If you are a music lover and love a composer writes music, thanks! But, If you would love a composer speaks about what he or she writes, then this content is for you.
Whenever If I am asked what my genre is, I would prefer to say “its Avant-garde Carnatic.”
Being an artist representing Indie music of India, I must say this is not a Bollywood music. As a genre, Bollywood represents the mainstream media music of India. The perception of Bollywood music is losing its connection with Indian music/ Indian classical music, or the genre Bollywood started losing its nativity. There are two popular segments of Bollywood music Composers with clear, distinct, characteristics.
One segment believes the classical music of India, especially Carnatic music will fail to carry its heritage when it is treated with modern production techniques. They develop such an idea just because the other segment exists ! The later produces their music technically excellent, but with the lack of content. This segment believes that the classical music/ Carnatic music is not a modern music. Their music makes use
of every great technology but often resembles some Western genre, or they almost “sound like” some Western, American composer’s work. Present Bollywood music has turned mixed music of every popular American genre, with very little nativity.
Unlike Western music, theory of Carnatic music does not supports either polyphony or harmony. Carnatic is all about the melody. Still, it provides a concrete base for constructing one’s own model for writing scores. The basic scheme of Carnatic called ‘Melakartha’ is similar to the periodic table for Chemistry. It explains all possible basic structures and derivatives to construct a scale to express every mood, and to express subtle variations of every emotion.
I practice my production with the help of my training in orthodox form of Carnatic, and with formal education in physics and computer applications. An interest in acoustic physics, psycho acoustics helps me to explore engineering possibilities to come out with a production style suitable for my score in context.
So, ‘Beyond Rituals’ is an authentic trespass, an expression of my convictions. These tracks are based on Raags of Carnatic. Every note has been scored in accordance to the respective scale, and with added chords & sounds, not to the extend that wipe out the spirit, or the mood of the Raag. Say an acoustic guitar has been played the role of a ‘Morsing’, a traditional south Indian percussion instrument. A guitar serves the purpose of Morsing and it could take things better for a musician in a Carnatic concert as Morsing players are becoming rare. I am afraid the existence of such a wonderful instrument is under threat. A guitar could be a replacement or could be an instrument for consideration for Carnatic concerts. Domenico Dolce said ‘It is not necessary to be too avant-garde, because you risk not being understood’. I believe I have not turned too avant-garde.
And I always love, believe Gustav Mahler saying ‘If a composer could say what he had to say in words he would not bother trying to say it in music’. So, let me stop here; play some music
Gokul is a composer, singer and multi instrumentalist. He started as a Carnatic Vocalist (Traditional South Indian Classical Music) and later as a composer, he developed passion for exploring the wonder world of Music.