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News |  28 Apr 2011 15:05 |  By Poonam

'We were scared to approach Ashaji for 'R.D. Burman - The Man, The Music': Anirudha Bhattacharjee

* Musical Maverick Pancham Da's legacy published

MUMBAI: The musical maestro Pancham Da is back with his unparalleled invigorating melodies in the book titled, 'R.D. Burman: The Man, The Music' which was launched on Tuesday, 26th April, 2011 at Oxford Bookstore in Mumbai. The book is co-authored by Balaji Vittal and Anirudha Bhattacharjee and published by Harper Collins India.

In their first endeavor, authors Balaji Vittal, an employee with Royal Bank of Scotland and Anirudha Bhattacharjee, an IITian and consultant with an MNC were quite apprehensive about writing a biography of the legend. Their fascination towards writing the book arose from the Pancham Da's compositions.

�R.D. Burman: The Man, The Music' looks at the phenomenon called RD Burman and how he changed the way Indians perceived Hindi film music. Through anecdotes and trivia that went into the making of Pancham Da's music – the many innovations he introduced, like mixed rhythm patterns, piquant chords and sound mixing – and through interactions with the musicians who were part of RD's team, the authors have created a fascinating portrait of a man who, through his music continues to thrive, nearly two decades after his death.

The book mirrors RD Burman and his music- what it was about, the era in which it was composed, the factors that influenced it and the difference it wrought in a medium that today connects Indians across the globe. It is about Pancham's mystique, his differentiator, about why his compositions, once considered counterculture, continue to thrive, either in the original or in remixed versions, even four decades after he composed them.

The book contains a foreword by Veteran lyricists and scriptwriter Javed Akhtar and renowned producer-director Vidhu Vinod Chopra with an introduction by legendary actor Shammi Kapoor.

Balaji Vittal hosted the launch and renowned guitarist Ramesh Iyer, who was one of the members of RD Burman's team enthralled the fans with live guitar performance on Pancham Da's unprecedented compositions. This book is also a homage to the team members Homi Mullan, Kersi Lord, Ranjit Gazmer, Amrit Rao and Ramesh Iyer who were also present at the launch.

Anirudha Bhattacharjee and Ramesh Iyer reveal insights with RadioandMusic.com

Anirudha Bhattacharjee: I have grown on RD Burman's music. Mere Saamne Wali Khidki Main was the first song I sang in school when I was three years. I was thinking of writing a book on Pancham for quite sometime, and three years back while discussing the music of Pancham Da with Balaji, we came up with the idea of writing a book on RD Burman. The book basically captures the musical journey of RD Burman. It includes the anecdotes, trivia and behind the scenes, conceptualization of songs,  orchestration, how did Pancham mix ragas and created different sounds. It covers his entire journey from Chhote Nawab to 1942 love story. We were very scared to approach Ashaji, but the book has inputs from Randhir Kapoor, Dev Anand Shammi Kapoor, Manohari Singh, Kersi Lord, Rishi Kapoor, Vidhu Vinod Chopra.

Ramesh Iyer: The computers has now taken over the music industry. We were a total of 50 to 60 musicians who worked with Pancham Da and tried to give him the best because he wanted the best. Working with him was a wonderful experience and we played live without cut, copy, paste, retakes and slicing, which was very challenging. Pancham Da was very particular about what he wanted so we had to always be on alert. Everyday Pancham experimented new sounds and did something new with the song. Once when we were doing a background music for a song he asked me to strike a harmer on the lower strings of the Piano as he wanted an erry effect which turned out beautifully on the screen. I even remember we did the background for a movie called Abdullaha which was shooted in a desert. To give a typical sandstorm sound he used a steel bowl of water with sticks and created a very erry kind of sound. It was very exciting and was something we had never done before....

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