After the heat of last week (in news terms more than just the weather which was warm, I faintly recall), things have cooled down somewhat – settling down a little unsteadily. In weather terms, the metaphors abound – stepping into quagmires, down slippery slopes, muddy, murky paths…enough said.
Sometimes it is better to be cocooned from bitter realities that are bound to haunt us in the coming years. When faced with the task of a long drive (to Southampton) this past week, I found myself selecting the music for my journey with a lot of care. Thought it might be a good idea to share that playlist.
CD1: Best of RD Burman (link to Wikipedia bio). Asha Bhosle’s voice might not be as deep as Usha Uthup, but she sang some of her best songs with this composer. Dum maro dum is a classic – where sexy Zeenat Aman (pic) in hippie chic captivated my young girl’s imagination. They smoked, wore flairs and danced, singing Hare Rama, Hare Krishna. The album’s other songs Chura Liya, Shingari have all dated beautifully and reminded me that I once had a massive crush on Rajesh Khanna (pic).
CD2: The greatest blues hits of Buddy Guy. Each track is belted out with immense power and the CD is worth it just for Mustang Sally which is tremendous. Chicago, here I come again!
CD3: Another guilty pleasure – the Beegees. For the longest time, I owned a tattered lyrics book of all their famous hits – including Saturday Night Fever and Tragedy and so still remember the words. This was early teenage rebellion on a huge front as I was learning Carnatic (South Indian classical) music at the time and somehow the dedication was simply not there. I remember playing the cassette tape to my teacher (the late Alandur Natarajan) and begging him to appreciate the gamakams (the variation of pitch of a note) of Too much Heaven and Tragedy!!
CD4: A good thing about my Indian classical music training is the deep enjoyment I derive from listening to it. I’ve been a huge admirer of the music U Srinivas produces on the mandolin – especially his efforts in working with western artists. Sangam (link to Amazon) is a collaboration with British composer, Michael Nyman. It’s very chilled and atmospheric and the third track is rather disturbing in the mood it evokes.
CD5: Back to Bollywood – of the many duds that keep popping, this film from 2011 – Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (link to Amazon) manages to capture universally appealing themes of friendship, disappointments in love all on a road trip through a summer holiday in all my favourite places in Spain.
CD6: It was a conscious effort to leave my favourite Spanish albums (Sevillanas, Radio Tarifa, Paco de Lucia) behind, and my journey home ended with Eine Kleine Nachtmusik (a small night music). Despite years of listening to Radio 3 and Classic FM, I’m such a juvenile amateur. It brought back memories of listening to this in the castle on the hill in Salzburg and the shock it gave me to stand in front of the pianoforte that the young prodigy played on, in Mozarthaus. And yes, the next morning, we boarded the sing-along bus tour of Sound of Music…