Music

'It’s a Long Way' is my tribute to AR Rahman, says Yash Pathak

‘It’s a Long Way’ sort of symbolises the journey of Yash Pathak, who has travelled ever since he set foot into AR Rahman’s KM Music Conservatory. “It is a song written by Ashwin V and I have composed a lilting ballad sung by Stevie Joe. This is my tribute to KMMC and my experience working with Rahman,” says Yash, who continues his association by becoming a faculty at KMMC. “I teach music theory, analysis and pastiche. At every instance, Rahman encourages you to look beyond the normal and explore the universe,” he says.

Creative freedom

Any long-term association with the Academy Award-winning composer is a journey in self-discovery and creativity. Using his creative freedom and exposure to the technology available at KMMC, Yash wanted to compose and produce an indie music video. “With ARR’s blessing, I set about this task with focused energy. The story is about a struggling photographer who finds it difficult to satisfy his boss. At one point, he shoots some random photos that actually catch the attention of his boss, who’s a Britisher (played by Lisa). The song, ‘It’s a Long Way’, basically means that it takes hard work and perseverance to succeed in life,” says Yash, about the number that features a video directed by Prabu Vasukumar.

Experiments with sound

Yash has been part of Rahman’s concerts and recordings. He feels that his understanding of modern music, mixed with traditional classical sounds, has helped him collaborate with a path-breaker like ARR. “During his (Rahman) recent Sufi concerts in Delhi and Mumbai, I was playing the dholak and native instruments on Maschine Studio, a sound-triggering machine. The uniqueness of Rahman is that, even for a Sufi concert, where the basic instruments are usually harmonium and tabla, he adds a different dimension to percussion, thereby creating a full-body experience. Besides my performance, Sivamani was present with his percussion instruments,” says Yash, who loves to experiment with many instruments.

Being a percussionist, playing the drums and tabla gave Yash a sense of rhythm, which he put to good use to sample various sounds. “I play jal tarang quite well and I sampled sounds for Roli,” he says.

In the recently-released Harmony on Amazon Prime, Rahman has created a ‘Coke Studio’ kind of an atmosphere that features as many as 16 chorus singers, 12 folk players and four mizhavu players from Kerala. “The concept is to highlight and preserve folk music, musicians and folk instruments,” he says, adding, “In this series, I have played taikos and bells.”

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Printable version | Apr 18, 2021 6:22:59 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/music/yash-pathak-interview/article25320522.ece

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