Thursday October 22, 2009

Music awareness

Posted by Karthik

I still remember this instance vividly. It was during the times of ‘The World This Week’. The program, on Doordarshan, used to be my window to international news, with the occasional music and movie related news towards the end.

Flying Machine (the clothing brand) ran a contest, in the program, once. It asked viewers to identify the genre of music being played in their ad. It was clearly rap and went something like ,’Fu fu fu fu Flying Machine, yeay that’s my jean’. I still remember this because I chose ‘reggae’ from the 3 options given and sent in my entry. I was later ‘corrected’ by an informed cousin brother, that it was indeed rap. I have been that dumb and ignorant about music.

It was partly due to complete lack of exposure. Here I was…dead curious about every soundtrack/ album launched and I had incredibly limited options to listen to them. I still remember being glued to my radio set trying to listen to those programs hosted by music labels like TIPS, Venus, Weston and T-series. They were the window to new film music to me back in the 90s (I had briefly mentioned this here!) . I remember listening for the first time to the soundtracks of R D Burman’s Aaja Meri Jaan, Jatin Lalit’s Khiladi and even Anand Milind’s Dil. Khiladi, in particular, had a long’ish promo – they played ‘Khudko kya samajti hai’ for about a minute or two and asked the listeners to guess the composer. I really liked what I heard and obviously didn’t know the composer. By the time they announced Jatin Lalit’s name, I was hooked to their music!

A special note here on the way these programs were presented. The programs had interesting names like ‘Weston Sangeet Sarita’, if I recall right, and had crisp, 15 minute programming with generous doses of new music. It was no match for Chitrahaar, since Chitrahaar’s new music was usually a week after the film releases.

For Tamil music, there were even lesser avenues – Ceylon Radio’s evening feed of new music is the only thing I remember desperately waiting for, besides the Tamil equivalent of Chitrahaar, called Oliyum Oliyum, which had the same timing problem – new songs after the film’s release.

We now live in enlightened, exciting times, as far as music is concerned. Music…new music in particular, travels really, really fast these days. But, like the overdose of television channels, we clearly have an overdose of music. It’s good to have so much choice, but it takes out the surprise factor and acts only as a sensory overload. The time spent per song/ music compilation is much lesser now. Hence the need to evolve our music listening preferences too – I don’t know about you, but when I discover a great piece of music after some time of its release, I kick myself hard for not having heard it earlier – Mika’s Love Today and Juggy D’s Akheer are fantastic examples!

Shorter attention spans also give us, sometimes, better power to assimilate and select information, I suppose! From that point of view, I’m happy that Milliblog acts as a source of listenable-music to many…need to be more responsible, with that in mind!

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