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It’s not easy to break millions of hearts across hundreds of countries. Then again, it never was easy to be Michael Jackson. With the King of Pop finally resting, the mourning period goes on. It’ll never be the same for the ardent music enthusiast or the indifferent cynic. Music, as many of us know it, has changed. What remains intact is the eternal fascination for the tortured and complicated, yet simple soul of a wasted genius. Stunned silence has now given way to gushing outpours of emotion and we’ve opened our floodgates too. As a legend’s life ends, we keep the spirit alive. This issue is groundbreaking for our team in so many ways. We’ve expanded our frontiers and pages. The Score will now be available in three more cities - Cochin, Bangalore and Hyderabad, apart from our homeground, Chennai. I will be a practitioner of the art of brevity here and let our pages do all the talking. You’ll find we have a lot more to say this time - about every kind of musician, every genre of music. Catering to four states will not be an easy job, but we’ve never shied away from trying! Cochin, Bangalore and Hyderabad - we hope you’ll send as much love our way as Chennai did! Our team now spans two continents and works on two entirely different time zones with my move to the United States for higher studies. There will be long distance yells and a lot more online meetings, but we go on!
Reproduction in whole or part of any text, photography or illustrations without written permission from the publisher is prohibited. The publisher assumes no responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts, photographs and illustrations. Views expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the publication and accordingly no liability is assumed by the publisher thereof. Advertising copy and artworks are the sole responsibility of the advertisers.
Britains got POTTS
The reality show sensation looks like the next big thing in opera singing. Read all about his journey from shower rooms to the stage
Andrea’s Siren Song
The musical trip of the young singer turned actress laid bare with intimate details and the wierdest anecdotes
Carnatic veena virtuoso gets candid about performance, his music and reveals rare details about his upcoming album
The Score Magazine | Toward Neverland
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Photo Courtesy: SONY Music and Universal Music
The Score Magazine | Snide Memoriam
You love the guy You hate the guy Whatever! The vicious world of entertainment is notorious for their double-takes. Our pick of the best verbal turnarounds for the moonwalker
“Michael’s life is in serious decline .. My criticism of Michael is his selfabsorption; the whole celebrity thing where he needs to feel like he’s worshipped.” - RABBI SHMULEY BOTEACH, CNN 2004. “Now that his muse has forsaken him to the point where relative disappointments like ‘Bad’ and ‘Dangerous’ sound like half successes, he’s become more of a fairytale figure than he ever imagined: He’s pop’s Lost Boy.” - ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY’S DAVID BROWNE “I became very ill and emotionally exhausted in my quest to save him from self-destructive behavior and from the awful vampires and leeches he would always manage to magnetize around him” – LISA MARIE PRESLEY, MICHAEL’S EXWIFE
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“I miss Michael, I miss him very much... there was a gentility and nobility of spirit that I found humbling and inspiring in a man so accomplished” – RABBI SHMULEY BOTEACH “..the oft-dubbed King of Pop’s influence on the musical realm is unarguable” – ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY “I am so very sad and confused with every emotion possible. This is such a massive loss on so many levels , words fail me” – LISA MARIE PRESLEY I feel privileged to have hung out and worked with Michael.. my memories of our time together will be happy ones.. I’ve lost my little brother today and part of my soul has gone with him” – PAUL McCARTNEY This from the same ex-Beatle who stopped talking to Michael Jackson after he beat him in an auction and bought the rights to The Beatles catalog ue way back in 1985.
So you figured you knew everything about HIStory? Well maybe you do and maybe you don’t. Plunge right ahead into the the most random, bizarre, unheard of, disconnected yet intriguing elements of Michael Jackson’s life, laid bare. And quite as simple as running through from A to Z.
The Score Magazine | Lettered Legacy
urn Centre After pyrotechnics at a Pepsi shoot set his hair ablaze, the Brotman Medical Centre where he was treated was renamed after him. Perhaps the $ 1.5m donation helped.
nother Part of Me
He sang for change, the earth, children and peace, yet it was always the other parts of him that came up for fire. The Bad parts just kept cropping up.
Directed by Francis Ford Coppola, the movie featured a 3-d MJ and was one of the most expensive of the time. It was only screened at Disney Parks.
one Too Soon
Crowned by a tribal chief in the Ivory Coast, Jackson went as far as to sign official documents, sat on a golden throne and presided over rituals as King!
Though he lasted for five decades, this was the last song that a bevy of stars paid tribute to him at a public memorial; the highest global television viewer ship in a while.
unar Crater After his passing, The Lunar Republic Society has named a 22 km stretch of crater on the moon after him. Right next door to his 1200 acre Lake of Dreams lunar property!
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. T. Rumours that he was an alien apart, Someone in the Dark for the Spielberg movie fetched him a Grammy for Best Album for… you guessed it - kids.
angerous It might have sold 32 million copies worldwide, but it was still the word that purists branded him with after the controversial release of the Black or White video.
eal The World Foundation Inspired by the song, Jackson founded the trust in 1992 to mobilize funds for famine stricken children. It also arranged for kiddie sleep-overs at Neverland.
ortress Investments The refinancing firm that helped the heavily-in-debt star hold on to his property while salvaging some leeway from Sony who held his franchise rights.
Amidst dropped sales and heightened controversy, when Invincible unveiled in 2001 it silenced critics being his first studio album in six years.
The catalogue containing the original sheet music of McCartney and Lennon was taken by Jackson outbidding the former Beatle; this sparked off much ill will between them.
A 9-year old Jackson toured with 4 siblings with the legendary label producing their records; they opened before stripteases at third rate bar joints, initially.
The sect vigorously followed by his mother, they were the lot who protested en masse to the visuals and themes used in his uncut Thriller video.
Though the rumours of his oxygen bed were squashed as “ridiculous”, it was at London’s O2 Arena that his comeback 50 concert tour was set to kick off.
The Score Magazine | Lettered Legacy
eter Pan Syndrome
He considered himself “Peter Pan in my heart” and was thus rumoured to have the syndrome of a similar name; used for socially immature adults.
The operation that the King first had in 1979 to replace his broken nose. He went ahead and had four subsequent operations altering parts each time.
ueued up & SOLD! With insane sales for the London concerts which ought to have happened about now, the concerts till March 2010 were sold out in a blinding four hours after counters opened.
Released in 1982, the album has till date held the Guinness record for the largest selling music album of all time. Conservative estimates peg the global tally at 140 m copies.
The role Jackson played in the 1978 musical The Wiz, based on Dorothy’s adventures. His affinity to children cropped up first at this point in time.
itiligo They say he wanted to go white. What did he say? Vitiligo. The pigmentation disorder was Jackson’s explanation for the extensive skin re-engineering.
VII The number of the Superbowl during which half-time saw one
of the most energetic performances ever; his military attire was unveiled for the first time then. A duet with sister Janet, the song holds a Guinness Record for debuting at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Listing; an unprecedented event.
One of the more controversial donations made by the King was to this organization; $ 500,000 straight off in his debt period. Perhaps his lack of collegiate education was a driving factor. e Are the World
nited Negro College Fund
Co-written with Lionel Ritchie, the 1985 single sold 20 million copies and not only became one of the highest sold singles but also the largest charity fund raiser single ever written.
