘thanks’ to the creator for giving us everything is infectious, thanks to the neat gayaki and yet again, the language won’t matter here.

I have to thank my mother for introducing me to ‘Chala vaahi des’ – the Lata Mangeshkar album, when I was in class 6th, which had the sounds of birds and animals in the background in most of the songs. No wonder this album uses real bird and their chirps to create a similar sense of calm that just adds to the beauty of the end product.

Barring few sparks of brilliance, the current music scene leaves a lot to be desired, and that is insulting to a country as culturally rich and varied as ours. With this album, we come across yet another good attempt at fusing languages with familiar music arrangement and treatment so sensitive, it would melt your heart.

This is an album which is produced with a lot of heart work and hard work and it dazzles!  Thank you The Rajasthan Express, Shye Ben Tzur and Jonny Greenwood!

Good music is a blessing, it is the reason to live. If you don’t trust me, consult this album 🙂

Rohwit

(P.S. – There is a delightfully decorated digital booklet along with the music @iTunes which is beautiful and has translation for all the songs. Grab it!)