Thiruvananthapuram

A German song by these Malayali sisters garners praise from... Germans

Aanya Mohan and Arunitha Mohan with Syed Ibrahim, Head of Goethe Zentrum Trivandrum.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

 

Aanya Mohan and her sister Arunitha Mohan from Thiruvananthapuram hardly knew even a word of German till a few months ago. Now, 16-year old Aanya has composed a song in the language, which Arunitha has rendered with a diction comparable to that of a native German speaker.

The song, 'Widmung', was recently premiered by the Goethe-Zentrum Trivandrum on YouTube, garnering praise from quite a few Germans.

 

It all began with Syed Ibrahim, Honorary Consul of the Federal Republic of Germany for Kerala and the head of Goethe-Zentrum Trivandrum, penning the number during the COVID-19 lockdown. With the Zentrum's primary objective of promoting intercultural relations between Germany and Kerala in kind, he went looking for young artistes who could compose the song. That was when he came across Aanya and Arunitha, who had already uploaded a few of their works online under the band name 'Pinky Panther'.

On universal love

"Though he asked us to make a song out of this, we did not have any idea of the German language or its pronunciation. He translated each of the lines and conveyed what he meant by the track, based on which I composed the tune. The entire composition took more than a week. It is a song on universal love. Me and my sister, who is currently pursuing her MA in Veena from the Swathi Thirunal Music College, have earlier done a few songs together," says Aanya, a plus one student at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan.

Mr. Ibrahim says that one of the key contributions came from Walter J. Lindner, the German Ambassador to India and an accomplished musician himself, with five albums under his belt.

"When Mr. Lindner visited Thiruvananthapuram in March, he happened to listen to rough cuts of the song. He suggested a change in the lyrics, to make it more contemporary. He also suggested changes in the pronunciations. He said that when native speakers listen to the song, he or she should not get a feeling that this was sung by someone who doesn't know German. It took 16 recordings to get it all right. We also did not use any digital music as we did not want to replace any instrumentalist," says Mr.Ibrahim.

Music video

Vishnu. C.V played the guitars, Binny Issac the bass and Jophy Chirayath the drums. To create the music video, Aanya and Arunitha's father, Bobby Mohan, roped in Salman Fariz Navas, a friend in Germany, to shoot footages from Berlin, which he later edited to fit the song.

To mark World Music Day, the German Ambassador shared the song on his Twitter handle on Monday morning with the comment: “a nice Berlin summer song to mark this music day.”


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Printable version | Jul 28, 2021 1:09:11 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Thiruvananthapuram/a-german-song-by-these-malayali-sisters-garners-praise-from-germans/article34877388.ece

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