Saturday, January 24, 2009

Rumpeteer Tilak

Two underdog stories are shaking the world right now. One real life and the other reel life. One is called Barrack Obama and the other, Slumdog Millionaire. I didn’t see the inauguration ceremony of Mr Obama but I have seen and heard Danny Boyle’s several Oscar nominated ‘Slumdog Millionaire’. It’s a visual and aural delight. Golden Globe has already given several nods to the movie, including the OST by A R Rahman and I’m sure Oscars will do the same.

Being a Rahman fan ever since his path-breaking creation Roja, I’m delighted. The soundtrack of ‘Slumdog…’ has been playing in my system for the last 3 weeks and I’ve been tripping on each track, one by one. My current favorite is the track called ‘Mausam & Escape’ with some brilliant Sitar work in it.

During the same time when Slumdog’s music was creating ripples at the Globes and across the globe, I managed to pay a charming tribute to Rahman’s genius in my own little way. I turned into a music director guiding a Sri Lankan trumpeter (locally pronounced ‘RUMPETEER’) to play the Rahman composed Airtel signature tune in the ‘Papre Band’ manner. This was for the radio jingle which was a part of the launch of Airtel in Sri Lanka. My agency just accomplished the task of the launch.

In Sri Lanka, Papre band consists of a drummer and a RUMPETEER. They are usually found at the Cricket matches cheering the local team and they are loud and irritating, mostly.

The RUMPETEER of this story is called Tilak and he is a part of the Police band of Colombo. I made him rehearse inside closed doors for 30 minutes and he was ready for the recording. It just took him two takes to deliver the perfect rendition. After which, he politely collected his 5 K SLR and faded into oblivion. This particular jingle went on to become very popular and many Sri Lankans came up to me to say that they enjoyed it.

The fact that Mr Rahman will never know about this little episode makes it all the more charming.


phish said...

what a simple story you write! delightful. and yes the soundtrack is awesome. the film, i found, just aboyt passable fare though.

p.s. would it be possible to make available the download of the rumpeteer's version...?

Smiling Dolphin said...

yes please, would love to hear the rumpeteer. can u email it to me or i guess i could ask sam for it? congrats on the music direction!

NB said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ghaza said...

hee hee hee ............. rahman was also the centre of your first interaction with mr. bojangles

Rahul Jauhari said...

I have spent so much time on that brand and yet that music never ceased to amaze me. Would love to hear Rumpeteer Tilak's rendition :-)

meraj said...

thanks phish and dolphin! did you guys manage to hear the rumpeteer's version?

thanks for appreciating the work. even i don't like SRK but the guy is a thorough professional. he just took five minutes to give that brilliant shot of 'Hello Sri Lanka'

Rahman was indeed the point of our first interaction.

there is indeed something about the tune. will mail you the track


Spiff said...

would love to hear it - mail it to me too!

Anonymous said...

Meraj enjoyed your blog.Could you email it to us..I would love to hear it.
I love music and Rahman is definitely one of my favourites..
I liked the movie'Slumdog millionaire' a lot too.As far as the music goes it did not appeal to me as much as his previous ones..It could also be because i have not listened to it often..
Meena mami

mallika mohanchnad said...

Hi Meraj , enjoyed your version of rumpeteer. In kerala also I have heard many english words which have been made into very vernacular sounding words and one gradually accepts those words as part of malayalam. My Amma rememebers a lot of such words coined during the British rule. One example which comes to mind off hand is a story told to us by my grandfather . He narrates how Cashew nut got its name . It seems an English Saheb saw a local man sitting with some nuts to sell. He had never seen those nuts so went up and asked the man " What are those " . The local man though he was asking the price of the nuts and replied " Kashinettu " meaning 8 for a kaashe (a malayalam currency )The saheb thus named kshinettu as " cashew nut " !
Malu Mami

ALIen said...

baba please let me also have the pleasure to hear it...cheers!!!!

ilegirl said...

Congratulations on the work - sounds like a creative blast!

I haven't seen the film yet, but read the book Q & A which I liked very much (hope to post soon on that topic).

meraj said...

Meena Mami,
would be mailing you the track. surely, the soundtrack of Slumdog isnt like his regular movie scores but that itself is the beauty of the score. am sure you will start falling in love with it after listening to Lathika's theme carefully.

Malu Mami,
enjoyed that little anecodote...thanks!

need you email id to mail the stuff

i did have a little spark there :)

meraj said...

Congratualtions to Rahman!