For the past few days, I have been thinking of a variety of topics to write about. But nothing really pushed me to start typing. Not even when I thought of Greg Chappell and Indian Cricket or the Sushi & Fruit Muesli that I made over the weekend or for that matter music in general. So this may just end up being a collection of random anecdotes or an assortment of “I’d never know what!”
I had a dream the other night. It is often an arduous exercise to try to interpret, decode and analyze your dreams. The futility of such a journey, if I ever embark on it, is very lucent to me and hence I avoid such journeys, if I ever run into a needy situation just like the other night. This former colleague of mine is a college buddy of the current Mayor of Detroit. Needless to say, during the 10 months or so I worked with this friend, I had heard numerous stories about their college football days. With Kwame getting ready for his reelection now, my dream definitely had a mystic connection. Here goes the dream or the gist of it – There was a press conference organized by the Kwame clan to build or repair his image and to project the positive man, they all want us to know him as. So there were people talking one after the other about how they know the mayor (the relationship) and what kind of a great, simple and a devoted man he is. Mostly family and friends, this crowd was. I do not have the faintest clue why I was attending that press conference or if I was watching it on TV (remember the journey I would never take?). But I suddenly saw my friend taking a seat in front of the microphone with all cameras flashing. He went on and on for the next few minutes on the mayor. He elucidated the qualities that make Kwame the champion. I do not remember if I got to see the entire conference but there is a vague and a hazy remembrance of some commotion at the end of it all.
The next time I talk to my friend, I may have to ask him if he really believed in what he said. Well on the other hand, he may never know what he said.
Have you ever been Deep Forested? Eric Mouquet and Michel Sanchez, the sound duo from Northern France (don’t ask me where in France. I have not read their biographies yet), came together to create a unique collection of sounds from all around the world. Their music is not just the song music that most of us are used to. They have managed to create a new genre of music – if I can call it the “World Sound Music”. These are sounds of all forms of expression from corners of the world which we have just read about. Joy, Anger, Passion, Worship, Laughter, Cry, etc. – they all blend together with some marvelous melody and rhythm these guys create with some exotic (and sometimes eerie) sounds from native instruments. The result is always mesmerizing. I think I listened to them for the first time in 1998 (they have been around as Deep Forest since 1994) and the first album I listened to was “Comprasa”. That was the time I was dabbling with my rudimentary, 4 track cassette based studio set up. I was attracted to some sound samples they had used in “Forest Power” and needless to say I copied them for a rather ridiculous reggae number I had composed. When I listen to my grody number now, the Deep Forest chant that I copied is the only 10 seconds in the song that pop my ears open. I have been listening to their “Made in Japan” and “Boheme”, the last couple of days. The simple fact that I am writing about them should tell you how fascinated I am with their music. If you can, try listening to their samples in amazon.com or some place.
One good movie that I need to write about is “Morning Raga”. Not sure how realistic of a story that is but a very well conceived and executed script was what made the movie enjoyable. I liked the movie for its attempt to fuse different societies that exist in India through music, thus creating a platform for delivering an honest story with fusion music as the backdrop. Shabana Azmi is brilliant and the rest of the cast may not score as high as far as its acting goes, but it deserves a pat on the back for giving some tenacious and uncompromising support to the script. If you have heard of Mahesh Dattani then you may agree with me that he is probably India’s answer to erudite playwriting. He has a good vision of his script and his execution matches his vision. I think this was his directorial debut and I should say he did alright. Mani Sharma, of whose music I have had an unfair presumption (obviously not a good one), scored high in my books with his radiant fusion music, although I must admit, many musicians have created many memorable tracks in the Carnatic-Western fusion format and what Mani has done is not necessarily pioneering. Nevertheless, the choice of singers and accompanying musicians has been excellent and thus the end product too.
I want to continue my movie rambling but too much of my memory dump may mean I would hit a slump again. I am going to hit “Save”.