When a clavioline set the tone for their journey

Striking a chord: A music buff greets composer Anandji while he walks to the Press Club in Kozhikode on Saturday.

Striking a chord: A music buff greets composer Anandji while he walks to the Press Club in Kozhikode on Saturday.   | Photo Credit: S_RAMESHKURUP


Composer Anandji on Bollywood days and changes in the industry

It was just another business investment for Virji Shah, a grain merchant from Kutch in Gujarat settled in then Bombay, when he bought clavioline, an electronic keyboard worth ₹3,000 for his musician son Kalyanji.

“If I open a shop for you, I may need to invest that much money. Let’s see how it goes,” he had told Kalyanji. The instrument was used to create the sound of a snakecharmer’s been for the movie Nagpanchami in the early 50s. “It was later used for most of the songs in the 1954 flick Nagin. Songs such as Man dole mera tan dole became huge hits. The rest, as they, is history,” said Anandji, his younger brother, teaming up with whom the late Kalyanji scored evergreen classics in Bollywood for the next four decades. Anandji was in Kozhikode to attend a musical programme featuring the duo’s songs on Saturday.

Asked how hard was it to establish themselves in an industry dominated by legends such as Sachin Dev Burman, Noushad, Hemant Kumar, and Ravi, Anandji said that they did not have any goal to make it big. “We went to the film industry to pursue music as a hobby… But you need to have some natural gift in you to become successful. Just learning on the job will not only do,” he said at a meet-the-press programme at the Calicut Press Club.

Anandji said new directors found it easy to gel with them. “We used to help them visualise what kind of song they wanted to film. We used to ask them the mood, who is singing it, etc., to make it perfect,” he said.

The brothers did around 250 movies from 1958 till the 90s. It was they who introduced new talents such as Kumar Sanu, Udit Narayan, Alka Yagnik and Sadhana Sargam to Bollywood. “After Oye oye type of songs started becoming popular, my brother Kalyanji said it is not necessary to score music any more. We started teaching music,” said Anandji.

He is not quite happy with the new method of recording either. “Meri desh ki dharti in Manoj Kumar movie Upkaar took 14 hours to record. Today, technology has helped record songs very fast,” he said.

Anandji pointed out, however, that he got confused with the recording process at present as different musical instruments are played at different times and mixed together later. “Some people say it is for clarity. What clarity I don’t understand. The song also sometimes loses its soul,” he said. “There used to be many instruments playing at the same time earlier. We could hear the whole song in totality then,” he says before signing off.

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Printable version | Dec 12, 2019 4:13:01 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/when-a-clavioline-set-the-tone-for-their-journey/article30126453.ece

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