Being one of the few descendants of the BEAT generation, it is our regular duty to know that politics can be nothing but the ceaseless pursuit of power, and as the Jack of All Trades, it is a necessity for us to interfere and interrupt and disrupt that ceaseless pursuit of power. Yet, at night when the fog sets in and we no more have to bother ourselves with everything that has gone wrong with the world and its leaders, a little grass and some good music brings us back where we had begun-it brings us back to the heart.
On a few such nights, we often listen to Tushar Lall and his cover of a few famous songs. I know it does not sound to be anything different than the usual amateur artists who all suddenly are deemed with the idea to produce all that sells, and not really work their minds towards something else. However, Tushar Lall was different. He had something to offer. He managed to pull the strings together between the contemporary western composers and the classical Indian instruments.
“Indian Jam Project is a platform to depict Indian instruments in a light which is approachable for everyone. The aim is to show people that Indian instruments are versatile and powerful to play anything.”
Tushar Lall, along with several other artists, gives a different perspective to the background scores of Hollywood films. Although the music might predominantly sound like an Indian version of the western notes, yet the musicians take up the task upon them to highlight the instruments and give their listeners a chance to decipher as to how the instrument is being played and not who is playing it.
“The priority here is the Indian classical instrument, I keep switching the musicians so that everyone can show a different flavor…people should be fascinated by how a sitar is being played rather than who is playing it.”
Tushar Lall interprets the music that he listens to in his own way, and it worth the attention. For an instance, when covering Titanic’s theme song, there was a sudden drift to the Irish band The Corrs’ instrumental Toss the Feather. The transitions in the song are extremely well maintained and smoothly merges one note with the other.
Give it a listen here:
Radiohead, Hans Zimmer, Ustad Zakhir Hussain, Ustad Bismillah Khan, are the few musicians who have inspired Tushar, “it’s mostly a Hollywood score or an Indian classical, I keep switching between these two.”
With Bollywood eating away almost half the audience in the contemporary India, it is quite difficult for the independent musicians to put out their music out their larger platform. However, the audience, especially the youth today, is gradually taking a turn towards independent music.
“I think it’s changing now, but very slowly. People have started listening to a lot of new bands. I think I would love to be a part of that change even if it’s happening slowly.” And Tushar also believes that, no matter how gradually, this audience will stand the test of time.
“I think the audience is always your supporter and they will always be important. I think time won’t be a factor.”
A musician has always played an important role in the social fabric, exactly from the times when the wandering nomads would sing about an invisible Spirit till the modern time when music is simply not a passion but a way of life. Tushar Lall believes that a musician can induce some sort of positivity in the mind of the people.
Tushar Lall is on his way to orchestrating Indian classical instruments, like the hundred artists out there who are trying to hold on to what actually belongs to us. I don’t know if it is a sad situation for the present Indian society or a bravery on the part of those who are trying to safeguard that which already has been there. However, what I can say is that when I listen to the flute or the tabla or the sitar a sense of belonging attaches itself to it. Tushar Lall churns your emotion with the instruments making us realize that we are too busy longing for the outside when home itself has a lot to offer.