Such endeavours are indeed endless and the seasons never fail to fascinate musicians and singers, both classical and the film variety.
The Delhi audience was witness last night to another such enterprise, this time by Abhishek Ray, who has composed his album Ritu', which captures the essence of the six Indian seasons. An eccletic mix of music imbibing both Indian and Western influences, the album uses a wide gamut of Indian musical instruments.
'Ritu' has soul-stirring lyrics by Nusrat Badr, Manvendra, and Abhishek himself. One of the songs, 'Bolo Mitwa', is shot as a sensational music video.
The pick of the album, 'Grashima', representing the summer season, has an enchanting song, 'Lao Sili Chanv', composed in 'Mand', a rich raga from the desert state of Rajasthan. The track imbibes the fiery, tropical heat of Indian summer storms using sufi vocals and instruments like the haunting sarangi, rustic flute and desert percussion.
Monsoon or 'Varsha' with the song 'Khali Aanokh ki kishti' is a lush raga of the rain Gods, Megh-Malhar. It takes on a rich robe of warm aalaps, sarod, guitar riffs, and sparkling rhythum sections.
Orchestrated in a 6/4 ballad(drut ektal), the composition flirts with the raindrops to weave the magic of the Indian monsoon.
Autum or 'Pat Jhad' composed in the song 'Bolo Mitwa' is in the shadow of kalvati', a raga from the southern states, whose track is posed on the silver notes of sitar, sultry male vocals and vibrant acoustic guitars.
Early winter or 'Hemant', wrapped in the song 'Chalo Hum Chalon' is a poignant composition in raga 'Hemant', riding the crests and troughs of a relationship on a bed of sarod strings, woody bass guitar, rich vocal renditions and analogue drums.
Winter or 'Shishr ' composed in the raga 'Sarad Lehar' has a track which is embellished by the presence of hallow woodwinds, crisp sitar and guitar. Riding a drum and bass grove, the mysterious notes of raga 'Bhattiyar' lend a haunting feeling to this composition.
Spring or 'Vasant' blends elements of two rich ragas, 'Mishra Pilu' and 'Vasant', and rides a sensuous waltz progression to capture the myriad colours and smells of spring time.
A graduate in Physics from Delhi University and Masters in Computer Applications, Abishek is a man for all seasons. My academic background enabled me to understand the subtle aspects of sound and thus allowed me to improvise on my computerised recording studio in Delhi,'' he says.
Abhishek, also known to be a pianist, is a diffusion of East and West. Along with Indian classic music, he has a sound background in Western classical music in the form of a formal training.
The album Ritu' has been brought out by Music Today and Abhishek has composed and sung in the World Music series brought out by the same company.
I have been composing music since, school days and have the fortune of learning ragas and ragins from both my parents. Mother nature is my main source of inspiration, which has a magnetic pull on me,'' he says. After nature, his next most favourite theme is human relationships.
Some men are closer to nature than others. This depends upon the quality of your soul. If you are too lured by materialism and consumerism, you will go away from nature. In future I will try to sing and compose music which has much to do with nature.'' UNI