Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The raining grey cloud of music

Lovely, lovely music I am hearing as I blog right now. Now playing - Summertime by Louis Armstrong & Ella Fitzgerald. Love the way the violins flow behind the melody, splattering a canvas containing sparkling stars shining over the white, shiny horse, galloping its way through the night. Aah.. What music can do to me! When I listen to these songs, especially jazz, makes me want to go back to the golden era... where knights in shining armour were clearly visible amongst the dark shades of night and long hours of wait. Love the way people loved in olden times. Just one love for a lifetime. Ain't that really hard in today's time considering the pressure to flaunt your success, fame, achievements, papa-kehte-hain-bada-kaam-karega and what not...

I guess the song just took me to a different world altogether. What I started this post was actually for few interesting notions that came up before me in the recent past. Quite diligently I have noticed the increasing rate of songs that seem to be copied from here and there. This has been happening since many years, but has come to my notice, a lot, in the past couple of months. It is a surprise when you begin to love, accept and spread some amazing taste of music only to learn that it is apparently copied, or rather 'inspired' in the composer's language. No problem. Good music is good music at the end of the day, but don't you think one needs to give at least minuscule share of credits to the original source? I have been noticing the trend in movies too. But let me stick to the topic.

Few months back I had a nice, healthy discussion about the same with a very popular playback singer of south who also very vehemently happened to say that all this doesn't matter at all. He said if it is matter of respect then obviously the inspired ones lose on that hold, but how many of them really want to make music from the soul and all? Everyone apparently wants chart toppers. I don't think that is true. It would be very unfair to generalize them considering the entry of few very talented musicians who concentrate on quality. During school I remember telling my friends about how Pritam's 'Ya Ali' was copied from Guitara as the Arabic track 'Yagali' was the only Arabic song I knew at that time :) But coming to think of it, despite all the controversies and rumours of Guitara suing Pritam had emerged as a cloud of problems, none of it seemed to matter to the public. Well, at least all the school kids would sing that for competitions, functions and every possible place where they could prove their musical talents. Coming to the present there are several composers who have lifted songs from World music genre and have very cleanly put this across to the audience as their own production. As much as I have loved most of these alleged numbers, it pains to see how the credibility from the true composers are just plainly denied, or in other words, ignored. An absolute disappointment! 1. Because composer claimed it to be an original, 2. Because they think we don't have good enough ears to be exposed to such world music classics! With the growing age of the Internet and YouTube, it is a huge treasure palace of wonderful music... and one has to think twice before lifting it. But I wish the composers could mention the inspirational source in their album to at least give a sense of not being totally fooled as a public 

These are all just my personal insights... what about the general public? The ones who slog at work and listen to music in their free time, i.e. probably during gymming, in their iPods... are they concerned? My sister, very buoyantly, happened to be undeterred from listening to such 'inspired' tunes. She says that she likes listening to them while in the car, or while watching TV and it doesn't make a difference as far as it sounds good and belongs to her favourite genre. Would love to know your thoughts and views on this too... not that it is going to change anything... but am quite curious as the more worried I get about carbon copies, the more I'm told not to worry about them at all.. Because it is a passing phase and the world beckons a fleet of soulful music ahead.


P.S. I remember having asked M. Jayachandran, a popular composer down south of what he thinks when his contemporaries indulge themselves into such practices. He gave me an interesting perception - every song made for films from the 40's or before have been linked to some raga or 'route' which lead to ragas that were created for our knowledge by none other than the Trimurthis and the likes. So what the Trimurthis invented can be called original and everything that came after that was evolved from that. Hmmm.. music for thought hah?

9 comments:

drizzling thoughts said...

well I am with you on this. Inspiration is fine. But copying someone else work and getting money and credit for it is disgraceful. Atleast they can dedicate the music from where they took it. Its very shameful when they say its their original work. Hope its a passing phase.. coz we Indians should be a inspiration for others in music instead of the other way around considering our strong music tradition

k.ø.c.h.ü said...

Frankly speaking 'Pritam' is better used as a verb. For example, Deepak Dev probably pritamised LOREENA Mckennit's CARAVANSERAI

Neha Sasikumar said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dad said...

Well written and very true.

srivatsav said...

Dear Neha, this blog of your may be 100% true but you should do all this writing when you are retired from singing..have you noticed any other singer raising such topics? being a budding singer you should be least bothered about all these..please, talk less sing more, being frank and outspoken, you will end up nowhere..

Neha Sasikumar said...

Srivastav - I don't think there are age limits to express one's views. It is time to get past such thinking where we had to 'play safe'. If at 18, we can vote and to choose our govt, at the same time be a tax payer, then why not openly discuss this. Moreover, this post was to get views of the masses on whether they are ok with such practices. If you have a problem with the blog content then we can discuss it.

Anonymous said...

As musicians we play, sing and speak from one heart so our voices, actions and our songs should be sincere and have integrity if we are to remain pure hearted and at ease with our inner core beings . Only then can we create music that genuinely connects with people's hearts rather than just distracts and entertains the soporific mind.

Anoop G said...

Artists should always say their comments fearlessly ! Cool !

*** said...

Interesting thoughts, Neha. Please do take look at this link and its not spam.

www.everythingisaremix.info

It would probably give you a different perspective.

Great work with Outcast Vocals by the way!