Tag Archives: Hindi Music

Saaz: Unique Music by Ustad Zakir Hussain

19 Mar

Saaz was a film OST which released around 1995.  It had music by multiple composers like Ustad Zakir Hussain, Raj Kamal and Vanraj Bhatia.  Ustad had composed 3 tracks for this movie and all 3 had a stamp of class written all over them. The other tracks were good too but these 3 were outstanding! The tracks composed by Ustad were:

  1. Kya Tumne Hai-Sung by Kavitha Subramaniam-It starts with beautiful hummings, finger sounds (thats Zakir for you!) with tabla bols and taals.  Besides having a merry tune, the song has great rock guitar pieces and use of multiple voice layerings for Kavithaji’s voice.
  2. Raat Dhalne Lagi-Sung by Kavitha Subramaniam-This song is what I call a vintage song because Ustad uses so many Indian sounds/instruments making it a must-listen.  Sarod is rarely heard in film music and this song has awesome Sarod interludes adding to the melody.
  3. Phir Bhor Bhaee-Sung by Devki Pandit-Another very melodious number based on Raag Bageshri characterized by soothing sitar interludes. Again very PURE Indian music.

I wish Ustad had composed for more Hindi movies, though he has composed for a few movies like Mr & Mrs. Iyer. I think Saaz is Ustad’s best film music album. I searched for this album in many music shops for almost 5 years but in vain. Recently, I found it on the net and had no option but to download it.

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Vishal Bharadwaj—A rare talent

25 Nov

If there is any composer in India who has continuously defied stereotypes it is Vishal Bharadwaj. He made his debut with Maachis in the 90’s and it was a refreshing musical score at a time when Hindi film music was largely sounding like pop music. I loved the sound that Vishal created in Maachis in the songs Chhod Aaye Hum (a song that makes you imagine the mountains) and Chhappa Chhappa (great hilly folk tune) and his choice of singers too was spot-on—Hariharan, Suresh Wadkar, Lata Mangeshkar etc. Since then Vishal has proved that his promising debut was no flash-in-the-pan. Though he composes for only 2-3 movies in a year, you can be sure that most of the songs would be radically different. Be it the frenzied energy in Beedi or the lilting O Saathi Re (both from Omkara) or the boisterous Kash Laga (No Smoking) or the symphonic Aasmaan Chhathri (Blue Umbrella), Vishal has shown his mettle in diverse genres. I hope we get to listen to more wonderful scores from this unsung composer, who definitely deserves more chances than he gets now!

RAFI RESSURECTED

19 Oct

Mohammed Rafi-the phenomenon continues to live among us through his songs. Sonu Nigam, one of his most famous fans (or should I say devotee?) has done an amazing project, which has released quite recently-RAFI RESURRECTED. Basically, Sonu has collaborated with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO) to sing 16 songs of Rafi with a grand orchestral setup.

As expected the result is stupendous! I bought the CD recently & it was worth every penny because:

  1. It contains a booklet (about 30 pages) of rare Rafi photographs & a mini-biography of the legend.
  2. The CBSO has done a marvellous job of exactly replicating the music for most of the songs and the soul of the song has not been tampered with. Its so nice to listen to live instruments especially in today’s age of electronic synth music.
  3. Sonu has sung with his heart-it shows!

For all Rafi fans out there-for lovers of vintage Hindi music, this is a MUST-BUY. Go get your copy-its priceless!! Let us support such projects by buying the original CD’s, that’s the least we can do and spread the word too 🙂

Mohd. Rafi-Legend Beyond Compare

24 Jan
In the 1950’s Hindi music was fortunate to be served by a voice which was sheer magic-the voice of Mohd. Rafi saab. There were many factors which made Rafi saab a legend.

Firstly, he had a voice which was so melodious, which was purely God’s gift to him. Secondly, he was also fortunate to be born in a family which was into music. He was trained by his father or uncle (I am not sure of it) in Hindustani classical music. Owing to this he had a very versatile voice. Whether it was a classical song, a fast song, a romantic song or a sad song, Rafi saab would do absolute justice to it. When he sang, you could feel the emotion so clearly, such was his involvement in the song.

Rafi saab once held the record for the most number of songs sung in Indian Cinema by a male singer (about 25,000!!! ). The greatest quality of Rafi saab which is spoken about even today by his contemporaries like Lataji, Ashaji was his remarkable humility. It seems he has sung many songs even free for producers, who did not have the money to pay him. Such was the magnanimity of the man. The music dirs who utilised his voice brilliantly were Naushad, Roshan, Madan Mohan, O.P. Nayyar and Shankar-Jaikishan. To pick out the best songs of Rafi saab is an impossible exercise because there were too many.

Today’s legendary singers like S.P.Balasubramanian, Yesudas, Sonu Nigam look up to Rafi saab as their eternal inspiration. They have openly declared their respect and love for his voice and songs. Rafi saab passed away in July 1980 but his voice is heard even today if you switch on the radio-it was the golden voice and his time was one of the golden times of Hindi Music. May Rafi saab live in our hearts forever.