Sunday, March 25, 2012

Amitabh Bachchan to record 'Madhushala' in his voice

Amitabh Bachchan to record 'Madhushala' in his voice

Modern technology has overshadowed the feel of original music, rues Amitabh Bachchan, who is recording his father Harivansh Rai Bachchan's "Madhushala" in his voice. The megastar is also skeptical about the poetry connecting with today's youth.

"...singing the verses of Madhushala, the 'alaap' and lending orchestral brilliance to the basic structure that I made in an impromptu setting on my piano. What a different world this is...

"We crave today in music sittings for the age of unplugged instrumentation. The reality and the joy of listening to the original sounds of string and 'dholak'. Of the great masters and their wares - the Sarod, the Shehnai, the Sarangi, the Sitar. All lost and buried under the weight of modern sounds, mastered and manufactured through science and technology. All gone and overtaken by technology," the 69-year-old posted on his blog.

"Madhushala", a collection of poems, which talks about the complexities of life, was published in 1935.

Big B misses the old style of music recording.

"Gone are the days when at song recordings over 100-150 musicians sat through days in large studios, and played to perfection in one single take. A mistake by one resulting in the entire song being recorded again! Now the electronics take over. A small room, barely 5 by 6, houses a large machine that balances sound, a microphone which stands in for the singer and the instrument both," he wrote.

Amitabh has been making efforts to popularise his late father's work. Though he is recording "Madhushala", he is not so hopeful about it becoming popular.

"I wonder as I sit vacant in the studio ... who would want to listen to the words and philosophy of my father? It would hurt me beyond measure if it were to be looked upon as something that needed to be designed for commercial value...It is a proposition that seems irrelevant with today's youth," he wrote.

Surprises never cease ! Neither does my eagerness to share this moment with the Ef

Jalsa , Mumbai                      Mar  25,  2012                           Sun  5 : 48 PM

 

 It is early ! Surprises never cease ! Neither does my eagerness to share this moment with the Ef … irrespective of time and place, circumstances, distances and destinations. If the cyber is not provided, it shall not be visited or patronized.

I sit up in my room, at my desk and hear the sounds of the well wishers gathering below. It is Sunday evening. The information shall come soon to greet them. The security and the police in attendance wish to clear the street. It obstructs other traffic, causes confusion. I do not wish for that, but to be there with those that come and wait for long is beyond the obstructions. If there is a specific time that they know of then to be there ahead would deprive some of meeting me. I must allow space for that.

The day started very early. Dubbing and recording for the IPL opening night extravaganza in Chennai on the 3rd of April. It is fitting that the event be held at Chennai … they won the IPL Championship last year. There are some distinguished names that shall lend support to the event – Salman and Kareena and Prabhu Deva and Shaimak Davar and his troup, along with the managerial and aesthetic skills of Wizcraft. My portion to have some music designed by Raju Singh. He was just beginning his wonderful journey as a composer in 1995, when we had asked him to lend his talent over a promotional for the Corporation of AB. Now many years later, he is an established force and doing so well. Always a very mild mannered and gentle individual. Happy to see that time and prominence have not destroyed that in him … We had worked together then in a small insignificant little space, with nothing that could be called electronic gadgetry, then. Now he has his own studio ! Mumbai the city of opportunity … if you have the strength to fight and survive, despite.

Its a joy to be behind the wheel. A fortnight ago I was struggling to be able to ease myself out of my Hospital bed, let alone walk. So I did away with the chauffeur .. they have all been working long hours, what with all the children here. Children … a few of them left this morning. Drove them to the airport. But … they shall return in a few days, which is so good to know … never let the laughter out of the house and the … yes … 'chahel pahel' ..

The first day at work today too. Out at Nagi Villa, just down the road, the residence of a generous Sikh family, that has been renting its premise out to shootings. Its a place that we have worked in for years, for the many films that we have done. The shoot is over quickly, the radio spots too announcing the IPL night with Red Fm and then back to home ground, before spending some time with the elder of the family at Nagi Villa. We discuss the metro rail that is about to be laid above the 10th Road, that goes past his residence right up to Prateeksha, and then with promises to meet again depart … depart to be here with you to share and ware … !!!

