The breakup song of the season is here! Popular singer and Qyuki creator Gajendra Verma’s With his latest boom boxing number Yaad Karke. A catchy song with groovy beats, Yaad Karke is a step away from the norm. Shot in beautiful locales across Dubai and the Middle East, it explores the story of a couple who were in love, and the emotions that led them to ultimately, break up.
Gajendra’s vocals are playful yet heartwarming and lend a great sense of empathy to the track. Sure to be a trendsetter number, Yaad Karke‘s moving moments combined with a gorgeous video and smooth vocals, will hit a passionate chord with the audience. Gajendra is one of the rare independent artists creating originals, not covers and has achieved massive success with one of his breakout hits “Tera Ghata” hitting 300 million views on his YouTube channel which boasts of over 2.4 million subscribers. The Audio stream of Yaad Karke is already available on major platforms.
Dr.Mysore Manjunath is the son and disciple of violinist Prof. Mahadevappa, Manjunath performed his first concert at the age of 8 in Mysore as a child prodigy.He is one of the Mysore brothers duo. Dr.Manjunath did his Masters of Music at the University of Mysore securing first Rank with 4 Gold Medals and was awarded Ph.D by the University of Mysore.Manjunath started performing at 8. His initial concerts were with his father and brother. From child prodigy to trail blazer, Dr.Manjunath has created an amazing record as Star performer in prestigious organizations world over. He regularly performs along with his elder brother Mysore Nagaraj. His Violin Concerts are featured at some of the major International concert stages including Royal Albert Hall, Sydney Opera House, Oxford Universityto name a few.On his recent visit in Mumbai to the Transcendence concert R2R caught up with him.
Tell us of your childhood,Musical interest and the Violin?
My father Prof Mahadevappa is my Guru and Mentor.He is the reason for whatever I am today.I was born into a family of musicians, my elder brother is also a violinist, initially I never showed interest in playing the violin and my father was worried for me as I did not have that passion for music which he had, he tried a lot to push me, but his efforts were not working at all. One day my father forcefully took me to his concert and made me sit on the stage behind him and my elder brother, as the concert concluded, all the musicians who performed had the privilege of receiving a garland which fascinated me as a child, and I also wanted one so I begged for it but my father refused as I did not perform with them, and everyone humiliated me on the stage. Eventually this frustrated me, Later on, I was promised not 1 but 5 garlands if I perform on stage. Then after returning home, I rushed to my father to get the violin lessons, a boy who never touched the violin suddenly became so much obsessed with the instrument and within 1 and a half year, I learned the violin, performed live and received the garlands which felt like an award. My father had a very strict persona, he never let me play outside or pass time with friends and I disliked him a lot due to this but as a musician, I got recognition at a very young age and that is when I realized the importance of music and since then I started worshipping my father.
What was the chief reason to become a professional violinist?
Later it was my father again, who had been my source of inspiration all the time. With music 24 hours at home, with regular concerts, practicing sessions, and a wonderful Musically charged atmosphere at home with so many musician friends of my father always visiting our home and singing /playing, naturally the music sanskar rooted much deep inside me.
What is it to be a professional Violinist?
One must be greatly fortunate to become a musician. Having music sanskar, finding a good guru, having family support, and progressing in a right direction - all these contribute immensely for the success of any professional musician. Fortunately, I am blessed to experience only great things as a professional violinist. Violin being a western instrument and so wonderfully adopted in to Indian classical Music, has an unique place. Violin, being one of the most beautiful and popular Instruments in the world of music, offers so much for any musician to explore!
Is Carnatic music is for a niche audience or do you see it spreading itself?
Happily, we are witnessing more and more youth finding carnatic Music interesting and listening to it. It is quite evident that a good number of young musicians performing with great success also.
Is there a North-South divide in terms of Carnatic-Hindustani music
Naturally, carnatic music is more widely popular in the south. Instrumental music has wider reach in terms of attracting more listeners beyond geographical boundaries. With wider exposure possibility in the modern scenario, division should not be much distinct and wide. Jugalbandhi concerts are one easy way of bridging these two systems.
What do you think about Fusion music?
Fusion is an interesting concept in all disciplines. It immensely helps for a newer concepts and creations. Music fusion has always entertained music lovers across the globe. It provides a great scope for two totally different music genres to come together to create one beautiful melody. Fusion need not be noisy at all. Highly eminent musicians can bring all the subtle beauties of different music styles togethre on a single platform.
How was it performing with Mr. Louis Banks & team on Jazz music?
It was wonderful performing with Lous Banks, a veteran Jazz musician of high caliber. He is such an amazing player. Loved sharing musical ideas with him. We had a great team. Each one being immensely meritorious, we all knew it was going to be a great music concert ! Felt happy that packed audience loved the concert immensely.
Tell us of your tribute segment to T.Chowdiahji?
T.Chowdiah, being a legendary violinist of the last century, It was a great idea by Gigue to have a tribute concert for him. Mumbai did not hear much about T.Chowdiah and a great occasion to pay tribute to him. I chose Rag Purvi Kalyani and Kapi for my segment as they are very distinct in terms of the structure and also Thalas. Enjoyed elaborating Ragas which are the primary improvisational parts in Carnatic music
How was your musical interaction with Pt. Yogesh Samsiji, Amritji & GIno and the finale.
It was too good. They are superb musicians and all of them rose up to the occasion. They all are extremely sensible musicians with great rhythmic approach towards any composition and any speed. Loved performing with them.
Are the structures of Carnatic & Jazz Music similar in any way?
No. They both have totally different structures and approaches to music. How ever, experience musicians can blend and gel them beautifully.
At the heart of the Indian Broadcast & Film industry lies a show that keeps the pulse racing.
Technology evolves at lightning speed and it dramatically impacts everything it touches; the world of broadcast and entertainment is no different. The entire gamut of innovative advancement possible in this industry remains elusive most of the time, except for one unique occasion. Every year, for over two and a half decades, The Broadcast India Show becomes the interactive platform that showcases on one hand, the paradigm shifts in infotainment technology across the globe. On the other, it allows you to connect with the innovators and experience the marvels first-hand.
With Broadcast India Show 2017, it's time to make way for next-gen broadcast technology - faster, easier, more productive and definitely more creative ways of working with broadcast, film, audio, radio and everything else that contributes to the infotainment industry - from its content creation to its management and delivery. Companies and corporates, veterans and professionals, suppliers and customers, visionaries, and other stakeholders from across the world will gather to realize opportunities, establish trade connections and facilitate resource pooling on the biggest scale as is the norm every year.
The last edition of the Broadcast India Show saw over 20,000+ global visitors and 590 participants from more than 36 countries coming together, eager to push ahead of the growth curve faster than anyone else. As a visitor or a participant, there’s no doubt the show will chart new infotainment horizons for you.
Along with the broad-spectrum event, The Broadcast India Show 2017 will simultaneously facilitate a 2-day conference that that dives right into the nitty-gritty of content. It will invite CEOs, directors and proprietors of companies along with engineers, technicians and technologists to conduct an array of technical presentations, product promotions and in-depth discussions.
Ziro Festival of Music 2017
27th Sep - 02nd Oct 2017.
Ziro Festival of Music returns this year to the spectacular Ziro Valley in Arunachal Pradesh, India with the best of contemporary music and art the world has to offer. Mark your dates, call your friends, book your tickets. Do all it takes to be part of India's Greatest Outdoor Music Festival.
