With musical talent or technological expertise or both, 200-something youngsters are working overtime at a dazzling studio in Film City to whip up, what appears at this point of time, a musical storm!
Be ready to be swept off your feet by this musical hurricane as season II of Coke Studio@MTV this July promises pure innovation.
Our correspondent, who tuned in to rehearsals, re-rehearsals and final recordings of 40 original songs - to be featured in Coke Studio's upcoming season - held recently in Mumbai, recreates the sound of music.
Inside the studio at Film City in Goregaon, lights are blinding but every dexterous hand plays its role with precision, each task is defined and the timing is perfect. Every sound - low and high, every note - soft and pitched - is tuned with hi-tech software to amplify the soul of the song - Piya Tore Kaaran. Three girls are singing this Karsh Kale composition.
The seven-odd-minute composition is rehearsed several times; it is recorded finally. The song has a striking prominence of ragas charukeshi and bihaag. Mind-stirring!
Likewise, another composition by Karsh and Saleem Merchant - Gori Tere Nain, Kajar Bin Kale - is laden with heavy rock beats but the lead instrument - sarangi - being played by Sabir Sultan Khan, does magic with its focal notes of raga kirwani. Sarangi maestro Sultan Khan, father of Sabir, originally composed this composition.
And, this is the spell created by just two compositions; there is a repertoire of forty!
Various artistes, one passion
From different genres they are all here to collaborate and create "original'' music while staying true to the core idea of fusion music project. The compositions aim to see independent, classical, folk and popular artistes combine their creative energies in live performances.
Season II performers include Master Saleem and Kaushiki Chakrabarty (seasoned vocalists), Karsh Kale, Amit Trivedi, Hitesh Sonik and Shantanu Moitra (composers) and Piyush Mishra (known for his versatility in acting and theatre music).
Watch out for Chandigarh-based duo Hari & Sukhmani who will fuse Punjabi folk with ambient electronic. While Sukhmani is a trained Hindustani singer from Rampur gharana, Hari is an audio engineer who excels in electronic.
There are other promising names: Nitin Sawhney (proficient pianist), Ehsaan and Loy (arguably, best guitarist and pianist) and Clinton Cerejo (known for vocal-music arrangements and production vision), Shilpa Rao (Bollywood playback singer), Jalebee Cartel, Papon, Dhruv Sangari, La Pongal, Agam, Saawan Khan Mangniyar, Mame Khan, Noora Sisters, Moora Lala, Sabeer Khan, Shankar Tucker and Sabir Sultan Khan among others.
Dhruv, also known as Bilal Chisti, has worked under the guidance of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. Ashvin and Ash, the founding members of band Jalebee Cartel, lead in the electronic dance music (EDM) genre. Agam, contemporary Carnatic rock act from Bangalore, has been creating waves in the Indi music scene.
Wasim Basir, director, integrated marketing communications, Coca-Cola India, says that while season I of Coke Studio exemplified symphony of diverse genres of music ranging from Bollywood to traditional to western to folk, season II aims at amplifying this by dwelling on pure innovation to offer a musical mélange never heard before. "We would continue with our quest to refresh the world through the powerful platform of music," he avers.
Aditya Swamy, business head, MTV India, is excited to see "originality'' coming out during different sessions at season II. "We want to map the musical landscapes of India, project the country's pride. We mix folk, classical or light classical and listen to it awestruck!" he says.