They are now getting desperate downstairs. They want me down so the street can be cleared. I am concerned. Also that Subhash Ghai is coming to pay a visit and I must tell staff to get him in through the well wishers. I will put up some pictures too … a little later … and a little much later back to Aadesh Shrivastav's studio to improve, to do better, to add to subtract that which shall enhances the music and the recording for 'Madhushala' …

I do believe my Father listens and watches this effort … it would never happen if it were not so …

 

Okaay ! So a different look and a different set of clothes … a departure from the regular recuperating attire, the salwar kameez and white shawl … symbolic of easy wear, comfortable but also one that has been worn each day after hospital .. and the reason is the shoot for the IPL opening night … !!

Hey ! its coming to be past midnight … the whole idea of putting in early … by the pm of 7 has been lost … anyway ..

Good night dear ones …

 

A temple just outside the studio of Aadesh Shrivastav

Jalsa , Mumbai                       Mar  24/25 , 2012                     Sat/Sun  1 : 39 AM

 

 

A temple just outside the studio of Aadesh Shrivastav, near by, celebrates festival .. songs and 'bhajans' are being sung .. the 'manjeera', the small sized cymbals often associated with prayer meetings, plays softly, almost distant to where the singing progresses … a large Ganesh ji with many heads stares majestically down the road where I drive and drive out a minute ago ..

Inside within the confines of sound proofed walls and computers and electronic plugged in gadgetry, we play around with buttons and prerecorded sound, placing them in right order, singing the verses of Madhushala, the 'alaap' and lending orchestral brilliance to the basic structure that I made in an impromptu setting on my piano.

What a different world this is. And yet the real world is just a few feet away. We crave today in music sittings for the age of unplugged instrumentation. The reality and the joy of listening to the original sounds of string and 'dholak'. Of the great masters and their wares – the Sarod, Shehnai, Sarangi, Sitar. All lost and buried under the weight of modern sounds, mastered and manufactured through science and technology … away from the days of learning through years and years of practice and devotion from the elder masters .. from 'gharanas', the old world house or regions where a particular style of playing came about and those connected with it felt proud to be representatives of it .. all gone and overtaken by technology.

Gone are the days when at song recordings over 100-150 musicians sat through days in large studios, and played to perfection in one single take. A mistake by one resulting in the entire song being recorded again. Now the electronics take over. A small room, barely 5′ by 6′ houses a large machine that balances sound, a microphone which stands in for the singer and the instrument both. On a basic beat the singer comes and sings a song and goes away. Musicians with their electronic devices come in separately do their piece and go away. The arranger comes in and arranges all that has been put before him into a song and goes away. Mastering happens where all the singing and the tone of the instruments are checked, brought into tune through masterful computers that can sing for you and … viola !! We have song !!

A few grunts and screams and hisses from the mouth form part of the song that now climbs up rapidly on the charts and no attention is given to the written or rather the sung portion of the tune. Words are futile and have little or no meaning. Beat is of paramount importance, and yes the capability of the song being remixed for the clubs around the country, for the younger generation to dance to it in intoxication ..

I wonder then as I sit vacant in the studio … who would want to listen to the words and philosophy of my Father ? It would hurt me beyond measure if it were to be looked upon as something that needed to be designed for commercial value. Best then to make this my personal play effort and remain with it in my solitude and hesitate to share it. I would, if I were assured that the listener were to be in the same frame as I was. It is a proposition that seems irrelevant with today's youth.

So … make it and keep it and live with it alone in its beauty. Getting the others on the same plane is asking for much too much. The humiliation if they treated it shabbily would be difficult to overcome. I shall live with it on my own ! Sharing it with them that do not have the intent to understand it, would diminish its wonderful sheen. Better then to burst into trance like condition within the silence and contours of my own little space, than to be seen coaxing another into submission and forced liking.

 

I leave in a few hours to dub for the event for the IPL, being launched in Chennai on April 3rd .. to recite and invite the opening of this season with the cricketing greats of countries across the world, many of whom one sees almost every other day on the tube. Now an opportunity to meet them face to face. A great desire fulfilled, a memory to cherish ..

Good night ..

Amitabh Bachchan 

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