சர்வம் தாளமயம் – Refreshingly Rythmic

I have not watched a musical for a long time now. They don’t make classic musicals any more.

But ‘சர்வம் தாளமயம்’ bought back poignant moments in a musical journey which stands out as simple, light hearted and make-you-feel-good drama with an outstanding soundtrack, which in many ways describes A R Rahman – The Master Composer.

Carnatic Music with a blend of vocal magic and art of percussion instruments. I love the semblance of anything which is connected to our roots, and this is just so apt.

Thank you Rajiv Menon, for giving us a glimpse of the ‘Mozart of Madras’, just like old days.

art of classical music

music has been an integral part of my life, that it’s a part of my DNA is an inexplicable conclusion.

my parents and grandparents have been admirable advocates of classical (Carnatic) music, My mother used to be a decent vocalist during her younger days and dad always had this uncanny inclination towards genuine vocal chords. My sister, is the most impressive in our family. In fact, she is one person who has successfully juggled academics while pursuing her passion, she went on to perform with All India Radio. She is a mother of a 5 year old today but passion rekindles at odd hours, I know it does. That aside, she is spectacularly talented (she is too good to admit it).

I am not in this league, but try to reassemble myself in the classical mode. I have been a student of Mridangam myself for few years but am talking about magic here.

Percussion instruments have always struck a chord with me. In fact, instrumentation keeps me fascinated. Mridangam, Tabla, Violin, Mandolin, Saxophone, Sitar – they bring back paradise in our mortal hearts. A jugalbandi featuring the dad son duo – Ustad Alla Rakha and Ustad Zakir Hussain, a thaniavarthanam of Umayalpuram Sivaraman, a contemporary leaf out of Buckram Ghosh’s asset, the mellifluous chords from Pandit Ravi Shankar’s palette. It pours when heard amidst fragrant poetry in a defiant mood. I have little knowledge of ragas and talas but that doesn’t stop me from raving about the notes these geniuses can extract.

my inspiration, to pen this down, comes from my experience with Apple Music. I am hooked to it whenever I can, and am quite impressed with their library of classical albums. Apparently, no other streaming platform is paying such attention to what is phenomenally known to be the ‘root’ and ‘basic’ for all the music we have written, made and sold. But unfortunately, they have a short shelf life and is remotely purchased. I have procured some classics, some very old collectibles that are seldom found elsewhere. Kudos to Apple Music for doing this, for bringing regional music to our doorsteps. With local sources lurking around in plenty, Apple Music being at the helm of such redemption is a diminutive attraction.

your music, my music – well, am talking about only music.

hymn that blows you away

‘Kisi baat par main kisi se khafa hoon, main zinda hoon par zindagi se khafa hoon’.

The lyrics of mundane joy, a rendition that will stir your soul, the meaning that will wrench your veins, the inadequate fear that encapsulates the primal human being, an era that remains the home to divinity in the playback universe.

Kishore Kumar – you continue to conquer, then and today. Truly, Bemisaal. #classicnotes

Can classics be popcornish?

Once upon a time, there used to be this golden era in the world of Hindi film soundtracks, obviously with stern references to the perennial ones. Then came the rejuvenated 80s and the congenial 90s. The subsequent decades witnessed glory and slump in vivacious intervals. 2011 is here, and I see a clear vicinity of creative inadequacies.

Today we lack the aura of playback singing that could evoke legacy. We miss writers who could pen down words like waves in an ocean that refuse to die and the meanings that could send a shriver down your spine. Yet, we live in an environment of extreme ignorance where the entertainment industry had started borrowing our gems from the past to hide our sustained prejudices. Please do not get me wrong, classics can get revisited but not tarnished.

Mohd Rafi was a legend, Manna Dey was exquisite, Mahendra Kapoor infused life, the genius of Kishore da was eternal. Further down, Udit Narayan and Kumar Sanu erected early nineties and refurbished their brand for almost one and half decades. Sonu Nigam further reestablished the soul of Rafi Saab and Abhijeet/Babul Supriyo/Shaan showed glimpses of the great Kishore Kumar. I miss their fervour and mince no words about it.

Sahir Ludhianwi isn’t there today, Gulzar chooses meticulously and Javed Akhtar only scripts for his children. Where are the writers whose pen was mightier than sword? I see no words these days, they cheat without glitz and publish sans elegance.

I am contemporary and enjoy versatility in music, especially films made in our inevitable Bollywood. I can relish the talents from the glorious fifties to my very own 2011. But I doubt if my children will remember the munnis and sheilas 20 years down under. I have a shalu now but that makes matters worse.

I get a feeling that we have sort of subsidised our talents by cashing in on our very own chartbusters of yesteryears. Remixes have become household cacophony and tracks are nurtured for the sake of animosity.

‘Dhanno’, ‘Mit jaaye gham’, ‘Laila o laila’ are few of those sizzlers which were distinguishably part of pedestrian projects. Have we run out of stock? Are we judiciously inadequate to produce winning tunes? Do we miss our prodigious talents who were instrumental in belting those número uno numbers for more than 30 peerless years?

I am afraid, but I might be bang on.