Broadcast India Show 2017 will take place on 12-14 October 2017 at the Bombay Exhibition Centre in Mumbai.
Global music sensation Ed Sheeran with chart-toppers like Shape of You and Castle on the Hill. The artist is all set to perform live in Mumbai , as he will be touring Asia later this year
Broadcast India Show 2017 will take place on 12-14 October 2017 at the Bombay Exhibition Centre in Mumbai.
Historically, poetry, song and literature have often been used as a means to propagate new ideas, social reform and to protest against injustice and oppression. They have triggered revolutions, helped overthrow many a despot and been instrumental in bringing about much needed change. Many of these poets, writers, thinkers and revolutionaries have gone on to become heroes, for their contribution to the social, political and cultural evolution of our civilization.
Some of the great protest songs that come to mind, include, the gospel based We Shall Overcome, Bob Dylan’s Masters of War and Times They are a Changing, Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On and Edwin Starr’s War. Some were born out of the oppression, persecution and injustice suffered by the people under the ruling classes, while others have been triggered by specific events or ideas such as, Hurricane by Bob Dylan, Fortunate Son by Creedence Clearwater Revival, Free Nelson Mandela by The Specials, Killing in the Name by Rage Against the Machine, or Alright by Kendrick Lamar, to name a few.
In an ideal world, where lawmakers, administrators and industry, the people in power, are responsible, clean, transparent and non-corrupt and everything is open to public scrutiny, there is nothing to expose, everything is out in the open. In an ideal world you don’t need the likes of Julian Assange, or W Mark Felt, Woodword and Bernstein, or Serpico, or Sherron Watkins and Cynthia Cooper, Bradley Manning, Edward Snowden, etc.
But the real world is a far cry from the ideal. Most Governments, private and public institutions are often recklessly irresponsible, thrive on corruption, indulge in heinous criminal deeds and are necessarily opaque, because they have a lot to hide.
It is in this scenario that people like Assange or any of the others mentioned above become relevant. Through his efforts, Julian Assange, Founder of Wikileaks, the organization he founded to expose war crimes, corruption and human rights abuses and aided by former intelligence analyst, Chelsea (Bradley) Manning, published several secret documents that incriminated those in power.
With the result he has since been persecuted by those who feel threatened by what he had exposed. Isn’t what they did justified, when you consider the greater good. Don’t citizens have a right to know what is happening? Don’t governments themselves use the reason of greater good to justify many of their actions when it is convenient? You could say that technically the means used by Assange may have been illegal, but as a journalist wasn’t it his duty to expose the wrong doings?
No man or woman is infallible. So Julian Assange has his shortcomings but his journalistic endeavours cannot be called criminal. He believed in protecting freedom of speech, and the right to free expression and set about doing what he had to do.
Facing US extradition proceedings, he surrendered to the British police in 2010 but broke bail and sought asylum in the Embassy of Ecuador, where he remained for seven years, before he was jailed last month when Ecuador withdrew his asylum.
So why has no one thought of writing a song protesting the treatment meted out to Julian Assange. There have been movies and documentaries made about him but alas, no one has thought to write a song about this man who fought for human rights, freedom of expression, transparency and free flow of information.
Where are the great protest singers like Dylan, Joan Baez, Bruce Springsteen, Kendrick Lamar, or Morrissey? Had they been alive, maybe Phil Ochs or Pete Seeger or Lennon would have written one. With escalating global conflicts, intolerance, increased muzzling of the press and restrictions on the free flow of information on the net, wouldn’t it have been a timely reflection of our times?
Don’t you think he deserves a Song?-
-Stanley Paul & Pradeep Joseph
A recent drug crisis in India, especially in the state of Punjab, has authorities scrambling to find a cause. Could music be to blame? Given the enormous popularity of hip hop culture in India, particularly Punjabi Hip Hop and Rap,there is a concern that Lyrics common in popular modern rap that promote violence, misogyny,and alcohol and drug abuse may contribute to the epidemic. Punjabi Hip Hop and Rap are music and culture that combine hip hop music and culture with music and culture of India andsurrounding countries. Some of the leading desi Rap stars are Badshah, Honey Singh, Hard Kaur,Raftar,Baba Sehgal to name a few. According to this theory, the music often glorifies drugs and drug use instead of promoting the benefits of being drug-free.
A history of drug-related lyrics.
Hip hop artists in the United States have used drug imagery since the beginning of the genre.Several early rap artists grew up during the panic surrounding the use of crack cocaine in the1980s. Others were raised in areas experiencing problems with other drugs. Some of these young people felt trapped and disillusioned since they felt that more traditional paths to success excluded them. Instead, they may have grown up idolizing successful gangsters who were prominent drug dealers. Some of these drug dealers may have entered the drug trade in efforts to rise above their circumstances or gain prestige.
People then incorporated these experiences in their music . Their lyrics spoke of using drugs as a commodity to acquire wealth and success and as tools to escape the bleakness of the impoverished and disadvantaged environments that surrounded them. In such portrayals,dealing drugs, not taking them, was cool. They promoted the benefits of being drug-free while earning material riches and respect.Song lyrics transformed over time. Instead of glamorizing drug dealing as an avenue to obtain money and lavish lifestyles, lyrics began championing inebriation and drug use to mask inner pain or to party like rock stars.
A study by the University of California at Berkeley reported that the use of drug-related lyrics has increased. Lyrics about drugs appeared in only four out of thirty-eight popular songs (11percent) prior from 1979 to 1984. By the end of the 1980s, the use of drug-related lyrics increased to nearly 20 percent. By 1993, the percentage was 69 percent.
Music companies realized that mentioning drug use, objectifying women, and hinting at other antisocial behaviors made rap artists appear more edgy to the young people who idolized them.That edginess led to increased record sales. So, the combination of sex (and the objectificationof women). drugs, and rock and roll (or rap) became some of the essential ingredients of modern hip hop. While some rappers tried to counter this with more positive lyrics promoting the benefits of being drug-free , others continued glorifying drug use and other behaviors.
Punjabi Hip hop & Rap became increasingly popular in the United States and around the world. For example, it is popular in India, which added its own contribution to the genre with desi rap or desi hip hop.Desi hip hop or desi rap is an East Asian form of hip hop that combines traditional hip hop with Indian influences. Rap has continued to gain fans on the Indian subcontinent, becoming one of the most popular genres in India with no slowdown in sight.
Like its Western counterpart, desi hip hop sometimes glamorizes drug use in its lyrics. Also like Western hip hop, the prime demographic for desi hip hop is young people who sometimes seek to imitate their idols. Studies have shown a tendency for some fans to try the drugs mentioned in rap songs. Some African American millennials admitted that they've tried the drug Molly (MDMA) for the first time after hearing about it in songs by popular rap artists . With popular artists promoting drug use without a strong counterargument about the benefits of being drug-free, drug use among young people may not seem too surprising.
Changing the message
Dr. Dheeraj Sharma of the India Institute of Management found that there may be links among popular song lyrics pertaining to drug use and increases in drug usage, violence, and negative attitudes towards women. One challenge now is to discourage drug use without censoring music. Censoring lyrics might have an opposite effect. It may make drugs and drug-related lyrics seem more desirable and increase their allure.
Instead, parents and schools may want to provide young people with information on the effects of drug use. People may want to make artists aware of the dangerous effects their lyrics may have on their fan base. There are numerous benefits of being drug-free and ways people can encourage this.