One of the attractions at Michael’s Neverland Ranch. The pet simian though was not part of it being much closer to the king “in spirit and self” whatever that meant.
ou are not alone
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The Score Magazine | Demystifying Classics
TURN OFF BEAT
Vannakkam, to all my eager younger generation friends. I always tell the following quote “Once a rasika, always a rasika”. And thus it is my attempt via the medium of this column to make each and every one of you a true rasika. We will contine in the same vein where we left off in my last column wherein we make an appropriate selection of a western song and then proceed to understand it within our own sacred traditional musical framework. This will enable us to broaden our knowledge base especially with respect to viewing the big picture and also, let us not forget, understand in depth the manodharmam aspect of the performer. The song we have selected for our analysis today is a song titled “Who let the dogs out” Composers This song is much like our very own traditional compositions which have been originally composed by a composer and then have been re-interpreted and re-rendered by generations of performers. Similarly, within our selected composition, the song was inspirationally composed by Anslem Douglas, and then re-rendered by the Baha Men. Deity and Meaning of the lyrics After a careful analysis I have reached the conclusion that the prime deity in our composition unlike my earlier assumption, does not belong to any category of Gods or Goddesses. Rather, it has been written in the honour of something which is as sacred as the divine- “Work”. It is an expression of the composer about the existing lack of respect for the proper procedures and systems and the chaos that has resulted because of undocumented and irregular methods adopted by the modern generation. The sahitya of the song repeatedly asks the same question as to “Who let the dogs out”. This clearly implies that the dogs were let out without the proper procedure being followed. In other words, no proper application was filed for the release of the dogs, the respective authorized person was not notified about the release of the dogs and also the process was not documented within the concerned department. Who is the responsible person for allowing this irregularity? . This is the lament of the composer. Though the composition only talks within the purview of dogs, we can apply this lesson to every walk of life. Technicalities The mastery of this composition is expressed through the repeated use of the “woof” to showcase the jati aspect of the tala. Let me break it down for you, rather, let me adopt the “divide and rule” policy wherein we isolate independent structures within the composition to identify the relevant structures and appropriate it. You might say that how can the jati be the same “woof”? The answer in fact is that each “woof” of the charanam is different. Also to complicate the affairs, each “woof” has its own independent external visual representation or “Kriya”. The differentiation between “woofs” to mark the aksharams of the tala are thus operating on the levels of a) changing the gamakam on the “woof” b) using of a different hand, mouth or finger representation while saying the “woof” c) expressing of the bhava of the “woof” by modulating of the pitch and volume, and lastly d) saying the “woof” at half count or introducing “karvai”(sustain) after a particular “woof”. This, my young friends is true representation of the manodharmam aspect or the improvising within rhythm and taanam of the performer. A truly brilliant rendering of a well crafted masterpiece. Concluding Remarks Given the complicated level of creativity within this composition, this song might not be the ideal song to start the beginning of your journey to become a true rasika but it can function as a benchmark for upcoming talent to look and improvise, see and learn and apply and appropriate within their knowledge base. You might not also understand in entirety the subtleties of the “woof” on first glance or the lament on the lack of structured processes missing in the modern generation, but watch again, hear again, pay attention once again and you will truly uncover the pearls of wisdom.
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The Score Magazine | Desi Digs
Idiosynracies about the members Their take on each other
Shashank - maintained the filthiest room in campus, coinhabited by birds and a few other species. Used to sing with a hand over one of his ears during his early days thankfully his hands are too full for that these days! Aveer - He is a blue teddy bear. Very cool and sweet. When he sings, we always think he is going to faint because his eyeballs get lost in the eye and he looks up Bharath - the only bachelor in the band, he is the envy of the rest of us. But the poor guy strongly believes that maintaining a wife is as easy as maintaining our band web site Mahesh - Manages around 50 people in office, comes back and takes it all out on the drums. In our first show together, he got 3 pairs of drumsticks just to be on the safer side, and ended up breaking all of them. People in Bangalore are blaming him for all the deforestation
One upon a time, deep in the land known for pretty women, Dukra Maas and the Ram Sena, in a college, that every Mangalorean mother wants her future son-in-law to have passed out from, two guys met. Both versatile musicians, infused with a passion, ‘to set out together on a journey, to spread their ideas to the masses through music’. Fate however didn’t present them the best of opportunities and they had to content themselves with playing covers. Years later, Shashank and Aveer of N.I.T Suratkal, our story’s chief protagonists, landed up in the same city. A land renown for horrendous traffic, air-conditioned Volvo buses and a new generation of burgeoning musical talent bursting from
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its seams. Further, almost all the genres of music and noise had its own significant following in the city. And it was in Bangalore that Ek the Band took its first step. Amongst all the clamour and din, Ek decided to keep its genre simple. A genre that “was really very connected to Indian culture, tradition and heritage and a music that came from the soul rather than any instrument.”(to quote Bharath, the keyboardist and background vocalist). Music taxonomists, for the benefit of the masses call this ‘Indian fusion’, though music lexicographers have come up with sub-genres such as Indian colloidal fusion, Indian emulsion fusion, Western-Indian fusion gel, each component exerting its own Van der Waal’s force in the dipolarized mixture, we shall desist from any further deeper physical speculation. In a spur-of-the-moment act, that always exudes an air of profundity when viewed in hindsight, the band was christened “Ek” at a Sunday jam. They embarked on their odyssey to create ‘an eclectic mix of original Hindi lyrics sung with a tinge of Indian classical music with the right blend of energetic riffs and rhythms.’ It was with this that Ek was adjudged third best band in the Radio City 91.1 FM Best Hindi Band. Ask them what makes them “Ek” ? Aveer, lead guitarist of the band answers, “‘A deep desire to create music we believe in has united us”. “Ek means we are THE one, there can be no other” says Mahesh, the drummer of the band. “The neighbours with whom we share our jam room think Ek is spelt Ache thanks to the noise we manage to generate.” he says. Though the band is yet to secure a recording contract, their songs uploaded on www.myband.co.in and on their website have received an unprecedented number of plays and Darbari Jam (a song based on the Hindustani raga Darbari orchestrated in a minor scale) is currently contending for the top spot on the most frequently listened to songs on the myband site.”I eat Ek, I drink Ek, I sleep Ek, I breathe Ek and dream Ek . My wife says she is my ‘second’ wife as my first wife is Ek,” says Shashank. The mast has been hoisted and the sails have been set but the tireless wind of time is sure to test Ek and it asks them a few questions. Can they truly create an acculturated oeuvre that sounds at once familiar and yet is something entirely new? Can the lyrics of their songs be not hackneyed versions of film songs containing the usual metaphors of wind, water, rain, moon, traveller etc. but something entirely unique borne out of a search, a need and a personal experience? Can people who hear them for the first time not say that they sound like Euphoria or Indian Ocean? And lastly, Do they really and truly have the talent and all that it takes in them to discover a new land? Bharath, the keyboardist of the band answers, “I don’t think. I know that we will make it big. We have what it takes!”
The Score Magazine | Siren on Song
OBSESSIVE CHOCOLATE DISORDER She’s a chocoholic (Hallelujah!) and would love to do a chocolate ad.
HOUNDS OF SILENCE She sings to her dogs and stomps around them in private.
