Om Namah Shivaya

Om Namah Shivaya

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Aug 29, 2013

MUSIC: A beautiful blend of traditional and contemporary songs - Coke Studio @ MTV Season 3


Music has a great effect on us, it has the power to move us to the higher state of living from the point of just 'living'. Our ancient sages has been aware of this effect of music, sound vibrations and chanting etc. so ensured that we are in touch with music in our lives through various rituals, customs and samskara. Hence most of our ancient and vedic knowledge is bound in the various forms of music, mantra chanting or plain vibrations of sound. 

In recent times, one of the great psychologist A H Maslow, said in his lovely book, "Farther Reaches of Human Nature" ...

"It happens that that music and rhythm and dancing are excellent ways of moving towards the discovering of identity. We are built in such a fashion that this kind of trigger, this kind of stimulation, tends to do all kinds of things to our autonomic nervous systems, endocrine glands, to our feelings, and to our emotions." - A H Maslow (To read more from the book, click here...

I recently came across some of the collaborative songs of Indian masters, singers and music composure's from Coke Studio @ MTV Season 3, which touched me deeply for the quality of fusion of various forms of music and style... so thought of bring it to my friends. I hope you will like them.

Durga Strotra and Bulleh Shah's love song

This song celebrates one of India's Greatest mythological Super Heroes -- Durga in the form Mahishasura Mardini. The traditional prayer -- Mahishasura Mardini Stotram celebrating Shakti leads to Bulleh Shah's epic love kalaam re-rendered in an intense progressive rock groove. The amalgamation of two unique & powerful voices in Aruna Sairam & Sona Mohapatra, creates a completely unique soundscape and elevates this stunning production by Ram Sampath. (Video and Text curtsy Coke Studio)

The Durga Strotra is a powerful Mantra of Goddess Durga which is so beautifully sung by one of the great religious singer that it gave me a feeling of deep trance. The Bulleh Shah's sufi songs have always amazed me for their simplicity and power of love. 
"Kattey" by folk singer Bhanvari Devi and Rapper Hard Kaur

One of the most interesting collaborations to ever come up on Coke Studio @ MTV, is this crazy mix-up of two completely different worlds -- Bhanvari Devi's traditional, power house Rajasthani vocals, fuses with Hard Kaur's scorching rap on her personal life journey displaying her genuine rapping skills. The end product is a burst of energy, unlike anything you've heard before. Two outlaws from two different universes come together in this Ram Sampath song to celebrate freedom, rebellion & belonging ((Video and Text curtsy Coke Studio)

It was really interesting to see a totally a different style of singing of the two collaborating singers so beautifully blended by Ram Sampath, to create ecstatic celebration of music and sound. Hard Kaur and Bhanvari could not have been more different in personal level too.  In the whole song, you don't even see Bhanvari Devi's face as she sings behind traditional Gunghat, (i.e saree covering her head and full face as a veil), while on the other side, Hard Kaur is dressed casually, but the energy and earthly sensuality that they bring to the collaboration together, is heavenly.

"Aao Balma" by A.R Rahman and Padmabhushan Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Khan

This composition by A.R Rahman is 'legendary' in more than one way -- the composition is a masterclass in fusing the traditional power of Hindustani classical vocals, with Carnatic scales few have mastered. For this, it brings together the beautiful voice of Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Khan, accompanied by his sons and grandson; with the guitar genius of Prasanna trading blows with Sivamani's explosive percussion. This one will literally blow you away! (Video and Text curtsy Coke Studio)

This song took me totally by surprise in more ways than one... The starting rendition by grand son of Padma Shri Ghulam Mustafa Khan then the Jugalbandi i.e. Jamming with Karnatic Guitar play by Prasanna and our own amazing Chennai drummer Shivamani versatile style of beats. The beautiful composition done by Mozart of Madras - Oscar winner A R Rahman is amazing. The joy on his face said it all.

Zariya – by AR Rahman with Nepalese Buddhist Nun Ani Choying and Jordanian Singer Farah Siraj

Giving a whole new spin to the term 'world music' -- A.R.Rahman spins his magic on an absolute scorcher, featuring Jordanian singer --Farah Siraj along with Nepalese Buddhist Nun Ani Choying. With the traditional Nepalese Buddhist hymn forming the base of the song, layered with a traditional Jordanian melody, and bridged seamlessly with composition written by A.R.Rahman, this song truly brings together diverse cultures and musical genres.

Everything from the background vocals to Sivamani's percussion takes a big leap across musical styles and creates a storm of inspired rhythms, to give this track that extra flavour. Completely based around the theme of motherhood, compassion & ultimately happiness, this is the very first track of what promises to be an unforgettable Season 3 of Coke Studio @ MTV!

I am loving this session on Coke Studio and looking forward for more.

नमः शिवाय
Om Namah Shivaya

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Benjamin Zander
ON Classic Music and why you should listen to it

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