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Happy music

NEETI SARKAR
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PEOPLE Music steeped in rhythm and free of electronics is on offer, courtesy Ranjit Barot's new show

Drumming up a new frenzy There is always an audience for good music, says Ranjit Barot Photo: V. Sreenivasa Murthy
Drumming up a new frenzy There is always an audience for good music, says Ranjit Barot Photo: V. Sreenivasa Murthy

S teering away from the run-of-the-mill music programmes on television is Micromax MTV Unplugged. The Indian version of MTV's acclaimed international property, based on acoustic music, it features established, as well as upcoming musical talents like Indian Ocean, Rabbi Shergill, Rekha Bhardwaj, Mohit Chauhan, Susheela Raman, Advaita, Euphoria, Javed Ali, Shilpa Rao, and many more.

The show, which premiered on October 1, has been produced and arranged by musician extraordinaire, Ranjit Barot. He was responsible for deciding the use of some unique instruments that were specially used to transcend the whole musical experience. These included the Japanese taiko drum, the didgeridoo used by natives of Australia, along with Indian instruments like the tutari, nad, kartal, esraj, manjira and many more.

In a telephonic interview, Ranjit says: “We've been getting a phenomenal response from the viewers. Unadulterated music is when it is acoustic, pure and soulful; no remixes, and no electrics. The artistes, the songs, the setting and even the instruments have been carefully handpicked to give a rich musical experience and people are taking to this concept.”

But, for a generation that fancies loud and heavy music, are there many takers for acoustic music shows?

“The music is acoustic but not necessarily soft,” Ranjit clarifies, adding: “Ours is a nation that is fond of rhythm and rhythm is the backbone of the music we listen to. So electronics or not, there will always be an audience for good music.”

The film score composer, music director, music arranger and singer has been a long time associate of A. R. Rahman and has done music arrangements for him in many of his works. “Life is a journey and with each project I work on, there's something new I learn. Being creative people, it is important to widen our horizons and take in new knowledge. So many people we work with inspire us. There's really no dearth to talent,” the music producer believes.

His journey in this industry started a good three decades ago and Ranjit has been a featured drummer and arranger for industry giants such as R.D. Burman, Laxmikant-Pyarelal, Kalyanji-Anandji, continuing through the eras of Anu Malik and Ismail Durbar to even the present-day musicians.

Ask him what it's like working with new-age artistes as compared to the musical geniuses of yesteryear and Ranjit says: “Every experience is great. Since we're all musicians, there is reciprocal respect and love among us and very rarely do ego hassles come in the way of two professionals.”

As a background music composer, Ranjit has been a part of movies like “Aks”, “Dus”, “Main Hoon Naa”, “Cash”, “Tashan”, and more recently, the much-acclaimed “Shaitan”. And while the music connoisseur enjoys his Bollywood projects, he points out as he concludes: “There are so many parameters within which a music director of a film needs to work. He's got to imbibe the director's vision so he gives the job what is required of him. Doing an out and out music show sets no boundaries for us. It's all about making music that makes us happy.”

NEETI SARKAR

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