ANDREA’S MUSIC AND LYRICS
We’ve all seen her in Pachaikili Muthucharam and have definitely heard her songs Kannum Kannum Nokia and Karka Karka. An actress, model and singer, Andrea is pretty popular these days, appearing in most papers, as the city awaits her latest - Aayirathil Oruvan. But that’s not what we’re focusing on now. I attempted to discover Andrea the musician - the girl who’s quite well known for her husky voice and reticent nature. Not many know just how much she loves and enjoys her music. ”When I’m singing, it’s like coming home. Nothing else matters.” Amusingly, her story started with a little musical contraption “When my little sister had jaundice, my parents bought her a doll to feel better. I guess they didn’t want me to feel unloved, so they bought me this little red Casio which turned into my pet obsession.” She soon joined many music groups like the Young Stars and Young Nation as a child, taking part in many musicals. Piano lessons and training slowly helped her graduate to onstage performances. “I was a nerd right through school, so everyone expected me to be a doctor. I made up my mind to be a
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DREAM MUSICAL DATE She would love to work with A.R.Rahman and absolutely adores Sting.
psychiatrist. But then, in high school, I was terribly unhappy, and kept to myself mostly, and music just saved me somehow.” When faced with objections, she joined law but dropped out and ultimately settled for WCC, studying Psychology. After establishing herself as a crooner, Andrea’s dreams were set high as she sought to fulfill her dream of studying in Berklee; another failed plan which was for the better. Andrea soon got offers to sing in films and this transition did not deter her. The singer admitted that if the opportunity presented itself, she wouldn’t mind singing in Hindi too. “If I get good enough work, I’ll go anywhere.” She even started her own production company ‘The Show Must Go On’ with her partner Sundar; a short-lived dream which she hopes to revive again. “It’s never too late.” And acting? “To be honest, I was absolutely against doing films, partly because of my family and also my education. I refused offers through college. Then I had nothing to do for three months. That’s the only reason I took up my first film offer. It took more than 8 months to complete, and I couldn’t go to Berklee.” After its
moderately successful run, she got an offer to act in Aayirathil Oruvan. Her accepted re-application to Berklee had to be relinquished again! From what she wrote to me, I admit I was a little surprised. Unlike most stars these days who enjoy the limelight, Andrea admits to being a very boring person! “The one thing I love to do when no one is watching is to play the piano. It’s amazing. The notes just become my own. Apart from that, I read a lot, sit alone on my terrace or write. I wouldn’t do them if people were around.” Pretty normal isn’t she? Oh but wait! She’s done quite a few hysterical things in the past. “They’re strictly confidential! One of them though, is getting myself lost in Kyoto. I walked around in circles till midnight, having missed all the buses and refusing to call a cab, and it was one of the nicest things to have happened to me ever.” Another thing which struck me as weirdly pleasant – “If I were stranded on an island, I wouldn’t want to call anyone. All this time, I’ve been sitting at home and wishing I could get away to Ladakh where no one can get to me. An island would be even better, I think.”
Photo Courtesy: Sunder Photography
The Score Magazine | Siren on Song
Once she fell into a 14 foot long pit. I guess you could call that a BIG mistake! Oops! “I wasn’t supposed to fall in it, so I didn’t have a safety harness or anything. The camera was rolling, so they still have the footage. At the time, it was a bit of a scare for everyone, but now, it’s just a joke, with them threatening to release the footage just to embarrass me.”
There’s more! “I’ve also gone to a recording with a drip in my hand. I’d been hospitalized because I was throwing up constantly, but I was determined to go for the recording, so my mom force-fed me a couple of Marie biscuits, and I made it.” Talk about will power! This Introvert admits that as far as her romantic life is concerned, she hasn’t experienced any cheesy lines simply because she comes off as a little bit intimidating. Not that she intends to! (So buck up guys!) And as far as boyfriend material is concerned, this closeted romantic seems pretty idealistic. “INTEGRITY- not just in a potential boyfriend, but in any person who is a part of my life.” There is a long way to go and as far as future plans are concerned there is no reason to worry. An ultimate believer in destiny, she might not be counting the stars but feels there is no point in anticipating too much. She loves Jazz – “In Jazz there is such immense, intricate structure holding all that freedom together; like a cobweb holding its own. I’d love to release an album of my own songs. I’ve written and recorded about 8 already. I’ve written about love, loss, flirty songs, nightmarish ones, songs that border on philosophy. I’d like to think my take on things is very different. And I would title the album ‘Insomania’, the spelling is deliberate, I assure you.” Sounds a little crazy but she’s forgiven! And who does she owe all her success to? Her parents. Sweet, simple and honest. Here’s hoping that this destiny’s child gets what she deserves.
Photo Courtesy: Selvakumar T
Follow her at www.andreajeremiah.blogspot.com
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The Score Magazine | Waving Starward
Look who’s talkin!
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Tuning a Tribute
If celebs are used to making waves every time they made an appearance, July 8 this year saw them handling a completely different type of wave. Marking one year of existence for Chennai’s ‘only English radio station’, Chennai Live 104.8 FM had an interesting line up for the day. New shows? Lots of quotes? Extra enthusiasm? Guess on. They had all that and more except the regular presenters were given a day in the sun. Filling in for a day were celebrities from various walks of life who had a distinct Chennai connection. If the US Consul and Palash Sen shared space during the breakfast beat, it was the lady with many a haunt in the city who gave listeners quirky insights into what it takes to catch her attention; Priya Mani all the way. Vasundhara Das and Andrea Jeremiah followed suit hosting the afternoon slots and put their voices to good use. Now that’s LIVE on the drive, believe me! Anu Menon stole the air waves and overloaded it with her regular overdose of west(u)-coast(u) humour. The last slot for the night, prime-time was handled by the up and happening fatherdaughter duo of actor Sarath Kumar and Varalaxmi Sarath Kumar. Talking about themselves and their life in the city, prime-time flew at the rate of knots. Looks like the stars have found another way to really set the waves ablaze, live and in person! Courtesy of 104.8 FM.
What is the loss of someone dear? Is it a vacuum that you feel Miles and miles to endure Or could it be a sudden intake of breath A wake up call. You see, you’re small. A speck in the universe.Yet you show the world, as you know it, that you’re fine. You’re okay. You take a deep breath. Swallow. And try and ignore the wave of pain that consumes you for one long, intense moment till it ebbs away. And you start your day. That is how I think the Dave Mathews Band felt last August when they lost their saxophonist and founding band member, LeRoi Moore. The band had a show scheduled that night, and ‘the show,’ as any worthy player in showbiz would say ‘must go on.’ It did of course, go on. Torches held high. Thousands of fans sang along in tribute to a member of DMB never to be forgotten, or replaced. Certainly not as known as frontman Dave Mathews, Moore added a certain depth to the band’s sound and feel. In fact, it was his distinctive sax that formed the base of some of the band’s most iconic tunes, like Ants Marching and Too Much. In an interview he said,”But at this stage I don’t really consider myself a jazz musician,” Playing with the Dave Matthews Band was “almost better than a jazz gig,” he said. “I have plenty of space to improvise, to try new ideas.” LeRoi Moore passed away from injuries suffered in an all-terrain vehicle accident. He was 46. A year later they are back with their first album since 2005. Enter Big Whiskey and the Groogrux King. And this one’s definitely for LeRoi. From the bluesy sax solo that opens the album to their lead single, Funny the way it is, it’s the coming together of a group of musicians on Grey Street. Dave Matthews reflected “It’s a pretty song and it talks about a lot of things... death and love and all those things... but it also talks about the world of opposites that we are in. That’s the idea behind the song — that we will spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to save a kid’s life and then we will drop bombs out of the sky on each other and blow a whole school of them to pieces without a thought. And that’s a funny world.” Is it? Or do we choose to perceive our surroundings differently when the light is dim. When the world moves without you on board. The pain will come and it will ebb away, but take hope with tomorrow may come a brighter day. Sing with me: Standing on a bridge, watch the water passing under me It must’ve been much harder when there was no bridge, just water Now the world is small. Remember how it used to be, with mountains and oceans and winters and rivers and stars?
