Sunday, August 12, 2012

Music in my posts?

 We don't realize it but our generation grew up with so much digital technology at hand that it has made us more musical (?). When I  was in Australia, I used to stay in touch with my friends in the US through email. Our emails usually came with mp3 attachments. I did this for years. To the point that I took it for granted. But isn't it the most wonderful thing to receive a song with your letter? A song that you haven't heard, or you have heard so many times that it is somehow dearer!

There are very few times in my day when I am alone and headphone free at the same time. I am always listening to music. It is a big part of my life.  It has the power to bring all the hidden feelings to the surface. As a kid, sometimes I felt irrationally uneasy when my dad played certain songs in the house. It was difficult to pinpoint what exactly it was that made me uneasy. Some tracks make it extremely difficult to sit in one place and work. You are almost compelled to get up and dance. Some just take you back to a familiar place (or sometimes, too familiar a place?).

I listen to every kind of music there is. I am a fan of  Pt. Jasraj and Lady Gaga at the same time without any judgement. But I always go back to Indian classical music. I have tried asking people how they listen to music (with my ears?!). How (and why) do some of us evolve into door slamming Black Sabbath fans (even temporarily as teenagers), and some of us can take an unhealthy amount of Chopin or Beethoven? I think music activates my imagination. So when it is too structured (with a great score, great lyrics, great movie), there is little room to add anything of my own. I find that kind of structured music too processed. :)
But with Indian Classical/ folk music, there is room to set your mind free. There is also room for little experiments. When it is accompanied by the tabla or the mridangam, it throws your mental stage wide open for an imaginary dancer.

And even though it lets me wander, it also has the mathematical/metaphysical quality of coming back to the same point in circles. Each circle can be different in its own way. Some go by slowly, savoring every moment there is, while some just spin out of control until you are reminded that you are back to the same point. So when I discovered that I could now make my posts musical using Spotify, I had to write this pointless post to include three of my recent favorites.

1. Zakir Hussain takes us through rupak variations.

2. Anoushka Shankar playing Desh at Carnegie Hall

I totally absolutely love Raga Desh. This track is a really good example of  "coming back to the same point". It feels like a little girl is trying to run wild in the courtyard as her mom brings her back to the center so that she can finally tie her wild curly hair. :)

3. Ustad Shujaat Khan performing Sham Kalyan (Drut)

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