Sometimes the muddled mind just needs something to calm its frayed edges. Sometimes stillness is the best response to the cacophonous bubble of - word after word, thought after thought, opinion after opinion, THIS ideology and THAT perspective… and all sorts of linguistic labyrinths. That’s when instrumental music comes to the proverbial rescue. The instrument literally diverts your attention from all the hullabaloo of existential soliloquy and yokes you to this very moment – No reveries, no grudges, no analysis – just plain and simple ‘NOW’. A huge number of people resort to Mozart and Bach and many more illustrious composers, to shove the baloney aside, and pave way for pure relaxation and focus. Well, arriving at the point, this quarantine time can really mess with our heads and enforce us to swim in a pool of conflicted thoughts. Hence, we have chosen some interesting instrumental music that might help you, readers, with silencing the crazy cuckoo residing in the mind. Do hear it out, and tell us if these medicinal compositions managed to allay some of that noise.
Piku Sarod Theme song
Composed by Anupam Roy in 2015 for a movie called Piku, this piece is created on a sarod, played by Prattyush Banerjee. Sarod is this lovely stringed instrument used mainly for Hindustani music and it means ‘song’ or ‘melody’ in Persian. At the risk of sounding a little OTT, this tune actually makes me feel as if there’s a cascade of a waterfall, pouring in all its magnificent glory, within my heart. Also, the word ‘heritage’ conjures up – as if I am at some rustic ancient site, examining the intricate engravings on the stones, gazing in awe, at the partially restored pillars and the timeworn walls. This theme transports me to a different world - a world where art and beauty flow uninhibitedly.
RAIN by Faran Ensemble
A three-player group, ‘Faran Ensemble’ is a super talented band, whose compositions jolt you out of your worldly state and gracefully invite you to tend to the spiritual garden within. The instruments used by the musicians have a classical esoteric feel to it – The Kamancheh, Oud, and the daf – the melange of these three sounds give rise to a sort of aliveness – not the workaday sort of aliveness – but the sort that makes every cell in your body bloom and dance. Rain summons the ‘whirling dervish’ dwelling within all of us. Just the right notes and the wave-like Oud -ish melody are enough to make me ‘let go’.
River flows in you
This piece flows so beautifully – as if it’s meant to be an ode to all healers around the world. Composed by Korean pianist Yiruma, 'River flows in you' feels like an ointment being applied to the wounds, as if a hand appears miraculously just to lessen the painful brunt of the burns we saddle ourselves with.
Hang Massive – The Secret Kissing of the Sun and the Moon
Very contemporary, very new, very modern – an instrument called ‘handpan’ is used to create this soothing composition. Now, this is one hell-of-a swell instrument that is made of two bowls of steel sheets glued with each other and tuned to a musical scale. The soft tone and the composition bring forth a lovely sort of a mood – the sort of mood that makes me hopeful - as if it's a wonderful harbinger of a bright and peaceful future. The ‘secret kissing of the sun and the moon’ is that cool breeze wafting across snow-capped mountains, it’s the cool wind caressing your face. Listen and decide for yourself!
Raag Kamod by Ustad Amjad Ali Khan
Ustad Amjad Ali Khan’s rendition of Raag Kamod flows seamlessly; as if every note is destined to be just where it is. The Padma Vibhushan winner and the sarod seem like one entity, as I get hypnotized by this composition. This piece nudges you to get involved with life, play without any agendas, play without any objectives, just intensely play and dance, and let joy take over.
Ludovico Einaudi – Seven Days Walking – Day 3
Italian pianist and composer Ludovico Einaudi does such a beautiful job with transitions and progressions. There are highs and lows, there are peaks and troughs and at the same time there is an enigmatic stability to this piece. It’s almost like living – the magic in the everyday, the gloom in the everyday, the surreal in the everyday, the anger and passion in the everyday – all of it comes alive in this tapestry of tunes.
Sounds of Isha, Amla
This work of art really made me question myself – is peace really a faraway elusive thing that we try so hard to imbibe, or was it always ever-present and we forgot to pay attention. The vibrations created by the flute, sitar, veena, and tribal drums transport me to an idyllic countryside place. Amla brings about a sense of naturalness and effortlessness.
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