THE SHOSHAN REDEMpTION Hebrew, Urdu, Qawwali, Poetry - Shye Ben-Tsur is quite the juggler and it shows in his music. And what say the people? Bring it on!
Ain’t No Shye Guy
The Great Indian Wedding is one thing that has never ceased to intrigue me. Launching discussions on silk and gold laden relatives rushing about with not much reason will not do us much good here. What then is an instant giveaway that a wedding is afoot in any corner of the country? Illumentary, my dear Wattson. Lights! Those bright yellow orbs suspended by the hundred from trees to dark lamp-posts. “Indian weddings are astounding,” agrees Shye “But the lights are something else!” Perplexed? Perhaps your attendance at EarthSync’s annual festival might have thrown some light on the matter. Such as it is, I ask of you, bear with me and envision this. Poised at various instruments stood men who would have looked more at place before a groom on horseback. In walked this lithe, long-haired man in a black sherwani; my first encounter with Shye Ben-Tzur. The lavishly spacious Lady Andal
The Score Magazine | Indian Connection
Auditorium was decked with said wedding lights shaped like an ornate red rose. “Shoshan means rose,” he says of the soon to be released album with EarthSync. Shye’s journey to Indian shores had less to do with the Taj Mahal and more with another Indian wonder; a concert by maestros’ Ustad Zakir Hussain and Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia in his native Israel. Determined to add to his existing Hebrew musical training, Shye began an exploration of classical Indian music in Rajasthan. His first muse though was Qawwali music. Trust him to do it with a twist, though. “I use a Sufi music base but with lyrics in Hebrew,” he reveals, “Probably why they call me the Hebrew Sufi!” One more in the fusion brigade, I thought. So what’s so different beyond the Hebrew connection, I ventured. “Not getting carried away every time you hear an impressive sound is the key,” he cautions, “There is a distinct connection between music of most cultures. Indian music is closer to Israeli than you’d believe at first sight.” Something most fusion artists say by principle; to the extent of making it a moderate cliché. But not Shye; comprehension is all for him. “It’s like a pizza,” my ears perked up, hunger is perennial after all “Imagine adding greens and vegetables and finally no meat” Clearly not a vegetarian sympathizer! “Or no cheese, for that matter, would it be complete?” The questioner became the questioned – I disagreed. Satisfied, he concluded with an air of great knowing “That’s EXACTLY how it is with fusion; my kind of fusion. Whatever musical element you use, it’s got to be delectable…for all the senses!” Made it sound like the judgment call of one person to me “It actually depends on anyone from the sound engineer to people around-what they think makes an instant impression. But, yes the artist does have the choice.” Well, now you know whom to blame! After his debut album ‘Heeyam’ raised expectations, the hint of ‘Shoshan’ is certainly doing much more. A self-taught flutist, what interested me more than the styles he uses were the shapes and sizes of the flutes he favours. From large pied-piper sorts to the more diminutive variety Shye’s flutes are the stuff that make for weird humour. “I play the flute for very few, selected songs,” he says “And it’s completely by choice!” If a dreamy voice that sways women effortlessly, is what you figured, Shye and his media frenzy was all about, guess again. With a compilation of love poems (Souls Expressions) already published, the softspoken romantic is looking toward his second publication. With an ability to move an audience who know not a word of what he is singing, Shye has been one of the few examples of music being a Universal language; one with lyrics anyway! I suppose the Indian props and folk musicians do help too. And his Indian connection hasn’t ended with the music and the culture and the labels and the festivals. Oh no, India might not be Shye’s motherland but it certainly is where he found his match; matrimonially “My wife is from Ajmer, where we now live,” he reveals of his personal life. Come what may, it looks like Shye and his Indian connection have a lot in store for us. Indians love the rose, after all! Photo Courtesy: G Venkata Krishnan
Dancing Tawhid Liberated
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The pioneer, the visionary the late Padma Vibushan
D. K. Pattammal
The Score Magazine | Rage of the Machines
Transformers New Divide
The second installment of the Transformers franchise makes for ordinary viewing. Typical of a Hollywood action/sci-fi flick, the soundtrack fuses the larger genres of Alternative Rock, Alternative Metal, Hard Rock and Post-grunge to it. Through most of the film, you get the vague feeling of not remembering too much music in the background – apart from the made-to-order tunes from the score. The official single (and theme song) from, ‘Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen’, is a track called, ‘New Divide’ by Linkin Park. The song is rather catchy, and is almost as good as ‘What I’ve Done’, from the first film. But, if you’re looking for anything new in their music, you’re in for a disappointment – ‘New Divide’ is your usual Linkin Park track. Strangely enough, the song never makes its presence felt during crucial moments of the plot. It finally appears as the end-credits begin roll. Not a great idea, if you ask me! Among the 13 tracks that comprise the OST, only 8 made it to the final cut. Green Day’s ’21 Guns’ is one, and is played in minor rushes from the first half. The song’s okay – not much to write home about. It succeeds in being remembered due to a longer duration of screen time. Other impressive tracks are, ‘Never Say Never’ (The Fray) and ‘Burning Down The House’ by The Used. It is ironic that the tracks left out from the final cut of the film, prove to be better than the ones that made it. Wonder what the film-makers were thinking? Music from ‘Theory Of A Deadman’ (Not Meant To Be), ‘I Don’t Think I Love You’ (Hoobastank) and ‘Avenged Sevenfold’ (Almost Easy) didn’t entirely deserve to be left out. The music played by Bumblebee succeeds in being a comic relief – belting out tracks as famous as, ‘I’m So Excited’ and ‘My Girl’ was worth a few laughs. None of the songs have made it to the album though. The original score of the film was composed by Steve Jablonsky who reunited with with director Michael Bay to record his score, with a 71-piece ensemble of the Hollywood Studio Symphony at the Sony Scoring Stage. As far as the relevance of the music (to each scene) is concerned, the score does a far superior job to the soundtrack. Most films don’t feature entire songs in them. On account of miniature screen times, the tracks featured in Transformers 2, are very hard to recollect. Further more, many of the film’s scenes weren’t backed up by the right songs. The track list on the OST is good, but is wasted on bad timing. Maybe it would have helped had the viewing been enhanced– who knows!