- Dale Vernor
It’s Show Time!
Classical musicians and their on-stage antics A lot of research has been done to classify personality, management and parenting into different styles. Has anyone studied the concert styles of performing artists? I am talking about the styles adopted by Indian classical musicians on stage. I have them classified under seven types.
1 : 24K magic
What is common amongst Mozart, Beethoven, U. Srinivas or Rashid Khan? All are child prodigies, born to sing. In their
concerts, one is merely a spectator witnessing pure magic. Making good music is of paramount importance, nothing else mattered.
2 : Boom boom paw
For many years now, I have stopped going to amusement parks. Roller coaster rides are not for me. However, many classical concerts
these days have started giving the audiences the same kind of thrill. These musicians perform acrobatics with their voices and the
audiences walk out chanting ‘scintillating, mind blowing, thrilling’ …..
3 : We’re all in this together
“Which one is the main singer?” asked the gentleman next to me. His question was valid considering there was literally a dozen people
seated on the stage. The maestro had three disciples , two on either sides and one behind him. And then he had upto four different and
varied percussionists. What’s more, he had many disciples sitting around him just observing him perform. Such musicians could put
Serena Williams to shame in terms of the size of their entourage.
4 : Everything you want
These are musicians who have devised a formula for success and they give the audience what they come to hear. Experimentation and
creativity give way to consistency. It is a win-win situation for both the performers and the listeners.
5 : Party rock anthem
This is the type in which the musicians walk on to the stage and transform into showmen. They have an on stage persona which is very
dramatic. They are to the classical scene what Shah Rukh khan is to the Indian cinemas. Stylised and complete entertainers.
6: Like a prayer
The padmaasana, the mudras, the stillness, here the singer is meditating through his or her music. One may not understand the
technicalities but certainly knows that one is a witness to some serious spiritual exercise. This breed is dwindling because the
masses want speed and action. These singers believe that classical music is not for the masses.
7: We belong together
Last is the breed of performers who like to collaborate with other musicians; call it jugalbandi, fusion, new age music, collaboration.
These musicians are soon only seen collaborating, quite like the doubles players in tennis or the ones who only play the Davis cup.
---- Rama Sundar
“I think music in itself is healing. It's an explosive expression of humanity. It's something we are all touched by. No matter what culture we're from, everyone loves music." Billy Joel. Allopathy, (the most commonly used system of medicine) is fast on the wane, with most people wanting to try something new. And the good news is that today people can choose from more than a 100 alternative medicines, ranging from traditional Ayurveda to Naturopathy to Aromatherapy to Music Therapy.
Music therapy however, is not a new therapy and has been around for centuries. In the Bible in 1: Samuel: 16:23 we read: “Whenever the spirit from God came on Saul, David would take up his lyre and play. Then relief would come to Saul; he would feel better, and the evil spirit would leave him”
So how does Music therapy work? Experts say it does two things:
1. It acts as an alternative for a sedative, drug or tranquillizers which would be prescribed in allopathy.
2. It is believed to increase the metabolic properties of the human body. It is also said to accelerate our breathing and improve the body’s muscular activities, soothe the Central Nervous System and Circulatory System of the listener as well as of the performer. Music therapy is believed to heal both physical as well as psychosomatic disorders.
Music therapy can be divided into two broad categories: “Active” and “Receptive”. In active music therapy, the therapist and patient (after discussing the problem) get together, and the patients are actually encouraged to create their own music, using their voices, musical instruments, or even everyday objects like, spoons, bottles, pans and pots etc. Therapists say this allows patients to explore their creativity, shed their inhibitions and express themselves through the music they create. This therapy is said to work well for people who are introverted, facing mental blocks, personality disorders or those who have problems expressing themselves.
It has also been said to have achieved good results with autistic children. Receptive therapy on the other hand, needs a more controlled environment and normally takes place in a more relaxed, soothing setting. It is said to work best when the patient is lying down in a dimly lit room and relaxed. Then the therapist plays pre chosen music, to which the patient is asked to listen to with eyes closed, or if they like they can doodle or imagine happy scenes in their mind.
The music used in receptive music therapy could range from calming ragas, classical western music or nature sounds (like waterfalls, wind in the trees etc) for people who are hyperactive, to peppy, happy, feel good uplifting music for people who are depressed or feeling low. Later, once the therapist determines which receptive music works best for them, patients are given recorded CD’s which they can listen to at home.
Corinne Heline (1882-1975) once prophetically quoted: “…man is a musical being. One day he will recognize music as a vital factor in the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual growth of the whole human race.”
I personally feel that the day has arrived.
- Noel Keymer
The soldier on the beach tells the captain: 'The tide is turning'. Captain: 'How can you tell?'Soldier: ' Cos the dead bodies are floating back'
This dialogue sums up the chilling mood of the movie - 'Dunkirk'- A WW2 movie in May 1940 when about 400,000 British and French soldiers were stranded at the Dunkirk sea and were evacuated despite firing from the German planes. This movie becomes more relevant in recent times when mankind seems to have forgotten the world wars in the last century and several countries have started war-mongering games.
The actors really don't matter here. The characters do. There is a young British soldier who teams up with 2 more and tries to smartly maneuver and jump the queue for rescue. There is a fighter pilot flying the spitfires who along with his battalion is on a mission to bring down the enemy planes. A sailor, who along with his son and another friend, joins the civilian armada to rescue the stranded soldiers. And the naval admiral who is supervising the operations based on orders sent by Winston Churchill.
Christopher Nolan's (Dark Knight, Inception, Interstellar, Memento) first non-fantasy movie is his best so far. Along with Hans Zimmer who supports him well with music, he weaves a tale of sorrow, heroism, hope, glory, friendship, fatherhood, survival- all within a span of 2 hours. Camerawork from Hoyte takes you up close to the soldiers and the civilians to give you a personal account on how everything unfolded on that fateful day.
For once, there is no romance behind the scenes; in fact there is not a single woman character!!! It is the hard core and blunt story telling that makes a mark and leaves you questioning life and war. You don't even need a VR to get immersed in the story.
Watch it in Imax and get transported back in time to one of the most controversial wars in history that affected the whole world. #dunkirk #WW2 #indieyogi
Another hidden gem is slowly picking up traction while all the big movies are being talked about. Trust the Marathi film industry to come out with a horror movie set in a rural background- 'Lapachhapi' (Hide-n-seek). Moreover, this movie brings to light a social issue still prevalent in rural India- female foeticide. The director Vishal Furia smartly interweaves the social issues through the character of a pregnant woman (Pooja Sawant as Neha). Neha and her husband Tushar (Vikram Gaikwad) have to leave their town, when she is 8 months pregnant, and move to an isolated sugarcane farmer's house in the midst of a farm. Their caretaker Tulsibai (Usha Naik) and her husband are very kind to them, but they are disturbed by strange incidents happening to them that pose a threat to their unborn child. The mystery unravels itself in a progressive manner bringing to the fore incidents of the past.
Usha Naik's acting is spotless. Pooja is good but is too active for a 8 months pregnant lady. The music is haunting and so is the repeated game of 'Lapachhapi' played intermittently. Cinematography is excellent and full marks for creating such a big effect on a small budget!
