"There is no class, creed or language for the music used at fashion weeks,” smiles Russell Creado, who composed music the ramp, for designers like Manish Malhotra, Narendra Kumar and Lina Tipnis, among others, at the recently concluded Lakme India Fashion Week.
“Like the designers who take the material for clothes and stitch them into a particular style, we take music from all genres, through the different ages, and mix them into a style that suits the collection of the designer and the choreographer.”
Like Creado, who works with choreographer Luba Adams and has been composing for fashion events for over a decade now, designers opt for a choreographer-composer team to ‘design’ the music for the ramp, based on the theme of the season and their personal collection.
“Since this season’s theme was ‘Resort Wear’, the music vibe was fun, loungy, beachy and uptempo,” explains Steve Dias, who works with choreographer Alison Kanuga, and composed for designers including Anita Dongre and Kalol Dutta. “But at the end of the day, it all depends on the feel of the collection. Like there’s music for different moods, I decide the music for different themes after I view them specifically.”
The process of creating music for the ramp starts at least a month in advance. The composers come on board around the time when the designers are still deciding on the collection they will showcase at the event, so they can figure out their segments.
Keeping it fresh
Says Joel Dcruz, who works with choreographer Marc Robinson, and composed for designers like Sabyasachi, Rocky S and Nikhil Shantanu this season, “Some designers know what works with their collection and decide the music at the conceptualization stage. We suggest two or three genres of music to the others after seeing the pictures, and sometimes, mix the tracks to suit the collection. Sometimes, we compose fresh tracks too.”
This season, the ramp had eclectic music playing during the collections, and every genre from Bollywood to electro made its presence felt. While Dcrzuz remixed electronica with sufi vocals for Rocky S, for Nikasha Tawde’s collection, he gave a new spin to
Wake Up Sid
Love Aaj Kal
Ajj din chadeya
Creado, on the other hand, used electronic music band Kraftwerk’s music in different ways for Narendra Kumar’s shows, and used 40 South Indian shlokas and mantras for Anand Kabra’s collection.
Dias mixed retro with house and techno for Anita Dongre’s show and gave an electronic twist to Bjork and Massive Attack songs for Kalol Dutta’s collection.
Dcruz adds that even if designers suggest tracks that have been overused in recent times, the composers generally avoid using them, or add their own spin to them. Laughs Dias, “This time everyone seemed to want the shady Akon track,
and usually, Ella Fitzgerald’s
is heard a lot in fashion weeks. But we don’t play such tracks. We like keeping it less commercial.”