Tilak Rishi's weblog

Musings on writing, expression, world politics, journalism, movies, philosophy, life, humour...

My Photo

Tilak Rishi, born in India, has been working as a career corporate executive, after doing his MBA. Passionately pursuing his hobby for writing, he also remained a regular contributor to newspapers in India and the U.S. Many true happenings and characters he came across in life, including interaction with former president Bill Clinton, inspired Paradise Lost and Found, his first novel. A family saga, it starts from Kashmir, when this paradise on earth is lost for the tourists who thronged in thousands every year to enjoy its scenic splendor. Terrorists have turned it into one of the most dangerous places in the world. The family is not only a witness to the loss of this paradise, but also to another tragedy of much bigger magnitude. In the aftermath of the partition of India, along with millions uprooted from their homes in Pakistan, the family leaves behind all that it has in Lahore. Starting from a scratch on the difficult path to progress, it still has many joyful moments when along the way it makes a difference in many a life. The survival-to-success story climaxes in California where the family finds the paradise that was lost in Kashmir.

Monday, August 07, 2006

The Classic Killers

Some 20 years ago, Gulshan Kumar of T-Series pioneered a trend by getting popular songs re-performed by the likes of Kumar Sanu, Abhijeet, Anuradha Podwal and Vandana Bajpai, who were then not established playback singers. The original songs had been pepped up with fast rhythms, though care was taken to keep the original melody intact. But these were essentially version recordings and not the complex procedure of remixing that involves repositioning an old classic song amidst digital drums, synchs, rap sequences and so on. Remix is the blasphemous unorthodox concoction with diverse musical styles that simply murders the melody of the musical masterpiece. The music maestro Naushad Ali rightly called it the daylight robbery of the intellectual property rights as the original creators are not given any credit or royalties for their hard work, talent and goodwill they had earned from the millions of music lovers.

After the astounding success of Bally Sagoo’s remixed version of R. D. Burman’s ‘Chura Liya Hai Tumne’, a spate of remixes appeared on the music charts. Given the rich repertoire of Hindi film music, there have been numerous remixes in India. Classics such as ‘Man Dole’, ‘Dum Maro Dum’, ‘Jhumka Gira Re’, ‘Chura Liya’ have all seen remix versions. Instead of promoting old melodious songs, music companies cashed in on the financial viability of the remix versions. They take hit songs that have succeeded in the past, so the likelihood of them succeeding again is very high. Remix must seem like a perfect formula to earn quick buck. Today the remix industry has become so widespread that any one who may not have any notions about music or the melody remixes almost any old masterpiece. Can one, for instance, imagine ‘Ab Ke Sawan’ with rap sequences for interludes (in Tango)? Doesn’t the electronically manipulated voice of Neha Nagpal get on one’s nerves in her remix version of ‘Man Dole’? Why do we need the music of early icons when all we want to do is to give it a complete makeover that renders it barely recognizable, if not ruins it totally?

One thing good about Indian cinema is that no particular trend, howsoever paying it may be, is allowed to become monotonous. The remixed versions of ‘Kanta Laga’, ‘Meri Beri Ke Ber’, ‘Pardesia’ and ‘Bin Tere Sanam’ may have topped the charts last year, but the sounds of music emanating from music channels and discos now is indicative of a new trend. Originals are back in business with people giving the thumbs down to remix numbers. Albums of individual artistes and original film scores are much in demand. Sales of remixes have hit rock bottom. And original music albums have made a major come back. Singers, are now back to cutting their own albums rather than singing remixes. And they include the remix master Bally Sagoo who is now totally involved with his original music albums. Old classics from the golden decades of 50s-70s are also in demand. Good news for those who have grown up with a reverence for classics - ‘Pirates of the Classics’ are definitely passé.


Post a Comment

<< Home