While most horror movies in India thrive on giving you cheap thrills with special effects, this one relies on the story and the treatment to keep you on the tenterhooks! Definitely a must watch. #indieyogi #lapachhapi
While the buzz was about 'Mom', I thought it was a highly overrated movie. The plot was a predictable revenge saga, Sridevi was good in phases in her botoxed avtar while Nawaz is getting predictable with his cranky understated acting- however good it might be. Sajal Ali was the find of the movie with her brilliant portrayal of a rape victim.
When Orange Amplification launched their Acoustic Pre in 2017 it was the world’s first stereo valve acoustic preamp/active DI and it set the standard for hi-fidelity tone and refined live acoustic sound. Engineered for both stage and studio use, the Acoustic Pre is exceptional and uncompromising in its performance, full of natural warmth and rich harmonics. Since it was launched, singer, songwriter, producer, multi-instrumentalist and multi Grammy Award winner Stevie Wonder has been touring with an Acoustic Pre as well as the highly respected jazz guitarist, Dr Martin Taylor MBE, who said ‘This preamp inspires me to create music’. Check out Martin talking about the Acoustic Pre here.
El Amir, multi-instrumentalist with Hans Zimmer, has also been using the Acoustic Pre on tour. He says ‘It makes my flamenco guitar sound huge!! The Acoustic Pre combines quality, depth and beauty of sound. I will be using it on the World of Hans Zimmer autumn tour 2019.’ Check out his video here.
Grammy Award winner, Clean Bandit’s guitarist Jack Patterson commented 'With the Acoustic Pre I can turn up for radio sessions knowing I have easy control over my guitars without a ton of gear. It's a really versatile tool in the Clean Bandit studio.' The band are appearing at festivals across the UK this summer.
The unique valve Channel A is for active and passive instruments which gives it a wide frequency range enabling it to capture every subtle nuance of an acoustic guitar. The solid state Channel B has a different, slightly softer character with outstanding clarity.
To find out more about the Acoustic Preamp please go to https://orangeamps.com/
We recently did a feature on Julian Assange, Founder of Wikileaks, where we argued that he is a man who deserved to be honoured. By leaking several incriminating classified documents obtained through a private in the US army, he exposed atrocities committed by American forces in Afghanistan and Iraq. He did the world a service by bringing this information to the public, but the US government does not see it that way. They want to bring criminal proceedings against him and prosecute him and send him to death row or interned in a high security prison for the rest of his life.
We are compelled to argue that he deserved to be praised and supported and not slapped with criminal charges for hacking and mired in allegations of rape. The actions against Assange pose a grave threat to freedom of the press and free speech. Facing extradition to Sweden and amidst fears of political persecution, he was pushed to breach bail and seek asylum in the Ecuador Embassy in London.
Later the UN and Inter-American Court of Human Rights had ruled upholding his human rights. Despite the support of many eminent personalities, journalists, academics and millions of people globally, the US is set to book Assange under the Espionage Act. Last month Ecuador revoked his asylum and Assange was arrested by the UK police and is at present incarcerated in a British jail.
In today’s society the value system that evolved over the years hasn’t changed much. The distinction between right and wrong has remained broadly the same, only becoming progressively more inclusive. Unfortunately there is no probity in the people who wield power and position and they have scant regard for justice, fair play and honesty. As a result, it has eroded all of society’s moral, democratic and human values.
We wonder why someone from our Industry has did not write a song about the unjust hounding of Assange by the forces of power.
Can not music bring about change? We believe it can.
Those of you who have been around from the 1960's through the 1990's will remember the vibrant live music scene in almost every starred hotel in India. Those were the days when you walked into a nightclub like 'Rendezvous' at The Taj Mahal hotel and 'Supper Club' at the Oberoi Sheraton in Mumbai to see curtains going up on a band that was the prime focus of these outlets. Every seat in these restaurants allowed an unobstructed view of the band that performed every night on resident contracts. Today all this has disappeared thanks to some ridiculously high entertainment taxes on live music. Today, non off these hotels have complete bands playing save for a few that feature small duos or solo singers. The Lodhi in New Delhi, recently listed among the world's best hotels, decided to step in and rewind to the good old days. They got Goa's premier jazz quartet 'Jazz Junction' to move to Delhi on a resident contract and the decision has paid off in terms of footfalls generated by the band. Jazz Junction featuring singer Daniella Rodrigues, pianist Tony Dias,
bassist Colin D'Cruz and drummer Angelo Colasco began playing at The Lodhi in June 2018. Four months into the contract the band generated a sizeable following, with quite a few high profile guests choosing to celebrate their special occasion at the Elan bar where the band performs. Against all odds the rewind option proved to be a huge success and hopefully other properties around the country takes the cue to trigger a whole new revival of live music.
Zombies often herald the end of all things, but for Frank West, their reemergence marks a
new beginning.Frank, former photojournalist extraordinaire, has been off the radar since the first Dead Rising a decade ago, and this third Christmas-themed sequel finds him eking out his days as a college professor teaching novices his craft. But when the dead come, he again finds life. Even in Frank's opening nightmare in which he knocks back zombies like a wrecking ball, there's a sense amid his snarky complaints that he wants this. And even though Capcom's approach here stumbles here in parts, I was surprised by how much I wanted this as well.
When Dead Rising 4 works, it's because it steadfastly refuses to take itself seriously. Frank is 16 years older now and looks and grumbles (thanks to a new voice actor) a little like Joel from the PS4's The Last Of Us, but even though he journeys back to fictional Willamette, Colorado with student Vick Chu, the lightweight but enjoyable tale is never weighed down with musings on surrogate fatherhood and hope. Neither is it entirely dismissible, even though it largely dumps the main conspiracy premise a handful of chapters in, as it handles its characterizations well. Frank drops lines about setting his balls on fire and other wisecracks, but there's enough gravity mixed in with the goofiness to make the relationships seem believable.
Still, this is a tale about blasting zombies with a gnome-capped staff called the "Gandelf" and gleefully plowing through literally hundreds of zombies in a city park with a lawnmower. It's about strapping on hulking (and rare) exosuits after zombies overrun the Willamette Memorial Megaplex after Black Friday and cutting down them with an electrified battleaxe or using blueprints to make quirky weapons like an "Ice Sword" from scattered items like liquid nitrogen and machetes. The melee controls are satisfying and intuitive, although the removal of throwable melee weapons stings bitterly and ranged weapons suffer from poor aiming. Never before has the series tossed the undead at you with such relentlessness. I'm inclined to believe there's no way a town like Willamette was home to that many people in the first place, but the crowds make the yuletide slaughter consistently enjoyable.
Frank's ability to handle those swarms comes with a price. Dead Rising 4 is never difficult, and even in a toque blanche and chef's whites I could shrug off piles of the undead about as well as Overwatch's Reinhardt might fend off a pack of yorkies. When I died and had a chance to check out the generous checkpoint and autosave system, it was only because I'd stepped away and forgotten to pause. There's not even a way to ramp up the difficulty besides sticking around for New Game+ or a separate multiplayer mode that's confined to a specific setting and steadily increases the difficulty. But even in the New Game, Frank can handle himself just fine. If you're specifically looking for a single-player combat challenge or any degree of tension, you won't find it here.
But you might find cause to stick around if your interests lie elsewhere. Capcom removed much of the series' previous urgency by ditching the timer, which frees up Frank's time to track down a sleigh's worth of blueprints and assorted collectibles, as well as stopping off from time to time to save survivors stranded in the undead sea. So heavy is the sandboxy exploration emphasis that Frank doesn't even have to head anywhere to craft his sometimes silly murder devices: he can cobble together firework-shooting crossbows or electricity-shooting go-karts right there in the field. The approach works well because the small-town setting is so well-realized, partially thanks to its Christmas theme that infects the core 10-hour story as thoroughly as the sickness infects the zombies. The holly jolliness adds a touch of flavor to exploring parts of town beyond the mall that might come off as boring during any other season.