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TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN SOUNDTRACK LISTING
1. New Divide by Linkin Park 2. 21 Guns by Green Day 3. Let It Go by Cavo 4. Capital M-E by Taking Back Sunday 5. Never Say Never by The Fray 6. Burn It To The Ground by Nickelback 7. Burning Down The House by The Used 8. Not Meant To Be by Theory Of A Deadman * 9. Real World by The All-American Rejects * 10. I Don’t Think I Love You by Hoobastank * 11. This Is It by Staind 12. Almost Easy by Avenged Sevenfold * 13. Transformers (The Fallen Remix) by Cheap Trick *
*Not used in film
Linkin Park’s single, ‘New Divide’, proved to be a worthy theme song. It is as good (if not better) as their previous song, ‘What I’ve Done’ (that appears in the first Transformers film). Bumblebee is the film’s short comic relief. His random airing of famous hits like, ‘I’m So Excited’ by The Pointer Sisters and ‘My Girl’ by The Temptations, is indeed funny! Steve Jablonsky deserves full credit for composing a good score.
There wasn’t much sense in playing the theme song (‘New Divide’) right at the end, during the credits. Why call it the theme when it fails to appear in the film? All in all, it is your typical, run-of-the-mill action/sci-fi movie soundtrack It was baffling to see the best tracks on the list not make the final cut. Songs from Theory Of A Dead Man, Hoobastank and Avenged Sevenfold deserved better consideration.
The Score Magazine | Reel Life Heroes
Rise of the H.E.R.O.
So almost every superhero series has had its share of screen time; from the comics into animated series on television and a few million figurines later, Hollywood comes calling. One series waited close to three decades to make that transition. Confused? I wager that the phrase “Real American Hero” will make an impact! That’s right, ‘G.I Joe is there’. With the large screen adaptation of the G.I. Joe – Cobra conflict, the makers have had a tough time packaging characters and underlying sub-plots while sticking to a reasonably coherent story-line; in other words not too realistic to be possible while still not too far-fetched to be fairy-tale like. The movie not only unites the most popular lineup of G.I. Joe characters from Duke and Ripcord to Scarlett and Snake Eyes but also sheds light on the reason for the Cobra Commanders face being scarred, his vengeance against the Joes’ and also his ‘world domination’ focus stemming from an ancestral urge toward Weapons of Mass Destruction. Following on the successful production of the Transformers franchise, Paramount Pictures, Spyglass Entertainment and the original trademark holders of the action toy, Hasbro are jointly producing this new age action thriller. The old-school principles of good vs. evil with the latter invariably taking a fall are in place much like the ‘muchadored’ American soldier stereotype portrayed by Duke and his gung-ho superior Gen. Hawk. Rest assured, though the original plot lines and series clichés remain firmly in place, this is far from one of those children’s movies with parental guidance tags. Plenty of action, slick stylish technology and death defying stunts packaged with a hint of patriotism and ‘good always triumphs’ will make for a good watch. The title though running with a tag of ‘G.I. Joe – The Rise Of Cobra’ is a bit of a dampener because every kid who ever bought a Striker Jet, a Battle Tank or a host of four-inch toys and spoke to them, wouldn’t quite like the idea of Cobra Rising in anything. Time to get out those old action figures, perhaps?
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G.I. JOE Dennis QuaiD - General ClayTon abernaThy / hawk: Quaid plays the team’s leader here. His son convinced him to take on the part, and the filmmakers enjoyed working with him so much that Stuart Beattie wrote “ten to fifteen more scenes” for the character. ChanninG TaTum - ConraD hauser / Duke: Tatum had earlier played a soldier in Stop-Loss, an anti-war film, and originally wanted no part in G.I. Joe, which he felt was pro-war. Once he read the script though, he realized it was a fantasy trip. raChel niChols - shana m. o’hara / sCarleTT: According to he story, she graduated college at twelve and became the team’s intelligence expert. Possibly why she never understood the laws of attraction. She burnt herself filming an action sequence. ray Park - snake eyes: A ninja commando with a vow of silence, Park plays a martial arts expert and specifically practiced wushu for the role, as well as studying the character’s comic book poses. Nervous about wearing the mask, he requested to practice wearing it at home. marlon wayans - wallaCe weems / riPCorD: Wayans was cast on the strength of his performance in Requiem for a Dream.He’s the one with the bad humour as he invites Duke to join the Air Force with him. He also told Scarlett that he can fly almost any aircraft. aDewale akinnuoye-aGbaje - hershel DalTon / heavy DuTy: He serves as the teams ordnance expert and was actually called up to play the role of his series-wise cousin Road Block, but his character in real life seemed a better fit for this character, or so the producer thought. saïD TaGhmaoui - abel shaz / breaker: Serving duty as the team’s communications specialist and hacker, In the film, he is Moroccan rather than an American but retains his characteristic love for bubble gum. brenDan Fraser - serGeanT sTone: At first, it was reported he was going to play Gung-Ho, but it was later revealed he plays Sergeant Stone. Fraser is quoted as saying he’d like to think his character is a descendant of Rick O’Connell, Fraser’s character in The Mummy series. COBRA ChrisToPher eCClesTon - james mCCullen / DesTro: A weapons designer and founder of the Military Armament Research Syndicate (MARS) and the main villain of the film, David Murray was cast as Destro, but was forced to drop it when he had problems with his visa. josePh GorDon-leviTT - rex lewis / DoCTor / Cobra CommanDer: The Baroness’s brother, a former U.S. Soldier who was thought to be killed during an operation - instead, he became the disfigured Cobra head scientist. Levitt wore a mask – which was redesigned from the comics because the crew found it too reminiscent of the Ku Klux Klan sienna miller - ana lewis / anasTaCia DeCobray / The baroness: The Baroness was going to marry Duke, but he left her at the altar, due to his guilt over the apparent death of her brother Rex Lewis. Miller auditioned for the part because it did not involve “having a breakdown or addicted to heroin or dying at the end” lee byunG-hun - Thomas arashikaGe / sTorm shaDow: Lee said he did not know G.I. Joe because it is an unknown series in Korea. Lee was attracted to Storm Shadow’s “dual personality”, which he stated has “huge pride and honor” arnolD vosloo - zarTan: An expert in make-up and disguises serving Destro, Zartan several times whistles “For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow” early in the film; Zartan is revealed to be impersonating the President of the United States when he again whistles it at the film’s conclusion.
Britain’s got POTTS
“Be not afraid of greatness. Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon ‘em.” says William Shakespeare. But there was a fourth,and it was clearly the life of Paul Potts. Born around Bristol,UK on October 13,1970 of a supermarket cashier, Yvonne and a bus driver, Roland, Paul Potts is still remembered as “One of the four kids in the family who was singing from the time he could talk.” Paul says “My mother recalls me listening to the theme from ET and conducting an imaginary orchestra with sticks”. So as he moved through time, the only passion that grew stronger and stronger with every passing day was singing. He took a very obvious liking for opera, and till date his favourite remains La Boheme.
A fan wrote “A humble bloke who’s not even aware of his amazing gift – Paul Potts is a true star”
THE pHANTOM OF THE OpERA Not quite a wisp, Potts is one of those few reality show winners to have made it in a BIG way. The jokes haven’t eased up though!
During his amateur singing days, the only thought that restricted him to bath operas was his lack of self esteem and fear of rejection. But all these dreams never prevented Paul from leading a normal life. He had a day job of stacking stores in supermarkets and later he moved on to selling mobile phones. In 2000, he used all the money he had, to attend a three-month summer school in Italy, where he learned the language and got to indulge his passion further. He even got to sing in a masterclass for his idol, Pavarotti. In 2003, God put forth his acid test to Paul. He suffered a burst appendix. While undergoing treatment for this, doctors discovered a benign tumour in his adrenal gland. It was successfully removed but while he was recovering, he was knocked off his bike and broke his collarbone. Paul recollects that dreadful phase “ I got very, very low and for once, singing was the last thing on my mind.”
