Sunday, February 7, 2010

Music of all Moods

Technology is a great catalyst in art and culture. It's not that I realized this only now. I knew it and have been a great proponent of this since long. I enter into long debates with people of the previous generation that science and technology indeed have helped to propagate and enhance music. I rediscovered the same just yesterday.

I never knew that MS Windows Media Player meticulously kept a track of the all the songs that I download and play in it. Accidentally I bumped on the history of the songs that I have heard in the past one year. I generally download or make a copy of only those songs which I like very much and want to play a number of times in my laptop. So the history of all such songs should simple mean a collection of all songs that I loved and listened innumerable times in the last one year. When I browsed through the list I was stunned to find the diversity of the styles, genres, age and languages of the songs or the music. I couldn't recall when and where I'd heard many of the English songs. But when I again heard all those today I did find out that they are indeed very unique songs and I'd like them anyway wherever I'd hear. Another important thing that showed up through this collection is the various moods that I'd have had while I listened them. I rarely listen to rock or hip-hop but still the list contains quite a few good rock numbers. Off course I've my diet of Hindi classics, Western Classical pieces, Hemanta, Salil Chowdhury, Lata, Gulzar, R D Burman, Khaiyyam, Shreya Ghoshal & Sunidhi Chauhan. I thought it's worth listing some of the songs from the collection (Most of the international albums are available in youtube and you can find about the artistes and the albums in wiki):

  • Jazz Piano number "OAM Blues" by Aaron Goldber from the 2006 album "Worlds"
  • Jazz numbers Despertar & Amanda from the album "Quiet Songs" by the Aisha Duo - some awesome percussions & cello
  • The winner of Grammy in Contemporary World Music category, the 2001 album "Djin Djin" (refers to the sound of a bell in Africa that greets each new day) by Angélique Kidjo, a Grammy Award-winning Beninoise singer-songwriter, noted for her diverse musical influences and creative music videos
  • The number "Connections are more dangerous than lies" from the 2007 album "Welcome the Night" by the pop punk band "The Ataris"
  • "Get your head straight" from the 2007 album "Boys not Out" by the rock band of the same name
  • "Lemonade" from the 2007 album "What a Heart is beating for" by the contemporary Christian and folk musician Chris Rice
  • Beethoven's Symphony No 7, all 4 movements
  • Beethoven's Symphony no 3, all 4 movements
  • Bach's Masses in B minor
  • Mozart's Symphony No 9, all 4 movements
  • Mozart's 1st composition (K1) at the age of 4
  • Dvorak's Symphony No 9, all 4 movements
  • Few Western Classical instrumental in guitar and piano
  • "Sam's Song" from 2006 album "Talk is Cheap" by the 22 year old Dave Melillo - a mellow blend of acoustic guitar driven acoustic rock and piano accented power pop
  • Tagore's poem "Pran", adapted from the poem "Stream of Life" from Gitanjali, set to tune by American composer Garry Schyman for Matt Harding's Dancing 2008 video
  • 2 songs from the 1995 album "Muso Ko" by West African singer and musician Habib Koite & Bamada
  • "Don't Give up on me" from the 2006 chartbuster album Zombies! Aliens! Vampires! Dinosaurs! by the power pop band Hellogoodbye
  • "Ava Adele" from 2007 album "This is it" by country singer Jack Ingram
  • "We Are One" from 22 year old Kelly Sweet's debut album of the same name in 2007 - classical and jazz music style
  • 2005 album "Duos II" by Brazilian jazz singer and composer Luciana Souza
  • 2007 album "Nu Monda" by the Capeverdan singer Tcheka
  • August from "Water's Edge" by the contemporary American composer Tim Janis
  • "I'm gonna change everything that holds memory of you" by Jim Reeves - my favourite English singer
  • Harry Belafonte's Jamaica Farewell - any introduction needed for this song?
  • Rehman's "Sun Ri Sakhi", "Dil Hai Chotasa" (Roja, original and my performance on violin), "Aye Hairat-eAshiqie" (Guru), "Tu Hi Re" (Bombay), "Barso Re" (Guru)
  • Hemanta's "Ferano Jabe Aar", "Poth Harabo Bolei Ebar", "Jhorer Kache Rekhe Gelam", "Shono Kono Ek Din", "Dhitang Dhitang Bole"
  • Few of Khaiyyam's all time memorable ghazals from Umrao Jaan, Baazar, Akhri Khat, Kabhi Kabhi and others
  • Few of Gulzar-RD Burman's compositions like "Aanewala Pal", "O Majhi Re", "Is Mod Se Jatein Hain", "Musafir Hoon Yaroon" and others
  • Few of Geeta Dutt's last songs ("Mera Dil Jo Mera Hota", "Mujhe Jaan Na Kaho Meri Jaan", "Koi Chupke Se Aake) - all written by Gulzar way back in early seventies, some of Gulzar's earliest lyrics - wonderful pathos in the voice that ceased to emanate music soon after the songs were made
  • Some of Shreya Ghoshal's best: Antaheen (2010 National Award winning "Pherari Mon"), Piu Bole (Parinita), Bairi Piya (Devdas), Urzu Dur Kut (Yahaan), Pal Pal (Lage Raho Munnabhai) etc
  • Some of Sunidhi Chauhan's unusual songs like "Mere Zindagi Mein Aaye Ho", "Mere Sang", "Yeh Aaj Kya Ho Gaya", "Ye Lamha" etc
  • Ajeeb Dastan: Lata's original & my performance in 2009
  • Few of my other performances like "Na Jaane Kyun", a few Rabindra Sangeet like "Fule Fule", "Sokhi Bhabona Kahare Kohe", "Amar Nishitho Rater Badol Dhara" and others
  • Few of Lopamudra and Antara Chowdhury's live recordings from their last year's performances at the Durga Puja organized by Sarathi in Bangalore
  • Few of Suman's new age Bengali songs like "Tomake Chai" & "Sohosa Ele KI", both from our (Kohal) last year's (2009) performance in Koramangala, Bangalore during Durga Puja
There were a total of around 200 songs out of which I could fit around 150 into one CD. When I was listening to the CD I was really amazed to find that though the songs were chosen at random across a year still they do reflect my choice, my moods, my emotions and many things about me. The thread that might be connecting each of these discreet pieces of music is a theme of underlying love - love for human, love for the nature, love for culture and tradition, love for everything. Most of the Hindi songs are actually some of the best love songs ever made in recent times in India. The Tagore songs are also songs of love or life - anyway both are same, isn't it? The Western Classical pieces can't evoke anything other than love and peace and tranquility and serenity. The other contemporary western music are from various parts of the world - from the Africas to Brazil to Native Americans (Dvorak's symphony is said to be inspired by the music of the native Americans). I don't see anything else than love in all these various forms of world music. If I've to present anything to anyone on the Valentine's Day I can choose most of these songs. Perhaps that's the essence of the songs that I've randomly listened to over the last one year and would listen to years to come.

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