There's so much to see, so many parts to use for an impressive variety of weapons, and so many combos to build that I usually had a cozy sense that I was in a zombie-themed take on Just Cause, taking similar pleasure in causing mindless mayhem with weapons and vehicles to the tune of "O Tannenbaum" and "Auld Lang Syne." Frank's camera even adds to the fun, not only by taking great shots to build a few extra experience points, but by stopping to take goofy selfies with the shambling corpses. It all makes for a nice change of pace, but I could never shake the feeling that Dead Rising had sacrificed much of its identity in the process.
Weirdly, there's no co-op option for the campaign, thus robbing the series of a big degree of its former fun. Gone, too, are the cutscenes that uses to boot up before what used to be called the "psychopath" minibosses. Capcom calls the psychopaths "maniacs" now, and they're sadly essentially irrelevant, being almost exclusively limited to sidequests and usually involving little more than regular zombies with big health pools tromping around in exosuits or Santa costumes. Sometimes I found welcome surprises in the form of fast, newly turned zombies, but most of the time the thousands I killed were as indistinguishable as bricks in a wall.
It's a strange game for the series, as it subtracts something for everything it adds, making it unlike anything we've seen for Dead Rising until now. It's the kind of design that might scare off veterans but bring in fresh zombie killers into the fold. But it's one that I generally enjoyed, even though it's marred with a first-launch crash bug that Capcom warned us about, but which it still hasn't fixed. For some players, though, I imagine that bit of bootup trouble won't prove as annoying as the fact that you can currently only download it for PC from the Windows Store. A Steam version is supposedly in the works, but by the time we see it, Dead Rising 4's cheeky Christmas theme will likely be long out of place. But now? 'Tis the season.
The Dwarves, a new realtime tactical RPG based on Markus Heitz’s German fantasy novel series of the same name, is an uneasy adaptation. As an RPG, Dwarves wants you to make choices to explore the world of its characters, but as a slavish recreation of a well-known book, it is constantly taking choices away from you. It’s a novel stuffed into an ill-fitting RPG suit, straining at seams held together by threadbare patches of tactical combat.
There are a few different problems going on here, but if I smelt it right down to the base ore, The Dwarves has two main failings: its RPG doesn’t give you any freedom to make choices or grow, and its combat is spammy, tiresome, and not very fun.
Only a few minutes into my adventure—playing as Tungdil Goldhand, the young dwarf on a quest—I came across the first of many times that the plot of Heitz’s novel stomps on my fun. I’m travelling across an overhead map in the style of a board game, with pieces moving along a gridwork of paths and roads. At each grid intersection, a chance encounter, town, or event pops up.
On this occasion, the encounter window tells me I’ve found an abandoned camp and fire ring. Do I want to start a fire and bed down, or should I be extra cautious and climb into a tree? Not seeing any reason why I should be paranoid enough to sleep in a damn tree, I sack out. The next window informs me that an orc stabbed me in my sleep, and I am now dead. No ceremony, no preamble. Dead dwarf, game over.
I had to load my most recent save because, according to a friend who has read the series, Tungdil sleeps in the tree in the book. It may be faithful to the source material, but if I played D&D with a DM who concluded a short introduction with “...and a piano drops on you and you die; let’s start again,” I would not hang around that game for very long.
After reloading and sleeping in the tree, Tungdil wakes up to see an orc warband (surprise!) set up camp below him. After they leave, an encounter window gives me my options: climb down, or wait up in the tree to make sure the coast is clear. Well, you don’t have to stab this dwarf in the gut more than once to teach him some caution, so I wait in the tree. Nothing happens, says the encounter window. Do I want to wait some more?
I chose the option to wait in the tree a dozen times, waiting for something to happen. Nothing ever does; the plot didn’t move on until I climbed down. These false choices are everywhere: maybe saying hello to a traveling caravan will give me an opportunity to buy some supplies; maybe meeting a character in that caravan is absolutely critical, and walking past it is game over. An RPG is a game about choices, yes, but Dwarves is a game in which some choices are meaningless and some choices are momentous, and there’s no telling which is which. I found myself quick-saving every few minutes.
For being so devoted to the plot of the book, sadly, this is a rendition of The Dwarves that did absolutely nothing for me as an introduction to this world. Names washed over me, signifying nothing, as though I was making introductions at a friend’s family reunion: Vraccas, Tion, Girdlegard, Bo?ndal, Älfar. A narrator delivers some pretty talented voice work, including what sound like direct dialog quotes from the book, but not being able to understand the references pulled me out of the game. The whole story wraps up in about 11 hours, reminding me again and again that I was playing a Wikipedia-level summary of a much more interesting story.
When Tungdil isn’t clicking around, exploring this and that and getting quests to here and there, The Dwarves spends a lot of time in combat. It’s a standard party-based tactical RPG set-up: overhead camera, pause at any time, give orders, deploy special skill attacks set to cool-down timers. This design is serviceable in a lot of other games, but it stumbles badly here.
The members of your party automatically attack the nearest enemy and pound them steadily with a basic attack until you give an order to use a special skill, which is actually pretty nice to see. Unfortunately, the basic attacks are useless, so the special skill attacks do all the heavy lifting. After some trial and error, I discovered that using basic strategy and smart party placement isn’t nearly as important as making sure that all of your fighters use as many of their special attacks as often as possible. The best way to make it through a tough fight is to pause often, switch characters constantly, and throw around those special attacks the instant their timers expire.
If any party characters die, that’s game over (because the characters have to participate in the plot, of course), so it’s a real pain in the leather that there are very few ways to heal during a fight. This made difficulty spikes a real issue for me. Even on the easiest difficulty, I came up against several seemingly impossible battles, randomly placed before or after another fight that I found effortless. My success or failure depended entirely on how many bad guys level designers decided to spawn for that battle. If they added too few, I had an easy time. If they added too many, I had a horrific grind.
It’s at this point that I would spend some character points beefing up that basic attack or spend some gold improving my gear, but Dwarves doesn’t have even those basic RPG elements. There are a few inventory items, like enchanted pendants and such, but no way to upgrade armor or loot new weapons. The only way to grow a character is by advancing along a very simple, one-path skill tree (skill stick? skill line?) with half a dozen special moves to unlock.
After all the whining I’ve just done about this poor, battered game, it hardly seems worth mentioning, but: I had a lot of technical issues with The Dwarves, too. I only crashed to desktop once, thankfully, but there were other problems. My frame rate plummeted in every battle when a lot of enemies showed up, and moving around the map interface brought on screen tears and texture-pops. In combat, the camera is a real nuisance; I paused to find a camera angle free of tree branches and terrain almost as often as I paused to give combat orders. On one occasion, a corrupted saved game loaded to show a permanently frozen, motionless dwarf in the foothills around Blacksaddle. I returned to a previous save and started again.
Between the rocky difficulty curves, the linear progression, the forced petty choices, and insta-death penalty for veering away from the dictated plot—everything in The Dwarves made me feel like I had no real control over my journey across Girdlegard. I lacked any real agency as a player, and even for a short RPG adventure, that sucks. I wanted to go on a journey, but I ended up just watching a pretty good book as read by someone else.