The Score Magazine | Reality Revelry
And he might have given up forever, had it not been for Britain’s Got Talent - the talent show for today’s generation, created by Simon Cowell and co-produced by his Entertainment company Syco TV, which last week was celebrating a double whammy. In a first for a reality TV format, on both sides of the Atlantic - Britain and America - it was at number one, with more than 13 million viewers tuning in to see Paul win the final of the British version. The audition, that was held a week before the final only saw Paul Potts very apologetically walking into the Cardiff stage and stating in his £35 Tesco suit to his judges Simon, Amanda Holden and Piers Morgan that he was going to sing opera. Little did they know that they were looking at their winner. And on D-Day, Paul only remembered himself shaking like a jelly not knowing what happened after he started singing. “When I stopped singing, there were a few seconds when my heart was racing because I had absolutely no idea what the judges were going to say.” says Paul. They were moved. Humble as we see know him to be, all he wants to do is start a family and take his wife Julie-Ann, 27, on a safari. He also adds “I hope to get my teeth done.I don’t think I’d suit one of those dazzling Hollywood smiles, but I’d like to get the cap sorted as I’m very conscious about it when I sing”. His feet have barely touched the ground since his victory and he’s got a host of engagements to prepare for. He will be back to the UK to start work on his first album. And, of course, there is also the VIP performance for which he was competing in Britain’s Got Talent - appearing in front of Her Majesty the Queen at the Royal Variety Performance in early December. All is well that ends well. “All of this is like a fairy tale and I’m terrified I’m going to wake up soon and find I’ve dreamt it all,” says Paul.
Preeti Krishnakumar 45 years ago
WE LOVE THE BEATLES – THE CAREFREES. Released in 1964, The Carefrees sang of their love for The Beatles. The song was placed at No. 39 on the Billboard Top 100 , the only Beatles novelty song to make it into the Top 40. They loved The Beatles so much, that the verses have “We love you (Name of the ‘Beatle’) followed by why they love him! And added some Woo’s, as on the Beatles’ world famous track “She Loves You (Ya! Ya! Ya!)”
35 years ago
ANNIE’S SONG - JOHN DENVER One faithful day, around 35 years ago, John Denver was going to the top of Bell Mountain in Aspen, Colorado. And all around him he saw such breathtaking beauty, that he remembered the one other thing whose beauty he thought was unmatched, his then wife Annie Denver. And there on the ski lift, in about ten minutes, he wrote her this song.
25 years ago
I JUST CALLED TO SAY I LOVE YOU- STEVIE WONDER Stevie Wonders’ claim to fame, after he dropped the “Little” (From being “Little” Stevie Wonder). Everybody knows this song! You’ve either heard it ‘somewhere’, or someone a generation or so before you loves this track. I wouldn’t hesitate to call it the Mother of all love songs (At least in the 60’s) and thus, a classic. What not too many people know is that he re-wrote the song in 2009, changing the words to “I am here because he loves you.”, By “he” he meant his father who was in the hospital with brain cancer at the time and whose dying wish was to get Ty Pennington to rebuild his house for his wife and children.
Tune4 is an organization that aims at promoting talented musicians globally and establishes itself as a music production and sales house to provide all sorts of Music Solutions both online and offline. Tune4 Talent Bank They have a talent bank of musicians, who are capable of producing music of any style. They are targeting talents who are at present not in the industry, capable of delivering high quality music once they get the chance. Online Music Shop In their Online Music Shop, both professional and aspiring musicians can sell their original compositions in the form of albums or singles. It is a platform for the aspiring musicians to show their talents to the world, which ultimately benefits them. www.highonscore.com | 40
15 years ago
ZOMBIE-THE CRANBERRIES A popular karaoke track, it is actually a protest song by the Irish band The Cranberries from their 1994 album ‘No Need to Argue’. The song speaks of the troubles in Northern Ireland. The Cranberries wanted so much to have their opinions expressed that they used a heavy guitar riff which was the sound that was popular at the time, very different from their usual alternative style. A risk they’re probably very glad they took.
5 years ago
SHE WILL BE LOVED- MAROON 5 Released in 2004, from their album ‘Songs about Jane’… Who is Jane, you ask? Adam Levine’s ex girlfriend. He wrote this song days before they (Adam and Jane) broke up and she moved away. He has openly admitted that his girlfriends have been his greatest inspiration and his best songs were inspired by them. He’s supposedly dating Cameron Diaz now, and is all set to write us another chart topper about the blonde beauty.
Healing that FITTS
Supernaturally natural – That’s how Bob Fitts and the people who love him choose to catalog his songs. Having grown up around men of god, his awakening came quite early. This awakening manifested itself in the form of country infused gospel music. The country tinge to his music has its roots in Texas, since both his parents grew up there, and the gospel side of it looks to be inspired from his education. After a bachelors degree in Theology, he went on to head the DTS (Discipleship Training Schools) but his passion for songwriting never wavered and it was just a matter of time before he was contacted by Integrity Music to release his first solo album Take My Healing To The Nations in 1988 . An intriguing fact is that Bob has not written very many songs other than the ones recorded and he claims to have lived every one of the song situations and not composed them for the sake
The Score Magazine | Gospel Outflow
of record sales. His ideals and goals are shared and supported by his wife Cathy who is also a believer in every sense of the word. For almost 20 years he has been in the public eye and other than the technicalities, the fundamental tenor of his music remains unchanged. According to him, the country and folkish flavor of his songs has made it possible for his music to reach the common man since it is the most preferred genre in existence (that’s a fact!). He reckons that a good voice is a blessing and music is the only tool that can transcend cultures, traditions, race and color. So can men of God hold their place in the world of music amidst the likes of Cannibal Corpse and Marilyn Manson? Bob for one feels that the changing trends and next generation of music will not affect his kind of music and irrespective of day and age, believers will continue to be believers and music from the heart about the love of God will continue to thrive. Standing testament to this is the fact that some of his songs
Take My Healing to the Nation Highest Place The Lord Reigns As We Pray You are so Faithful
still continue to be in popular demand and are often requested in radio stations – even in Chennai! Talking about which, this is his second visit to the city and fourth visit to the country in general. Going by his predictions, India and China are next in line to witness a revolution in gospel music. His long career has seen its share of ups and downs. In fact there was a short period (2004-2006) when his belief was challenged and for a while he gave up and started cleaning carpets, as a profession! His faithful wife branched out as well and took to photography. Needless to say they found their way back shortly. Thank God for that! Their aim right through has been to use their music to help people around the world on an emotional level. As a matter of fact he encourages people to write songs, songs which you can hold on to during tricky times. He even adds that people like him are more like pastors than musicians and is quick to admit with a grin that somebody is bound to argue that point. His latest album Restore (2008) is all about getting back to nature or in other words – going green. Be it his first or last album, he has a select audience who remain faithful. Kudos to him for standing tall among hypocrites and nay sayers in the music world and continuing to be a believer, in thought and music, for the last two decades and hopefully for more to come.
