Saturday, November 18, 2006

Chitchor-Yesudas-Ravindra Jain Magic!

Chitchor (1976) was a trendsetter in Hindi Film Music. It paved the entry of K.J Yesudas and another gifted composer Ravindra Jain. The music of Chitchor is immortal and will live and haunt us forever till music lives! It broke the belief and barriers of accent and pronunciation by winning Yesudas the National Award for the Best Singer in 1976 for the song “Gori Tera”. The blind Ravindra Jain was so fascinated by Yesudas that he wished to see the face of Yesudas if he ever was able to see in his life! After Chitchor he gave many memorable hits like “Oo Goriya Re”, “Sunaina” etc. Ravindra Jain was never the same again after Yesudas vanished from the Hindi Film world. Ravindra Jain was also an accomplished singer and lyricist. All the songs of Chitchor were penned by himself! The 70’s and 80’s are considered to be the golden era of film music in India. All songs of Chitchor were master pieces and it also saw the introduction of another talented singer Hemlatha. Well K.J Yesudas would be just around 38 when he sung this song!
After along gap of three weeks I have attempted the song Tu jo Mere Sur Me from Chitchor. Srividya Kasturi has lent her charming sweet voice for this song. In fact she had sent me her voice track many months before.
Song: Tu Jo Mere Sur Me
Singers: Pradip Somasundaran & Srividya Kasturi
Film : Chitchor (1976)
Originally sung by: Dr. K.J Yesudas & Hemlatha
Music: Ravindra Jain
Lyrics: Ravindra Jain
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Monday, November 13, 2006

Meeting Ustad Fiyaz Khan!

On 9.11.06 (Last Thursday) I got one of the biggest appreciation for the concept of Blogswara and the song “Hai Mera Dil” from one of the living legends of Hindustani classical Music, Ustad Fiyaz Khan, the Tabla maestro! I had been to Kerala Kala Mandalam that day for attending the function in which the Ustad was honoured by Prof. O.N.V Kurup. In fact I was playing the songs on my ipod for one of my friends there before the function when the Ustad spotted my ipod. The 71 year doyen immediately asked me to show it and wanted to hear what I was playing. I explained about Blogswara and told that this was a song which I had composed and sung. I was really afraid what the Ustad would say about my Urdu. But I was really overwhelmed with joy when he said “wah” and showed me thumbs up like a youngster! He told me that my Urdu was excellent and also spoke highly about the lyrics, violin piece, and also Swati’s voice! Well this really made my day! The Ustad who speaks Urdu has performed with almost every leading Hindustani musician of the past including Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan, and present era! He is from the Delhi Gharana. He is here in Kerala for Aurvedic treatment of an ailment. I also had the good fortune of listening to the Ustad playing live before a wonderful crowd which clapped in perfect rhythm to all his bols! My friend and Playback Singer Gayatri was also there on the occasion!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Blogswara 2 up and Kicking!

Finally Blogswara 2 is up and kicking! When I got the lyrics of Hai Mera Dil from Ajay some months back, the tune for the song came automatically without any work on my part and within 10 minutes, I had the tune hummed back to Ajay. Sometimes the lyrics inspire you instantly and the correct tune comes as a distant unheard voice from the ultimate creator of all tunes in this world! In this case everything happened instantly. I immediately mailed the tune to Ajay and Jo and also asked for Swati's opinion. Then it was meant to be a solo. Swati would have never imagined then that I would later ask her to sing this song with me! But then afterwards, there was a big lull for some months and I was in totally confusion when I started to give background orchestra for the song. I felt lost and had lost the mood to compose. But then Jo's deadline and William changed it all. When William came here on a rainy evening, I did not know that this would be the much needed catalyst for me to complete the song. William played the crucial skeletal Piano part in just an hour without any effort! This gave new life for the song and then ideas started flowing in my head! Then I heard from my Friend Philip that Bhavyalakshmi was an excellent violin player. I immediately rang up her husband Saji who already was very well known to me. They took the pains of coming to my home and we started to work on the song by almost 11.30 P.M. Within an hour she created magic on the violin and the whole color of the song changed drastically. William and Bhavya's work inspired me to fight with one finger on my Triton Le, to add the bells, base and violin ensemble parts. There after I was like a madman immersed in the development of the atom bomb! And finally a week back, I got Swati to sing the song and here is the final result. By then Ajay had modified the lyrics to make the solo a duet. Swati's magical voice had added a whole range of new colors to this song. I would never claim anything spectacular for this song as I never can be a genuine composer. This was just fun and a change from the routine thing of singing. But I have understood that composing brings the power of creation within you. But I will always remain a singer rather than a composer as I believe that you cannot force anyone to be a composer. Just as singing, composing is God's gift and can’t be taught. Learning music can only refine and enhance the gift. Once again I thank Bhavya, Saji and William for their sincere efforts without which I would not have been able to get what I wanted from this song. Also hats off to Ajay for brilliant moving lyrics in chaste Urdu and Swati for lifting up the song with her magical voice. I just wanted to prove that beauty lies in melody and simplicity. I give the link for my song here. Please go to the BLS 2 website to hear all the 7 wonderful songs there. I believe that, while BLS1 was nursery for us, BLS2 has been graduation!
Today "The Hindu" Kerala Edition carried a news article about Blogswara!
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