Sunday, May 02, 2010

Yeh khazanein

Still stuck on Mae ni mai kinnu aakhan. I blogged about it last week, and spent a goodish time listening to various versions on the glorious youtube, the ever-expanding internet. And look what I found! Atif Aslam again with an 8½-min version - a soulful, innovative, just-right fusion version - of the song:

But the find was a small tell-tale string that drew up a treasure. As you'll see, it's a studio recording, and fabulously produced. The recording is superb, the lighting is wonderful, the shots are delicious and if the camera is obsessed with Atif Aslam's slender hands, who can blame it? It didn't seem random. Who had produced this? Was this a music label with a repertoire of sufi fusion? Was this clip made for a music video?

The productions are from Pakistan, from a series of live music recordings from a house called Coke Studio. Produced by Coca Cola and musician Rohail Hyatt, these are not music videos but in fact made for television. I have, of late, been so traumatised by what passes for music on mainstream Indian television, it took me a while to understand that that such music was produced and aired for consumption by mass audiences. Also, immensely gratifying to know it's all up there on youtube in high quality and there is PLENTY of it.
Here's the wiki page for Coke Studio, here is their website and here is the wiki entry for Rohail Hyatt.

Now, I'm not asking for an Indian version - I can't think of an Indian producer who could combine these production values with such a sense of music; I can't think of an Indian channel that would consider such a project worth their effort, or not cheapen pure music with cheerleaders, hooting audiences, large stadium-stages and festoons of pompoms.
But can't the Coke Studio performances be aired here? I was embarassed to discover this late a project that aired first in 2008. Anyway, yay for this world without borders and thanks to Coke Studio for allowing the recordings to stay in the public domain, letting them be accessed.

Before I go, another sampler. Ali Zafar and Tufail Ahmed sing Allah Hu:


Sunshine said...

Bravo!! Glad to find another soul who accidentally discovered Coke studio one fine day like I did. Here's what I wrote about it :)

Sheetal said...

Sunshine, thanks for pointing me to your post. You put it very well: recordings like these capture music of course, but also artists "in the throes of performing pleasure". Not just song but elusive moments of pure feeling.
Like you, I'm dying to see it done in India. But perhaps it needs someone like Hyatt to propel it - mere infrastructure doesn't do it; it needs inspiration.

Sunshine said...

:) glad you liked it. and i agree with you. we do need somebody inspired and sadly, music is so taken over by bollywood and television is so taken over by the rakhi sawants and mahajans of the world, that i dont know whether it will ever happen.. but then my cable operator shows a single pakistani channel (ary musik) where i caught season 2 in peace. and since coke studio is aired at the same time in all pakistani channels (again, a concept that i really like.. when was the last time something musical was aired in all indian channels at the same time?) u might find one too! watch out for season 3.. it is rumoured to be starting sometime in july-aug and shhh.. inside info hehe, it is said to feature abida parveen as well, amongst many others.

soreee for the loong comment. and glad to have passed by here.

Sheetal said...

Ooh really! So I just need to find one (in fact, any) Pakistani channel and season 3 is within grasp! thanks very much for insider tip :) thrilling stuff. I wish Nusrat was alive :-/ - how great that would have been! but never mind, I will dream of fusion involving manganiyars, maybe baul.. no, not baul.. well, many things.
Reading more of your blog, Rashmi, and loving it :)

Sunshine said...

:) this is turning into a chat and an enjoyable one at that :P yep. nusrat is sorely missed. he would have been majestic in there! have you heard the band'kaavish'? they are also going to be there.. hopefully.. check out their new album gunkali.. i have this strong instinct that you will fall in love with them as well ;)and while I am at it, check out the album Saptak from Mekal Hasan Band.

P.S. tks for appreciation. maybe we could FB each other? I am Rashmi Vasudeva on fb (lol, am sure you have realised that's my name from my website..nevertheless..)

Sheetal said...

Thanks for all the leads. that's plenty of material stored up, yippie.
Seeya on FB.

Silpa Swarnapuri said...

Lovely LOVELY!

Sheetal said...

Silpa: I thought you'd like it :)
Don't wear yourself out studying, good luck with egjams.

Anonymous said...

this is sooo cool.