Compiled By Sonali Shenoy
Talented, humble and versatile are the adjectives that come to mind while in conversation with Ranjith. With hits like Dol Dol and Jalsa this crooner has made his presence felt in the South Indian music industry. Score found ten things about the personality behind the music. And here is it, direct and uncut from the man himself. - If music didn’t keep my life full I would love to review gadgets. - I’m a complete shopaholic. Fashion is important because when I look good, I feel good. I enjoy an occasional shopping splurge. - I don’t believe in stereotyping people but bad vibes turn me off. - My musical career turned around the day I met Mani Sharma. - My favourite show was the Unity of Light World tour with AR Rahman. It was an experience to see a foreign audience enjoying Indian music. - I don’t believe reality shows give you the kind of break that a lot of people expect. - Once I messed up the tune while singing at a temple concert. My most embarrassing moment ever! - I definitely say a prayer before every show i do. - Singing is 40% from the heart, 40% from the head & 20% from the throat. Get your heart in the right place. - My favourite person in the world is my dad. I can only wish that one day I could be as good a father!
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The Score Magazine | Rewinding Rock
TAAQ - This is it
MALS IN THE wILDERNESS Behold the Pastmasters partying at Primetime. Wonder what happened to that quarter pint of ethnicity from Gode’s Own Country. Hail the WILD WEST!
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For Thermal And A Quarter (TAAQ) the year has been sunny side up. They bottled a collection of songs recorded the same time as Plan B, and some from ‘pre-date Jupiter Café’ into This Is It, their latest release that premiered at the Jakarta Java Jazz festival, and voila! Distinctive and original, ‘their sound’ seems to have evolved again, and the album’s name says it all: both fans and TAAQ agree. The band has also played harbinger, recording Shut Up And Vote in 36 hours for the Jaago Re campaign that urged citizens to vote in the general elections gone by in May. The campaign organised by Janaagraha, a Bangalore-based NGO, gave TAAQ the perfect chance to perform for a meaningful sociopolitical cause. But this is not a first on either count: Humpty Dumpty from their first album has not-very-scathing references to ‘now banished politicians’, and their music has stood out since their debut eponymous ‘frayed shoestring budget’ album. Their initial releases were rare original sounds at a time when Indian rock bands were beginning to defy the clichés of being ‘rock’ and ‘Indian’. Their music infuses jazz, Carnatic, rock and blues without sounding predominantly like one genre. ‘Defying categorisation,’ they call it. A term that might fit their perception of themselves after Jaago Re – “we are careful about the causes we support. For us, the heard mentality wins over the herd mentality. Besides, voting is the next big thing. Everybody and his uncle are trying to cash in on the voting theme – and imitation is the best form of flattery.” The band’s story begins the way most bands’ do – an idea borne out of idleness, and to have a good time, doing what they love doing – making music, in the dorms of a college hostel, way back in 1996. They started off as the Christ College Band (with Bruce Lee Mani, Rajeev Rajagopal, and Sunil Chandy), and renamed themselves TAAQ (the name was Chandy’s brainwave). Their first album was recorded in 2000 for a “princely sum of Rs 1000” in a modest studio in Banaswadi, Bangalore and mastered in Auroville. Their CDs and cassettes perked interest among anyone willing enough to shell out cash for a first-time listen to a fledgling band. But their music sounded a lot like it hadn’t been heard before, their compositions sounded original. They were beginning to sound less like Indian rock and breaking its copycat clichés at a time when Parikrama (the other big wig rock band in India at that time – formed in 1991) was trying to sound more universal. Indian rock was evolving and TAAQ was on the cue,
The Score Magazine | Rewinding Rock
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TURN OFF BEAT
their timing was perfect. Both Parikrama and TAAQ were quick to realise that they were standing on the edge of what would be the era of downloadable music on the worldwide web. Both bands soon began putting up their compositions on their website for downloads. And Potatoe Junkie, a number from TAAQ’s first album, became an “anthem of a not-yet-Bangalored Bangalore, reeking of the influence of cable television; the mass communication junkie.” Fans still sing along to songs from TAAQ, almost a decade after its release. The band thoughtfully includes those songs in their concerts. Written from the sixth floor of Barton Centre on MG road (Bangalore), Jupiter Café, their second album (released 2002), took another wry look at Bangaloreans. Their music ran beyond the confines of the city and the country, and so did their themes, with their third studio album – Plan B (released online in 2005), that included hits like Paper Puli, Chainese Item and Motorbyckle. RSJ’s prediction a year earlier, that TAAQ was the second biggest band in India was pretty close to being a bulls-eye remark, as the band became the first Indian band to be featured on the National Public Radio, USA the same year they released their third album. They opened for Jethro Tull the next year. “We never thought that we’d have breakfast with Dave Weckl, a drink with Simon Phillips or share pizza with Ian Anderson, but it’s all happening now,” says TAAQ, whose fourth release, This Is It was mixed by Grammy winner Jeff Peters in AR Rahman’s studio in Chennai, and mastered at Joe Gastwirt’s in California. “There is a line in Getting There that goes half the joy is half the way. That pretty much explains it. The journey is the best part, and because we’re only halfway there, there’s double fun left to come,” they say. Coming to studio album number 5, what can we expect? Slated for release in a few months’ time, the album will contain “juicier work” is all they promise. In case you want more, the band has been working overtime, and they have enough material for three or four more studio albums.
didn’t know meant THAT
5ive Songs that you
You know when I was five I used to sing a nursery rhyme about two kids who climbed a hill to fetch a pail of water. But it occurred to me recently that if Jack and Jill were 5 then they never would have been allowed up a hill in the first place. Most natural sources of water come from the ground unless we are talking about Mount Everest or a peak of that range. And if Jack fell down, what made Jill come tumbling after? Crown you say he broke? Maybe Jill had something to do with it… 5 or 15. There are some songs that never get off your playlist. But do they really mean what you THINK they do? Time for a closer look:
HARD DAY’S NIGHT THE BEATLES
So you thought that this was just another classic Beatles number with some sappy loving huh? It’s been a hard day’s night, I should be sleeping like a log But when I get home to you I find the things that you do Will make me feel alright In fact, look at the title. And you’ve got yourself a pun right there…
SUMMER OF 69 BRYAN ADAMS
In the Summer of ‘69, Adams was all of 9 years old. The “69” refers to, well, not the year but …uh you know. Now you think about that.
GET DOWN BACKSTREET BOYS
Yeah them Boys weren’t talking about no dance floor in this song, although….that would have been a fun way to start off the evening’s events. Hey you don’t warm up just to strain a muscle.
ROCK YOU LIKE A HURRICANE SCORPIONS
Get to know the band better on their official website
We all love this number. The Scorpions reign in all their glory. But have you ever listened to the lyrics apart from the chorus? It’s early morning The sun comes out Last night was shaking And pretty loud And that happens to be just the beginning. The video paints quite a wild night as well. Handcuffs anybody?
SMELLS LIKE TEEN SPIRIT NIRVANA
The only scent that one can reflect upon on this track is sweat. Innuendos all the way.