If the Walking Dead TV show can’t decide whether it wants to be a dark, maudlin drama or a schlocky, gory thrill-ride, Telltale’s interactive adaptation has established a more consistent voice that allows room for a bit of both without leaving you suffering from tonal whiplash. Its problem is that between the comic books, the TV series and the games, the cyclical nature of its narrative has become ever more apparent. Still, if a riff is catchy enough then it can bear a certain degree of repetition—and though some of its scenarios are familiar, Season Three opens with a double-header that shows The Walking Dead at its best, with characters you can care about, a couple of genuinely shocking surprises and a clutch of well-staged set-pieces.
It certainly helps that Telltale’s new engine finally feels fit for purpose. While Batman still had its share of performance issues, there’s little to grumble about in Ties That Bind: everything runs that much smoother, with snappier transitions that give the action sequences a greater sense of urgency. Press a button to jab a sharp object through a walker’s skull and the only delay between tap and squelch is in the swing. Better lighting and superior cinematography enhance the visual storytelling, too: episode one’s terrific opening offers a shivery reminder of the time the dead first started coming back to life, following a wonderful corridor shot with a jittery handheld camera to heighten the growing unease.
It’s here that we meet new protagonist Javier Garcia, a disgraced former baseball star who quickly moves from absentee son to surrogate father as his story picks up a few years later. He’s now on the road with sister-in-law Kate and her two stepkids, the sullen Gabe and the more immediately likeable, level-headed Mariana. Theirs is the kind of dysfunctional family unit we’ve seen before, but there’s some solid character work here—and a winning line in gallows humour—that establishes the bond between them. Even as they snipe at one another, there’s a clear affection behind the barbs.
Then, of course, there’s Clementine. A few years have passed since the end of Season Two, and she’s now significantly more hard-bitten and distrusting than ever—albeit still fundamentally decent enough to let Javier hang onto an item of emotional worth. It’s startling to see her like this, but we soon come to understand why, via a pair of playable flashback sequences across the two episodes. The first draws a firm line under last season’s events, and for at least two of the possible endings resulting from your pivotal choice in the finale, the outcome here is especially grim. It’s a reminder that your decisions can only really shape your journey rather than its destination, but in a world where surviving is an act of defiance, there’s something to be said for a choice that lets you spend a little longer with someone you care for.
These moments are slightly more problematic in light of the main narrative. As players, we want to know what happened to Clem between then and now, and so it makes sense for Telltale to fill in the gaps. But this isn’t an ensemble piece where each character’s perspective is explored; outside these flashbacks, the story is told exclusively from Javier’s viewpoint. Taking time out to explore the backstory of someone he’s only recently met feels strange, and it also leads to a certain disconnect in terms of your decision-making. We all know Clementine, but Javier doesn’t: though Telltale steadily establishes an uneasy alliance between them, there are key decisions we’re invited to make as Javier with knowledge he couldn’t possibly have. There’s a similar problem in a later scenario. After arriving at a new settlement, it’s not long before Javier indirectly causes a crisis, and yet characters are all too ready to trust him over companions they’ve presumably spent a good deal longer with. Still, that’s an issue from which the TV show also suffers, and at least Javier seems a less impetuous and unhinged leader than Rick Grimes.
Otherwise, there’s much to admire here, from a darkly amusing exchange between Javier and Clem about their different terms for the dead (“What do you call the ones that run?”) to a torchlit tunnel escape that concludes with a tense confrontation and a choice that threatens to have serious ramifications for the next episode at least. An optional DIY surgery scene is every bit as squirmingly grisly as Clem’s wound stitching in last season’s opener, while an appearance from a familiar face will delight fans of the comic and/or TV show. It’s clear that the 'graceful exit' imagined by one character isn’t going to happen any time soon for The Walking Dead, but Ties That Bind makes a surprisingly convincing argument for it to keep shuffling onward.
No, the title doesn’t contain a typo. No, the iPhone 8 hasn’t magically become official already. Still, the rumor mill has considered that it’s time to move on from discussing Apple’s tenth anniversary smartphone. So, just for today, let’s talk about the iPhone 9. The one that will come in 2018. Apparently this will be offered in two sizes, both sporting much bigger touchscreens than we’ve gotten used to. The small iPhone 9 will come with a 5.28″ display, while the larger model will accommodate a 6.46″ panel.
In both cases, the screen tech used will be OLED, and the supplier of the panels will be none other than Samsung. The Korean company expects to sell at least 180 million units to Apple for this purpose. That’s more than double the estimated 80 million OLED displays that it’s producing for the iPhone 8, which should launch this fall.
Of course this is but an unconfirmed rumor for now, so don’t take it too seriously. We’ll have to wait and see whether other reports will corroborate what it claims.
This year Apple is said to release three new iPhone models, two successors for the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus (with the same screen sizes and LCD panels), and a new size device that will feature the Samsung-made OLED screens. According to “some sources”, the Korean company is planning to build a new factory that will be dedicated to exclusively churning out OLED panels for Apple.
After teasing its R11 smartphone earlier this week, Oppo has now launched its A77 smartphone in Taiwan. Notably, the new smartphone from Oppo features an impressive 4GB of RAM and a 16-megapixel selfie-camera. Priced at TWD 10,990 (Rs. 23,400), it will go on pre-order in Taiwan on Friday, May 19 and will be made available starting May 26.
The hybrid dual-SIM Oppo A77 runs ColorOS 3.0 based on Android 6.0 Marshmallow and sports a 5.5-inch full-HD (1080×1920 pixels) In-Cell display and is powered by an octa-core MediaTek MT6750T SoC clocked at 1.5GHz. As we mentioned earlier, the smartphone features an impressive 4GB of RAM.
In terms of optics, the Oppo A77 comes with a 13-megapixel primary camera with an f/2.2 aperture, PDAF, and dual LED flash. At the front, the smartphone has a 16-megapixel camera with f/2.0 aperture. The company claims that with its Background Blur feature, the phone is able to create a depth-of-field effect through its Portrait mode.
The Oppo A77 comes with 64GB of inbuilt storage, expandable via microSD card (up to 128GB). The phone houses a 3200mAh battery and will be made available in Gold and Rose Gold colours. In terms of connectivity options, the phone offers 4G LTE connectivity, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS, as per a report by Gadget Blaze. The phone comes with a fingerprint scanner embedded in the home button at front.
Oppo launched its F3 smartphone with dual selfie camera in the Indian market last month. The smaller sibling of the Oppo F3 Plus, the smartphone has been priced at Rs. 19,990, and went on sale earlier this week. The dual selfie camera on the smartphone has one 16-megapixel 1.3-inch sensor with f/2.0 aperture, and double view wide-angle camera that has an 8-megapixel sensor. While the former sports a 76.4-degree wide-angle lens, the latter sports a 120-degree wide-angle lens that allows for 105-degree field-of-view group selfies.
Xiaomi may have spilled the beans for its ‘unannounced’ Redmi Pro 2 smartphone which was reportedly listed for a brief period on its China site. Based on the listing, the Redmi Pro 2 will be priced at CNY 1,199 (roughly Rs. 11,500) in China.The online listing at Mi.com, was soon pulled down, also included some innards like 5.5-inch OLED display, recently unveiled Snapdragon 660 SoC, 4100mAh battery, and a 16-megapixel rear camera. Considering the original Redmi Pro featured MediaTek Helio processors, it’s interesting to see the company opting for a Snapdragon processor for the successor. The Xiaomi Redmi Pro came with the deca-core MediaTek Helio X25 SoC coupled with Mali-T880 GPU and 4GB RAM + 128GB storage variant apart from the 3GB RAM + 64GB storage variant.
