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Amaan and Ayaan Ali on not being offered films: Filmmakers are told that we will make boring music

Sarod brothers Amaan Ali and Ayaan Ali believe that Indian classical musicians have a lot to offer to Bollywood films and filmmakers should collaborate with them.

music Updated: Feb 20, 2018 17:23 IST
Juhi Chakraborty
Juhi Chakraborty
Hindustan Times
Ayaan Ali Bangash,Amaan Ali Bangash,Amjad Ali Khan
Ayaan and Amaan Ali Bangash are open to composing music for Bollywood films, but haven’t got an offer so far.(Photo: Amal KS/HT)

Amaan and Ayaan Ali Bangash are names to be reckoned with on the Indian classical music scene. Renowned internationally and able successors to their father, sarod legend Amjad Ali Khan’s legacy, the one thing that has eluded them, is composing for a Bollywood film.

The sarod duo, who have composed music for the Hollywood film American Daylight (2005), and are open to collaborating with Bollywood filmmakers, are surprised at not having been offered a project so far.

“We have never been offered. We did the background score in a Hollywood film but that was many moons ago. We have many friends in the industry but then we don’t mix work and friendship. But isn’t it common sense that if we are a musicians then we would like to compose?” asks Ayaan.

Amaan feels people dissuade filmmakers from working with classical musicians. (Photo: Amal KS/HT)

Amaan adds, “My brother and I would love to do it but no one has approached us.” He also points out that this could be owing to the fact that people within the industry dissuade filmmakers from collaborating with classical musicians on their movies, even scaring them off saying that the latter are boring people and have mood swings.

People are told that classical musicians will be very moody. I have heard opinions about my father that he is very moody and that he does not have time — Amaan Ali Bangash

“Within the industry, there are a bunch of jokers who will tell them that we will make boring music. They will scare them away very early on by saying this. People are told that classical musicians will be very moody. I have heard opinions about my father that he is very moody and that he does not have time,” Amaan says.

The elder of the two brothers also feels that people do not want classical musicians to enjoy any limelight or popularity. “Shiv-Hari (santoor player Shivkumar Sharma and flautist Hariprasad Chaurasia) are the only successful classical musicians in films,” he says about the disturbing lack of classical artists in the music industry.

Ayaan also thinks it is a matter of filmmakers succumbing to the pressure of stereotypical methodologies of conventional filmmaking. He is baffled to see how certain films are set in a certain period or century, but the music has no corresponding relevance or realism.

Ayaan thinks music in period films sometimes doesn’t have any semblance to the particular time. (Photo: Amal KS/HT)

“Very few people have the courage of conviction. Filmmakers like Satyajit Ray, Shyam Benegal don’t exist. I understand that you have to sell your movie but you can’t approach the subject without it having any ounce of reality. How can a filmmaker show something happening in the 14th or 15th century and they are singing songs of today?” he asks.

Referring to Sai Paranjpye’s film Sparsh (1980), which featured a performance by his father, Ayaan adds, “There are so many opportunities where classical musicians will do a brilliant job.”

First Published: Feb 20, 2018 17:19 IST