The Score Magazine | Turnaround Tunes
LIVE and loving it
“Playing live is like a drug,” claims Paul “Addictive.” For an industry that almost entirely relied on live recording once, mainstream music in Tamil films is almost completely electronic these days. From being eclectic conductors, the current breed of music directors have evolved into accomplished electronic compilers. And that’s where Paul Jacob is fighting to make a difference. But first things first; who is Paul Jacob? To people acquainted with the city, he’s the guy behind the folk artists at the Chennai Sangamam. To those well acquainted with music circles, he’s the founder of Bodhi Muzzik (Remember the Other Festival?) To people immersed in Tamil film trivia, he was the music director of Kizhakku Kadarkarai Salai and
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HUNgARy FOR MORE FOLk? Paul Jacob’s fetish for folk music hasn’t ended with unknown South Indian towns. Seen along with Abhishek, the director of Kathai, the jolly old gypsies in the picture helped with recording parts of the score Kathikappal. To those who only speak music and bands, he’s one hell of a bass guitarist. And if none of the above makes much sense, then he’s the guy in the brightly coloured kurta-shirt at the Alliance Francaise, the next time there’s an interesting concert! Paul is one of those select few people who still believe in the power of the musician as much as the music “Just as the music has its own life, the guy creating it also has his unique touch,” he reasons “Why take it away from him?” He has also thrown much into the promotion of folk artists from unheard of parts of South India. He recognizes that as time goes by, so will a valuable music form pass into ashes and dust. “Its crazy that though they’ve passed on their music from generation to generation, the lure of city life is pulling the kids away and killing the knowledge” he says sadly “I was sampling some stuff in this remote village and the bunch of chaps begun playing a watered down version of some film song when I asked them to play their music.” clear distress signals “And THAT is what cinema has done” he ends. So what’s a man with his disposition dabbling in films for, I wondered aloud. “It all began with Allari in 2003. The director was an ad-maker friend of mine and we did the entire composing in a hotel room in Hyderabad for tax cuts!” he chuckles “I am careful about the story first, the director next and the amount of freedom I’m given,” That explains his
The Score Magazine | Turnaround Tunes
g The Hungarian Heritage House is run by the Hungarian Tourism Ministry. g It is open for all musicians alike as long as they learn sheet music g It has a top-of-the-line studio and performance hall where concerts are staged
choice of films, which haven’t quite made… waves, one may delicately say. “Kathai is going to be a different story altogether,” he says of his latest movie. Anything special, I routinely ventured. “Two of the songs were recorded completely live” The live trip again, I thought. Next. Any interesting singers? ““Well…,” he trailed off smirking ever-so-slightly “There is this one song sung by Shankar Mahadevan” Nice. “and there’s also Naka Muka Chinnaponnu and…,” Ah, and? “Balamurali Krishna” I was impressed but not swayed. Not until he said “All in one song” I shot upright. He put my apprehensions to rest when he explained that the entire song was shot live and appears in the movie as a concert. And no they do NOT sing together; just one after the other. Hallelujah. Something to watch for. But wait, there’s more. Borrowing elements from global music types is one thing, but with Paul it’s on a whole new level. Listening and copying isn’t his thing. So what did he do? Packed his Macintosh PC, collected the Director and flew off to Hungary. Enter the Hungarian Heritage House. A repository of unique European Gypsy performers, the centre also serves as a training and performance space rolled into one. Lapping up as much as he could Paul promises some “exciting new stuff” from Hungary with a lot of verve and a shot of whiskey! He then decided to treat me to a sampling of the tracks composed for Kathai and his next, Katradhu Kalavu. The conversation then meandered to random topics from general genres to Germany, dogs as pets and literary interests from Kurals to the Kama Sutra. As it were, Paul is trying to revive the practice of playing, recording and promoting live music in films. Here’s hoping he makes a difference. After all, in his own words, “It’s what we live for!”
Number of dogs that Paul and his wife have taken in and raise at their place in Pallavaram. Mostly strays, they work with a network of couples across town who are into rehabilitating dogs
Songs in English that Paul has composed over the years but never recorded. Even if a bunch of them have been recorded, releasing them is another game altogether. Soon perhaps!
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The Score Magazine | Classic Connection
Tradition is often confused with something that’s archaic, complex, old fashioned, beyond comprehension of the ‘present’, and definitely something that can be in sync with anything that is modern. Music is no exception. On the one hand, Classical music is often not associated with the masses, making it appear more complex than it actually is. And on the other, music has also unleashed itself from this thought, transcending traditions and reincarnating itself through various new forms. It would not have been possible but for that breed of musicians who have thought beyond the conventional. Rajhesh Vaidhya is one such musician, who has treaded this path, boldly and successfully. And his instrument is the Veena; unarguably, one of the ancient and divine musical instruments that approximates most to the human voice. Rajhesh, has taken this pristine instrument to international music and has become a beacon for future veena aspirants. Rajhesh Vaidhya on his music, performances and his participation in the international project ‘Playing for Change’ Victim of the Veena Music was a household member in our family. So performing music came naturally. When the time came for to me get initiated into music formally, the choice was between the Veena and the Mridangam. My mother decided the former was better for me. Under the tutelage of Sri Chitti Babu, I felt much closer to the Veena and the journey started. Performance Ponderings First, to make my audience enjoy my music, I’ve to enjoy it myself. Then it’s just a question of translating and transforming that feeling to every rasika in the audience. Once I get the pulse of the audience, I plan the rest of the concert accordingly. Starting with Carnatic compositions I move onto devotional music, a few of my own compositions and then wrap it up with film music. Musings of a Musician I’ve always strived to take the Veena to the next level and create a niche for myself. It is considered an instrument which requires a lot of patience, skill and hard work to master, which is why not many youngsters take it up. Also, there is this misconception that this music is predominantly at a slow tempo. S.Balachandar once performed the Raghvamsa Sudha (4.30 minutes in its base tempo) during a recording and just when he realised there was about a minute and a half he played the same song in totality within the same time, without compromising on the quality or the length. I’ve tried defining a wholly different tone for myself. I’ve experimented with a lot of gadgets to bring out that tone. The credit also goes to the team of people who perform with me on stage and my acoustics team, who work on this and travel with me. My team is like my family. Tirade of the Traditionalists There were people who totally dismissed the usage of technology while playing the Veena. Tradition is something that was brought about by people like us, which has been followed for the fact that the idea has withstood time. I hope, down the ages, our ideas could also be termed traditional. Commercial Calling I have performed for a lot of movie songs for various music directors. I’ve also scored the track for various tele-serials. The experience with Iyakkunar Sigaram K.Balachandar was an amazing one. Global Soundscape I once performed with Sir Elton John in Paris for a French ballet. Staying, rehearsing, and performing with him was an unforgettable experience. I’m also part of Bikram Ghosh’s band ‘Rhythmscape’, where I play with top musicians. The latest experience was my participation in the international project ‘Playing for change’,
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which is an international music project, where musicians from all over the world, are recorded in their own country. These tracks are then put together to make them into songs. Playing for Change I’ve done a lot of recordings in Kosmic Studios where my friend Enzo Buono, suggested I record a track for Playing for Change. I’d had no idea about the magnitude of this project or the international reach that it was going to have, when I recorded it. I’ve been featured in two tracks in the album – ‘Dont Worry’ and ‘One Love’; a cover version of Bob Marley’s track. Coming up After a gap of two and half years, I’m recording a fusion album for the Amutham label, which is owned by Smt Sudha Raghunathan. A lot of top musicians have collaborated with me on this and I hope this receives acclaim if not more. Looking Forward I run a music school called ‘Dhwani’, where I teach anybody who has the thirst to learn music. My musical goal as far as my performances are concerned is to make my audiences happy, when they leave the concert hall after my concert.
R.Dis No 339/09
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