Unfortunately, there’s no official word on the launch of the Xiaomi Redmi Pro 2 as of now. The brief listing of the Redmi Pro 2, however, points to an imminent launch of the phone in China in the coming weeks or months. The China listing was first spotted by GizmoChina.
Much like the original Xiaomi Redmi Pro, the successor is also likely to sport a dual rear camera setup. To recall, the Redmi Pro featured dual rear camera setup with a 13-megapixel Sony IMX258 sensor with a 5-lens module, an f/2.0 aperture, and PDAF autofocus, coupled with a 5-megapixel Samsung (unspecified) sensor for the secondary depth-sensing camera.
The Chinese company is also said to have launched a new pair of USB Type-C earphones in China. The new USB Type-C earphones have been launched at CNY 299 (roughly Rs. 3,000), and will be going on sale in China soon.
Xiaomi is all set to launch its next Redmi smartphone in India on Tuesday, at an event in New Delhi scheduled to begin at 11:30am IST. The Xiaomi Redmi 4 is expected to be launched, and we already know that Amazon India will be the exclusive retail partner for the smartphone.
The Xiaomi Redmi 4’s launch event will be live streamed on the company site. Amazon India has also started accepting registrations for notifications about the smartphone. Xiaomi is also expected to launch the Redmi 4 Prime in India alongside the Redmi 4 at the event.
The Redmi 4 and Redmi 4 Prime were launched in China in November last year, alongside the Xiaomi Redmi 4A, which has been available in India since March. In China, the Redmi 4 is priced at CNY 699 (roughly Rs. 6,900), while the Redmi 4 Prime is priced at CNY 899 (roughly Rs. 8,900).
Both the Redmi 4 and Redmi 4 Prime bear identical metal unibody designs, 2.5D curved glass displays, hybrid dual-SIM slots, and a fingerprint sensor on the rear panel, but have some major differences in specifications such as display resolution, memory, processor, and inbuilt storage. Both smartphones run MIUI 8 based on Android 6.0 Marshmallow, and were launched in in Gold, Grey, and Silver colour variants.
The Redmi 4 bears a 5-inch HD (720×1280 pixels) display, and is powered by an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 SoC clocked at 1.4GHz coupled with the Adreno 505 GPU and 2GB of RAM. It sports a 13-megapixel rear camera with an f/2.2 aperture, 5-lens system, PDAF, and dual-LED flash. On the front, it bears a 5-megapixel camera with an f/2.2 aperture.
It comes with 16GB of inbuilt storage that is expandable via microSD card (up to 128GB). Connectivity options on the Redmi 4 include 4G LTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth v4.1, and GPS/ A-GPS. It is powered by a 4100mAh battery with fast charging support. Sensors on board the Redmi 4 include accelerometer, ambient light, gyroscope, infrared, and proximity. Dimensions are 141.3×69.6×8.9mm, and it weighs in at 156 grams.
The Redmi 4 Prime on the other hand sports a 5-inch full-HD (1080×1920 pixels) display, and is powered by a 2GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 SoC coupled with Adreno 506 GPU and 3GB of RAM. It bears 32GB of inbuilt storage, which is also expandable via microSD card (up to 128GB). It also offers Bluetooth v4.2 connectivity, but apart from this, all other specifications match the Redmi 4.
Poets Corner: Open a World of Opportunities…
BMC &TRAFFIC FINES
You’d think the BMC did not have any money
These new fines suggested are really funny
The traffic police, not to be outdone
Now also want to get in on the fun
From 200/- to 10,000/- the prices get hiked
Illegal parking has really been spiked
I may have some suggestions for other fines
To bring them on par along these ridiculous lines
Let’s make it a lakh for defecating or spitting
At any public spot where people are sitting
5 lakhs for drunk driving and impound the car
Together with a life ban from visiting any bar
3 people on a bike, charge each one a lakh
Auction that bike – don’t give it back
Driving on the wrong side? Clap him in jail
Let him serve out his sentence – deny him bail
Jumping the signal, or no helmet been worn
The fines must be steep, they mustn’t condone
Talking while driving on a cell phone
Ten lakhs up front and leave him alone
Now friends if you find these prices are steep
Try bribing, you’ll find their pockets are deep !
-Ernest .J. Flanagan
© -Ernest .J. Flanagan 2019
Poets Corner is where Songwriters can post their songs with the hope that their words can connect with Composers and be the place where Words meet a Tune for some of the big hits in the future.
Aries (March 21-April 20): This week, Control your temper and keep patience, Wait for right time before taking any step. Even though you are doing well at work, you may feel dissatisfied with the results. You are perhaps becoming overly ambitious. There is no harm in starting a new carrier in film or music industry in this week provided you are certain that you will be able to enough resources to conclude the same. Happiness is love is assured this week.
Taurus (April 21-May 20): Socially, a very active period is ahead. A close associate may back out of some promised help, this might halt your carrier development in music industry . This will be quite upsetting for you. However, this will help you to realize that you should not depend on other. Rest assured that through hard work you will achieve success. Gains are indicated this week, relatively for singers . Those in love can look forward to many exciting evenings with their beloved in this week.
Gemini (May 21-June 20): A quick turn over in business leads to sudden monetary benefits. Avoid fresh investments until you come across a real good bargain. Do not reject any of the projects related to singing and directing. Speculative ventures should be avoided. Those associated with the singing will sign new prestigious contract. Love life is sparkling this week.
Cancer (June 21-July 21): Overseas influence is strong for those who are in field of lyricists. Some of you will make plans to travel on work or on a special assignment. Others are likely to have a visitor from overseas who may have an interesting proposal for a joint venture in multimedia. Those in creative media or related fields are bound to be in the limelight.
Leo (July 22-Aug. 21): Financials gains are indicated but you are advised to hold on your profit and not to invest the same in new ventures. Do not in any case invest your money on the advice of associates who may have some ulterior motives. The married are likely to face a few problems on the home front, As you could not spend much time with them. Those who are composers will be singing new prestigious contract.
Virgo (Aug 22-Sept 21): A busy work schedule could prove tiring. Those travelling on work related to music or film industry will face a few delays and hardships. It is quite likely you may have to travel again to conclude your task. You may hardly find any time for love and romance. A journey abroad will yield profits now and for the future. You may have to return a favor.
Libra (Sept 22-Oct 22): Organizers and playback singers will be given a special assignment to handle independently. The successful completion of this particular project will lead too a promotion. Home also comes under focus due to certain joyful celebration in the family. As you are a entertainer you will be entertaining a number of guests and friends visiting you from out of town.
Scorpio (Oct 23-Nov 21): Those living away from home and family are likely to return soon. Financially, a favorable period and you could make new investment in fresh projects like buying a music album. The singers who desire of changing job will receive suitable offers. Happiness pervades on the home front.
Sagittarius (Nov 22-Dec 20): Avoid speculative ventures for a financial setback is foreseen. You need to stick to routine work and not listed to the advice of those who are making proposal for some quick-money-making scheme. A change of residence or location is predicted for some of you. A deeper bond and can also help you to develop your carrier in music industry
Capricorn (Dec 21-Jan 19): Certain “Lucky” developments at work suddenly propel you to a position of eminence. You will get an opportunity to consolidate your position and also display your organizational abilities. Financially, your position is secured, But Co-operate with your seniors mood; it may bring good news if you are composer or singer. You will be organizing a large social get-together, Which will prove enjoyable.
