Those of you who have been frequently visiting this blog would have read my post on Dinesh Ghate, the man who is on a mission to honor the musicians ignored in the film music industry of India. Dinesh runs a magazine that celebrates the musicians who worked in the popular songs whom we never knew about. I had a chance to have an email interview with Dinesh (thanks to Pradeep for his help with this) and here it is.
Q] What is the idea behind Swar Aalaap? What made you take this initiative to introduce those unsung heroes of the popular music to the public?
I am a musician right from the childhood. I always listen to the good old songs and apart from the singers, I have been thinking about the music part that has created the magic mood of a song. So when I became a musician (playing Octopad) I wanted to give credit to the legendary artistes who were instrumental in the songs. Also with the help of Swar Aalap, the musicians come in contact with each other through out the country, because music is a universal thing.
Q] How did you go about collecting the names of those musicians who were not even mentioned in the original credits?
As I’m regularly doing music shows, everybody knows about Swar Aalap and that has made it easy for me. Now a days senior musicians also give good response and information. And I am always busy with searching for original musicians.
Q] How is the response from the film music industry? Do you think this would make them rethink about giving proper credits to the solo instrumentalists?
The response has been very good from across the country as well as abroad, but not from music industry here.
Q] A R Rahman (and perhaps it is only him) has been giving credits to instrumental artists right from the beginning of his career. Do you think the other composers would follow suit?
A R Rahman is an exceptional case.
Q] How important is an instrumentalist in a song, considering that his parts are clearly defined by the music composer when he/she compose a song?
Sometimes good musicians have freedom to play around with a song. Composer just tell them the situation and mood of the song. The musicians are also explained about the story and they know who would be acting in the scene. At that time they are very much capable of giving a fine flavour to the song.
Q] How is the response from musicians whom you featured in your magazine? I read from the Mumbai Mirror article that many of them are living under poor conditions. Is there anything being done to help them?
I have received very good response from musicians as well as readers. The musicians feel very proud now because they are being featured for the first time in an article. Also I get them on stage twice a year and facilitates them one by one with the music which they have played in the original song.
Q] Is the magazine available in the news stands?
Swar Aalap is not available in the news stand. It is subscriber based magazine. It is Rs.300/- for annual subscription and you can will get the magazine at your residence address every month.
Q] What do you think of the present situation in the music industry? I hear that there are people who compose songs for the popular composers but when the songs are out, and even if the songs get popular, they don’t get their names published. Also there are singers who are underpaid or not getting paid for singing in movies. What do you have to say about this?)
No comments about current music and todays composers (if they are really ‘composers’). I think there is no soul in the music these days. One man press buttons and the mechenical sound starts. Do you think that is music?
My thanks to Dinesh Ghate for responding to the questions.