Saturday, January 29, 2011

'Notes from India' on Gregory Walker's journey to compose music for film, 'Song of the Untouchable'

[“Greg listens to his recordings from the academy and begins work on his new composition”]

On Dec. 30, 2010 AfriClassical posted: “Gregory Walker will compose 'Song of the Untouchable,' to debut in Denver in April 2011.” Gregory T. S. Walker has now sent us a blog post dated Jan. 27, 2011 on the film project in which he is involved. We present a brief excerpt from the blog about the film:

Thursday, January 27, 2011
Notes from India
(Chuck Fryberger, Producer of the film, writes this post)
“Once Greg and the crew got their travel nightmares out of the way and arrived in India, the production could begin in earnest. Our first stop on the musical journey was in Thrissur, to visit the Chetana Music Academy, home of Father Paul, aka The Singing Priest.

“Father Paul is a master of Carnatic music – the subject of Greg’s journey – and our interaction with him and the other musicians at the academy was a great way to start our journey through Indian music. Greg received some one-on-one instruction from a Carnatic violin master, and the crew was impressed with Greg’s ability to pick up some of the techniques of the style so quickly. The master delivered a memorable quote when he said that Greg – a violin master himself – could possibly be a decent Carnatic player in possibly as little as two years. We left Thrissur and arrived late in the evening to the back waters of Alleppey, and climbed aboard the eco-houseboat of Johnson Gilbert.

“Aboard the houseboat, Greg had some time to process his initial musical interactions and begin work on his composition, which will eventually serve as the climactic final scene of the film.

Following our stay on the houseboat, we met up with DJ Sekhar, who has a unique perspective on music. He plays dance music in a modern disco, but he also incorporates some of the elements of the Carnatic style into his original productions. After a few hot and muggy days on the houseboat it was nice to have a cold beer and listen to Greg jam out with some modern tunes. Greg walked into the club and after a few how-do-you-do’s he plugged in his electric violin and improvised some cool duets with the DJ.

“Our next stop was Pakshipthalam, in Wayanad.

“Greg explored the Cave of the Birds (should be called Cave of the Bats) and then we witnessed a performance by a tribal colony of some of their traditional dances, which incorporate singing, dancing, and music. After witnessing the raw power of the performance, we wondered what could possibly top it…”

Comment by email:
Bill, I have a feeling that I may have also partly explored the same path as Gregory Walker on my trip to Kerala and Munnar last October. I heard some pretty interesting violin playing at Fort Kochi (Cochin) and have some recordings. Regards Mike

1 comment:

Dani said...

Thanks for posting this, Bill! I'd give my left arm to be on this trip/project - how cool!