Aquarius (Jan 20-Feb 18): Work wise a rewarding week. You will be able to consolidate your position at work and also make profitable investment in a deal proposed by a friend, as this can also help you to grab attention of your seniors if you are a producer or director. Love life is delightful and exciting. Some of you are likely to travel to your favourite holiday resort in the company of your sweetheart.
Pisces (Feb 19-March 20): You are greeted with a sudden surprise with the receipt of large sum of money. . The desire to journey is great, but don't take your eye off the professional ball, as there are chances of going out station for a shoot so you can do both things at same time, as things are moving quickly.
Before I get into the jazz scene in India, I would like to give you my take on jazz...
Around one hundred years ago, a bunch of American musicians discovered the joys of improvising and called it jazz. Over two thousand years ago, Indian classical musicians were busy laying down foundations for improvised music. If jazz is improvised music, Indian classical music is jazz! Now that we've discovered who really discovered jazz, it's time to take a good look at its state in India. The name of India's most popular live jazz venue located in Mumbai, tells the story loud and clear. It started as 'Jazz by the bay', changed to 'Not just jazz by the bay' and it is now called 'Pizza by the bay'!
Granted, jazz has a niche following and commercial music rules. But then, a few years later that same commercial music is ruled out while jazz blissfully evolves, embracing all other forms of music along the way. We now have rock-jazz, pop-jazz, funk-jazz, latin-jazz, hip-hop-jazz, indo-jazz... to cut a very long story short, there is a -jazz attached to every genre of music and there will be a -jazz attached ot every genre that comes along. That's how huge jazz is and it should now be spelt jaaaaaaaaaaz!
Jazz is the medium through which I express myself musically. Jazz allows me to be myself as opposed to pop that wants me to be Madonna. I'd rather be myself than strut onstage wearing conical jocks. In fact, not very long ago a leading music company in India released a male indi-pop star's album titled 'Mai bhi Madonna' (I'm Madonna too) with the man dressed in drag on the album cover. Jazz suddenly began to make profound sense to me. I chose to play bass as I felt it was the coolest sound of music. Rhythm, melody and harmony makes music and the bassplayer is the important link between the three. I may not be upfront or in the spotlight all the time like the singer in the band but I am certainly right behind the song all the way.
It's been a long, exciting journey into jazz for me. I made a lot of friends as a musician and a whole lot of enemies. I did meet a lot of people. If it wasn't for my music I would have been a lighthouse keeper on Andaman island or what's worse, I would have been a doctor, lawyer or engineer. Yes, music helped me get out of my shell and face the world with a song. I currently live in Goa where I produce music out of my studio in Sangolda and gig occasionally with local and visiting international artistes. I also perform at concerts and corporate events all over India and internationally. One of the highlights of my career so far, has been performing internationally on the world renowned Hennessy XO jazz tour. My journey into jazz has been fun and my best is always yet to come. To give back to the music that gave me so much, I setup an organisation in Goa called 'Jazz Goa'. After close to three decades of playing jazz with just about every jazz musician in the country, I would have loved to be called the Godfather of Indian jazz. The position has been filled I'm told, so I'll settle for Godson of Indian jazz!
The jazz scene in India
India always had a parallel jazz scene going along with the worldwide evolution of this great form of music that found a hip name in America in the early part of the 20th century. If there was a big band scene happening around the world in the swinging sixties, there was a little big band scene going on in India aswell, in places like Calcutta and Mumbai. When the electronic sound of fusion evolved in the eighties, we had our own fusion heros like Trilok Gurtu, Zakhir Hussain and Ravi Shankar running parallel and often ahead of the rest of the world. Right down to current sounds of yet to be labeled genre's of jazz, there's always a parallel evolution going on in our own land of improvising maestros (Indian classical musicians). The recently defunct Jazz Yatra, started in 1978, featured no less than the jazz legends themelves. Over the years it grew into the longest running international festival in the world! And even served as a launch pad for the great jazz singer/pianist Tania Maria. I remember getting my biannual fix on world class live jazz right here in my backyard. The organisation behind the Jazz Yatra 'Jazz India' ran into some serious inhouse squabbles and was dissolved to make way for 'Capital Jazz' a new organisation that hopes to take over from where Jazz India left off. The two editions of Capital Jazz's 'Jazz Utsav' so far, did feature some great international artistes, but it's going to take a while before it gets anywhere near a Jazz Yatra.
Interestingly, jazz pockets keep springing up all the time in India, like Capital Jazz, Pune Jazz Club, Bangalore Jazz Habba, Chennai Jazz Club and Jazz Goa. Capital Jazz came together to keep an international jazz festival going in India after the Jazz Yatra folded up. This non-profit organisation hosts The Capital Jazz Utsav in Delhi and the West Coast Jazz Utsav in Mumbai. The Pune Jazz Club meet every third Sunday of the month at the Max Mueller Bhavan and one or two members present an audio-visual on his/her favourite jazz artistes. They also organise the occasional live jazz event at Shisha Cafe, Koregaon Park. The club members have a blast at every meeting that invariably turns into a party. Bangalore has it's fair share of jazz exponents and afficiandos. The 2007 edition of the most popular cultural festival 'Bangalore Habba', featured a four day jazz festival within the ten day festival. Some of India's most accomplished jazz artistes, including visiting international artistes performed here. From the tremendous response it got, the festival organisers decided on making it a permanent fixture every year. The Chennai Jazz Club set up by jazz enthusiasts there, operates on similar lines as the Pune club. The meetings too, take place at the Chennai Max Mueller Bhavan. Membership has been steadily growing over the years with new jazz enthusiasts joining the club each year. Jazz Goa was set up by musicians and jazz lovers in Goa to promote local talent, giving them a platform to perform locally aswell as internationally. Goan jazz musicians have always been at the forefront of the jazz scene in India. And Jazz Goa makes sure they stay in the limelight. The organisation has also recorded and released jazz CD's that can be reviewed at www.jazzgoa.com. Goa seems to be the next hub for jazz in India. Almost every visitng jazz artiste has Goa on thier itenary, mainly for it's creatively inspiring environment. Jazz Goa offers these artistes a professional platform to perform in while they holiday in Goa. Goa being an international tourist destination, a jazz concert here attracts worldwide audiences. Delhi too has a great jazz scene since the city is filled with international diplomats, most of them being jazz lovers. The five star hotels here often feature local as well as international jazz bands on resident contracts. Kolkata, the once upon a time jazz hub, no longer has a scene to write home about since most of the jazzers there migrated to foriegn shores, several of them to Mumbai. Coming back to Mumbai and it's struggling to break through Bollywood jazz scene, the fire still keeps leaping out of dying embers. There's a Jazz Utsav rising out of a Jazz Yatra. And a Blue Frog leaping out of a Not Just Jazz by the Bay. It's still happening here, even if it has to be sneaked in between 'Shiela ki Jawani' and 'Chickni Chameli'!
Jazz has always had a niche listener base worldwide and it's not surprising for it to be side stepped in a country ruled by Bollywood. As long as people like me keep getting passionately hooked onto this soulful sound of music, the club's here to stay!
By Colin D'Cruz