Showing posts from April, 2009

Bollywood Whirls To Sufi Music

Lately, either Bollywood (India's equivalent of Hollywood) increasingly seems to be entranced by sufi music or I've been noticing it a lot more due my growing interest in the sufi music genre. When a friend recently asked me to come up with a list of sufi songs featured in Bollywood movies, I figured it was a perfect idea for a blog post. Of course, sufi music has been far too prevalent in Bollywood for me to attempt a comprehensive listing. What follows then is a representative list that also calls out some of my favorite songs, singers, and composers. But before we begin let's briefly describe what defines the sufi genre of music. Sufism is a mystical tradition within Islam wherein there is a heavy emphasis on having the practitioner sing and dance (whirl) with extreme soul and passion in order to express love for Allah or God. It is no wonder that sufi songs evoke such a positive response from the audience. Note that whereas the qawwali (group) form of sufi music has be…

Are You A True Geek?

I highly recommend this fascinating list of 64 Things Every Geek Should Know by Blair Mathis. The article is an invaluable potpourri of the state-of-the-art in geekdom and a great reference to turn to in your moment of need.

Wish to recover data from a crashed disk drive?

Want to setup your home network so that you can connect from the office to grab a key document?

Need to digitize your old cassette tapes?

Looking for a new and interesting geek project?

An Insatiable Appetite For Rahman

It is true. I suffer from Rahmania -- an insatiable appetite for the music of AR Rahman. However, analyzed closely, it's merely a hunger for good music. And this longing for transformative music has, of course, led me to explore not only anything and everything put out by Rahman but to also to acquaint myself with his predecessors and potential successors. My search culminated with the discovery of two excellent pieces on Rahman. The first article is AR Rahman: The Road to the Oscars by Baradwaj Rangan, written for a forthcoming issue of the Rolling Stone magazine's Indian edition (launched in February 2008). This is a golden piece that could only have been written someone who has been living and breathing Rahman for much of the past two decades or so since Rahman burst onto the scene with his revolutionary score for the movie Roja (1992). Rangan offers juicy, must-read vignettes of Rahman's major musical milestones. The very well informed comments that follow the long pie…

Amit Trivedi Is Not Rahman

Comparisons are always unfair. Sachin Tendulkar isn't Sunil Gavaskar or Donald Bradman. Abhay Deol isn't Amitabh Bachchan or Shah Rukh Khan. And, you guessed it, Amit Trivedi, the up and coming music director who has given us memorable soundtracks for Aamir and Dev D, isn't Rahman. However, Trivedi is a rising star on the Bollywood music direction scene. He possesses an unusual talent for raw rhythm and excels at bass lines and percussion. For example, the opening of Chakkar Ghumyo (Aamir) is both inventive and raw. He also borrows creatively from Western influences. For instance, Phas Gaya (Never Mind) reminds me unmistakably of Jamiroquai. Here again, similarly to the opening for Chakkar, Trivedi employs verbal percussion very effectively. He experiments successfully with various genres, e.g. rock on Nayan Tarse (complete with guitar feedback) and Emosanal Attyachaar (Rock Version) and rap on Pardesi. Also worth noting is the use of sampling, e.g. on Nayan Tarse. To me, …