Of words and music
Having been fed by Bollywood and Hollywood music in general, it takes some amount of patience to listen to any other form of music. Music that accompanies no words, but is enough in itself. For people who are taxed of time and resources, might find it difficult to access. The listener may thus be confined to the audio visual format and the imagination becomes limited.
Like every form of art, Music also brings along its culture, a resonance of the place, people and the time it belongs to. It may speak of rebellion (ham honge kameyab), of surrender to God (aae malik tere bande ham, o palan haree), it may speak of the history of the times (like the patriotic music of various countries), love, festivities or simply put forward the musicians idea of what music is for him/ her.
So when we take time and listen to the pieces whether of our culture or others, we actually give time and space in our brains, even momentous, to listen to the ‘other’ by the ‘other’ and understand what exactly-well exact isn’t a correct word ever in art-but fairly closer point of view of the artist. It brings one closer to their selves and their lives, making one richer in experience without personally having experienced it.
I saw myself learning Adele’s Someone Like You by heart, because it was a new, young and cool English song. But not all of her music made sense to me. A lot of people may not even consider new singers and musicians and many other don’t choose to listen to the older songs. One of the reasons for such a blind view of a particular era could be that one already has too many favorites, one doesn’t want to experiment, and it is too unnerving to try something new! And when such music, wordless and different, is accompanied by an even abstract dance, then the business does get tougher. The rhythmic tune of the Indian music whether classical or Bollywood or the lonesome voice singing straight throughout the whole song, is a habit to which the head knows when to nod and the feet knows when to tap. But an abstract music can be difficult to nod to. How does one deal with it? Moreover the dance which it accompanies is a perfect blend of pirouette and a mixture of ridiculous face movements and hand gestures. A dance form that is precise and correct in its own right, but perfectly nonsensical to the untrained eye.
It takes a lot of seeping in, more than a couple of visits to the concerts, obsessive searching on the internet about such artists and a will to go through discomfort for the initial months.
Really, it is a commitment harder than one makes in a relationship. And the success at deciphering may always not guarantee sense. Nevertheless, it brings a pleasure of a different kind. Like the one of knowing a species of flowers, birds or even aliens. Who knows when which type of music may connect to one, without speaking a word or a syllable?
Keep listening till then…