Vande Mataram revisited
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Vande Mataram revisited

A capella group Penn Masala recreates an instrumental version of AR Rahman’s song.

music Updated: Aug 10, 2012 16:12 IST
Rachana Dubey
Rachana Dubey
Hindustan Times
A R Rahman,9XM,Rishab Jain

Music channel 9XM has produced a video to commemorate India’s 65th Independence Day. It features the University of Pennsylvania’s a capella group, Penn Masala that has recreated AR Rahman’s version of Vande Mataram. The group has come up with an instrumental track without the use of any musical instruments. They use their vocals to emulate instrument sounds.

The video for the song has just gone on air and will continue until the end of the month. Amar Tidke from 9XM says that instead of opting for a band from India, the channel preferred Penn Masala. “It’s the world's first Hindi a cappella group formed in 1996. We researched intensively to find that one group that could give us a unique Independence Day video. After going through hundreds of videos posted by various Indian and international groups, we decided to get Penn Masala on board,” says Amar.

The video is also available on YouTube. “The Dhoble video created a lot of buzz on the Internet. I think this will work as well,” he adds. Penn Masala’s Rishab Jain believes that the version of ‘Vande Mataram’ by the Oscar-winner is an exceptional tribute to India. “AR Rahman’s version represents the young and vibrant India, full of hopes and dreams. The lyrics and theme resonate with millions of Indians all over the world. This is also true for most members of Penn Masala, who as Indian-Americans have their roots in India,” he says. “The diversity in the instrumentals in Rahman’s version fits in well with the kind of music we make. It allowed us a lot of creative freedom to come up with what is probably one of our best tracks of all time.”

First Published: Aug 10, 2012 16:09 IST