Oye tractor engine! Temple bells Oye | Culture | Times Crest
Popular on Times Crest
  • In This Section
  • Entire Website
  • Unabashedly raw
    May 18, 2013
    The new female playback voice is vastly different from the high pitch of the earlier decades - today, it is unapologetically low, bold and husky.
  • 'No song comes my way today'
    May 18, 2013
    Kavita Krishnamurthy Subramaniam has ruled Bollywood music for over three decades. She's seen the highs and lows having worked with some of the…
  • 'A saturation point had been reached'
    May 18, 2013
    TOI-Crest tries to find out what makes this giggly and chatty 22-year-old special.
More in this Section
Profiles
Leaving tiger watching to raise rice Ecologist Debal Deb, who did his post-doctoral research from IISc in…
The crorepati writer He's the man who gives Big B his lines. RD Tailang, the writer of KBC.
Chennai-Toronto express Review Raja is a Canadian enthusiast whose quirky video reviews of Tamil…
Don't parrot, perform Maestro Buddhadev Dasgupta will hold a masterclass on ragas.
A man's man Shivananda Khan spent his life speaking up for men who have sex with men.
Bhowmick and the first family of Indian football At first glance, it would be the craziest set-up in professional football.
From Times Blogs
The end of Detroit
Jobs in Detroit's car factories are moving to India.
Chidanand Rajghatta
How I love the word ‘dobaara’...
Can ‘bindaas’ or ‘jhakaas’ survive transliteration?
Shobhaa De
Anand marte nahin...
India's first superstar died almost a lonely life.
Robin Roy
A folk journey

Oye tractor engine! Temple bells Oye

|



Sneha Khanwalkar has been lending a ear to all kinds of everyday sounds, and mixing them into folksy, pop songs.

The growl of a tractor engine. The thwack of a cricket bat. The blare of a siren. The drone of a tumbi. The clanking of temple bells. These were just some of the sounds that Bollywood music director Sneha Khanwalkar needed to string together to make music.

Known for her penchant for exploring the interiors of the country to record and uncover talent - she travelled through Punjab and Haryana looking for that authentic folk-infused sound for Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye!, a film that catapulted her from anonymity to fame - Khanwalkar was the perfect choice for a television show that aims at turning everyday noises into music.

Armed with a digital recorder and a keen ear, Khanwalkar, who describes herself as a "sound junkie", set off on a sonic journey through ten Indian cities, to capture sounds and voices that encapsulate each city's culture and soundscape. "The focus of the show was on sounds that would sum up a city, and not just find new singers, " she explains.

"Travelling for Oye Lucky! was great practice for this experiment, " Khanwalkar told TOICrest, shortly after returning from Assam where they shot an episode on the river island Majuli. "But this show is actually a lot more ambitious. When I was scouting for sounds for the movie, I had an idea of the sound I wanted but here it was all new. We were in each place for 3 or 4 days, and we had not only to record and hear, but even make a song in that time. Constantly working on a deadline wasn't easy, but a lot of fun, " she grins.

The show, Sound Trippin, premiered last week with a journey to Punjab, the land of masculinity and mustard fields. Brilliantly shot and slickly edited, the show is an interesting take on what we assume is noise. The classically trained Khanwalkar transforms the disharmony in the cackle of everyday sounds into hummable harmonies.

For the first episode, Khanwalkar travelled to Qila Raipur for the 76th Rural Olympics and Jalandhar. At Qila Raipur, where she was presented with a cacophony of sounds, Khanwalkar recorded a funny kabaddi commentator, a revved-up motorcycle engine, the yell of a weightlifter and the whack of a hockey stick. She mixed all those sounds with a siren she recorded at a cricket factory in Jalandhar, the distinctive Punjabi instruments tumbi and dhad, and set the soundtrack to Punjabi lyrics sung by Jyoti and Sultana Nooran, the granddaughters of eminent folk singer Bibi Nooran. A dubstep treatment makes the song, Tung, tung both contemporary and folksy.

Converting scraps of sounds - the sounds at a leather factory, bird song, traffic - into a pop song that would appeal to a wider audience is what she describes as a "difficult but stimulating process". "It was challenging because we need sounds and voices that have to be evocative and come up with a song that could be enjoyed by anybody. "

Just as she discovered names and voices like Des Raj Lakhani who sang Jugni in Oye Lucky!, this time round too she met some unique singers. The 28-year-old, whose last major project was Dibakar Banerjee's Love Sex and Dhoka and is currently working on Anurag Kashyap's Gangs of Wasseypur, was taken aback by the 'big momma' voices of the Siddi tribe she encountered in Yellapur, Karnataka. The Siddis of Karnataka are a tribe of African descent that have made Karnataka their home for the last 400 years.

"That was a breathtaking yet ironic experience, " she tells. "The assimilation of these people of African descent with the local culture is so high. They don't even realise that they look any different, but when they started singing, their lineage was difficult to ignore. They were pitch perfect and had such powerful voices. They couldn't really understand why it was important to record what they do on a daily basis. "

Affable and genuinely interested, Khanwalkar drew people and noises out. "People hate to be pushed because at the end of the day singing is an art, " she explains. "Once they open up, they all have a childlike enthusiasm. A bit of 'gaa na, arre gaa na' always works. "

Reader's opinion (1)

Kyle LongDec 11th, 2012 at 14:27 PM

Nice piece on this brilliant artist.

 
Other Times Group news sites
The Times of India | The Economic Times
इकनॉमिक टाइम्स | ઈકોનોમિક ટાઈમ્સ
Mumbai Mirror | Times Now
Indiatimes | नवभारत टाइम्स
महाराष्ट्र टाइम्स
Living and entertainment
Timescity | iDiva | Bollywood | Zoom
| Technoholik | MensXP.com

Networking

itimes | Dating & Chat | Email
Hot on the Web
Hotklix
Services
Book print ads | Online shopping | Business solutions | Book domains | Web hosting
Business email | Free SMS | Free email | Website design | CRM | Tenders | Remit
Cheap air tickets | Matrimonial | Ringtones | Astrology | Jobs | Property | Buy car
Online Deals
About us | Advertise with us | Terms of Use and Grievance Redressal Policy | Privacy policy | Feedback
Copyright© 2010 Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. All rights reserved. For reprint rights: Times Syndication Service