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A musical ode to Faiz’s solely poem on Partition 

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Amira and Vasundhara discover Faiz Ahmad Faiz’s poem ‘Subh-e-Azadi’ in a sonic panorama of conventional ragas and electronically modified sounds

Amira and Vasundhara discover Faiz Ahmad Faiz’s poem ‘Subh-e-Azadi’ in a sonic panorama of conventional ragas and electronically modified sounds

Musicians Amira Gill (25) from Delhi and Seattle-based Vasundhara Gupta (27) are voicing the verses that construct a haunting narrative of Partition. Their composition, the eponymous rendition of legendary poet Faiz Ahmad Faiz’s iconic poem ‘Subh-e-Azadi’, is the theme tune of Little one of Empire, an animated, VR (Digital Actuality) docu-drama. The movie, produced by Challenge Dastaan, a peace-building initiative, which reconnects Partition refugees with their childhood houses in VR, and Anzu Movies, premiered in January on the Sundance Movie Pageant 2022. Launched on all music-streaming platforms on August 26, the tune explores Faiz’s poetry in a sonic panorama that traverses conventional ragas and layers of electronically modified sounds.

The movie’s scriptwriter, Omi Zola, had approached Amira final 12 months to work on its music rating. She lapped up the chance and roped in Vasundhara, who she had first met at Berklee Faculty of Music (Boston) in 2015. The duo has collaborated earlier than for 2 experimental initiatives: a spoken-word ambient piece for the 2021 album referred to as Manam and Delhi-based artwork gallery Nature Morte’s Artsounds in 2020. “We began engaged on the movie’s rating by mid-August final 12 months. Often, the rating of the movie is written as soon as it’s locked, however due to time constraint, we wrote it whereas the movie was nonetheless being made. The theme tune was commissioned to us in October and we took three weeks to finish it,” says Vasundhara.

The tune produced by Vasundhara, and blended by music composer Ishaan Chhabra, options Chennai-based percussionist Praveen Sparsh and Japanese sarangi participant Yuji Nakagawa. It’s layered with over 15 percussion devices — kanjira, pakhawaj, dholak, udu, mridangam, taiko, djembe and pandero to call a number of — that mix with the melodic timbres of sarangi and Amira’s vocals. “I had written the sarangi interludes and recorded them for Yuji. For Praveen, I laid out slightly rhythm belt, utilizing digital parts in percussion with kanjira, a bell and a duff. That was my first layer. I despatched it to him and he obtained again to me with a lot extra that match the tune,” says Vasundhara. Between a number of Zoom calls and analysis on the poem, the duo had no references for composing the tune. “After we began writing the tune, there was no different rendition of the poem. Initially, we considered composing it in Raag Bhairav, however later we simply stopped pondering of the raga and targeted on the emotion and temper of the tune. We laid out an emotional chart,” shares Vasundhara.

 The duo wished the tune’s intro to emote the mysterious, darkish and tragic opening line ‘yeh daag daag ujaala, yeh shab gazidaa seher’ (this mild, smeared and noticed; this night time‐bitten daybreak), and moved in direction of the top of the poem with a sense of hopefulness resounded within the final line ‘chale chalo ki abhi wo manzil nahi aayi’ (preserve strolling, for we’re but to achieve our vacation spot). “The intro is minor; the outro is extra of a serious melody, sonically talking. The ragas used are Puriyadhanashree and Yaman,” provides Vasundhara, who organized the tune utilizing softwares like Ableton stay.

 One of many greatest challenges for the duo was to unpack the tune lyrically and prepare it in a rhythmic sample. Amira says the poem was written as a journey; an urdu nazm, not a tune. “There was neither an apparent rhyme scheme nor a decipherable construction that would match inside the context of a tune. Additionally, we have been requested to maintain it beneath 5 minutes,” she says. The 2 don’t converse Urdu. To get the pronunciation proper, they heard many YouTube recordings of the poem and reached out to Urdu audio system. “Then we picked the traces we wished to maintain, organized them into sections, and stuck the rhythmic sample. We additionally ran this by Faiz Sahab’s eldest daughter Salima Hashmi ji as a result of we didn’t need to offend anybody for altering the poem,” says Amira.

The tune has been produced with help from the Faiz Basis and Salima. “When she heard the tune, she mentioned it was fashionable but highly effective, however most of all she was elated about the truth that folks from our technology have been referring to Faiz’s poetry and this one occurs to be the prolific author’s solely poem on Partition,” Amira provides.

By- The Hindu

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