Friday, November 01, 2013


Time to decorate my blog with music.
It would be an understatement if I say that I love music. I am a musical person. To the point where my thoughts depend on the music I am listening to. My writing goes with music. If I like a song, I listen to it a hundred times, over and over again, constructing a story to go with the song. I am very curious to know how other people listen to music. Is it just sound waves hitting your ears? Do you have stories to go with your favorite songs? Do your day dreams need musical dancing shoes?

During my travels abroad, every new place, every new person would bring a new kind of music into my life. And all of that was always very exciting. Gypsy music, French music, Bob Marley (thanks to my PhD supervisor), Arabic music (this always makes me sad), Manu Chao (Ugh! I used to hate Colombian late night parties), Adele & Edith Piaf (Elodie, I miss you), Anoushka Shankar (Indian music for the West), Kermit Ruffins (Yay! New Orleans!) and so much more. But most of this music was a way to be in the moment. None of it really entered my soul. Sometimes, these days, I actively avoid listening to some of those things because I don't really identify with that part of my life anymore. If there is anything constant that has always stayed with me, it is A. R. Rahman.

I love Rehman. His music has a  transcendence that I have never found in any other artist. At least the ones I have heard. His songs always seem to detach themselves from the movies they are made for. Especially the tracks he makes with his signature Sufi style. I recently came across some of his MTV unplugged episodes. The orchestration is just mind blowing to say the least.


This is the title track of  the movie Swades. I think the most attractive feature of this composition is the strategic pause that the entire ensemble takes during the song. And of course, the way Rahman just moves to Tamil at the end of the song. Sounds very beautiful. I have been trying to find the right word to describe the nature of his voice. Haven't found it yet. 


This is Rahman singing Robindranath Tagore's, where the mind is without fear . It sounds so beautiful in Bengali. 

This is also one of my most favorite Rahman songs. A lot of Rahman songs have an eccentric piano or guitar mixed into the song. If you listen to it very carefully, you'll notice that it is kind of out of place if you just pay attention to the instrument. Together with everything else, however, it takes the song to a whole new place. I love that about his compositions. 

Next up is Tu Bole  by Rahman and Neeti Mohan, again on MTV unplugged. It is a lot of fun to see Neeti absolutely enjoying the show and Rahman watching her enthusiasm and smiling to himself. When I see this kind of team work, I feel extremely jealous and sad that I could not be a musician. For some reason, I could not upload that video. Strange!

And the last one for this post is one of the best Rahman has ever made and Prasoon Joshi has ever written. This song has been my theme song since I heard it first back in 2009. This unplugged version includes fabulous piano. I'll end the post with the original track. 

A very Happy and Musical Diwali to everyone!

1 comment:

Abhijit Bhave said...

No mention of Indian classical music ..? You listen to more than Anoushka Shankar i believe.
Sarangi for pain, Sitar for the rain ? :)