Basic instinct

Award-winning music composer Shailendra Barve explains why he had to unlearn many things to work on the music of upcoming Marathi film Ek Hazarachi Note

Written by Garima Rakesh Mishra | Mumbai | Updated: May 14, 2014 3:51:08 pm

Shailendra Barve Shailendra Barve

Around the same time last year, music composer Shailendra Barve learnt that he had won the National Award 2012 for Best Music Direction for Marathi film Samhita – The Script. The award, he says, put tremendous pressure on him, leaving his mind burdened by the question: “Will I be able to live up to the audiences’ expectations?” Just five days after the announcement, he was supposed to start working on his next project, Ek Hazarachi Note. “I feel fortunate that the project came to me at the right time. The music for this film demanded spontaneity, honesty and going ‘back to the basics’ — all of which is possible only after one rids his or her mind of other thoughts. It allowed me to get over my win and move on,” says Barve. He was in Pune for the music launch of Ek Hazarachi Note, which releases on May 9. Directed and produced by Shrihari Sathe, the film features Usha Naik, Sandeep Pathak, Shrikant Yadav, Ganesh Yadav, Pooja Nayak and Devendra Gaikwad.
Elaborating on his “back to the basics” comment, Barve says, “The film revolves around people who are simple and content, just like children. For a person like me, who was born and brought up in Mumbai, where people are more result-oriented, the film demanded I unlearn my metropolitan ways.”
Ek Hazarachi Note is about a poor old woman who gets a thousand rupee note for the first time in her life. “The story reminded me of the joy I experienced as a child whenever someone gave me a full chocolate bar, which didn’t happen often,” recollects Barve. The soundtrack of Ek Hazarachi Note, he says, is an honest attempt at bringing across the purity embodied by the
protagonist, which reflects in the orchestration that entails minimalistic music. While he has composed five songs, the film features four. Talking about the genre of the songs, Barve says , “The song Krishna teri, sung by Arti Ankalikar, has a touch of ovi, which is a form of folk music involving a unique singing style sprinkled with philosophy. Dhondi dhondi paani re is inspired by a practice prevalent in eastern Maharashtra wherein tribals, awaiting rainfall, pray to god through songs.” The film also features a song titled Male bejja harik zhala in the Varadi dialect.
However, Barve considers Dennare dennare the most challenging song. “It’s like the chants based on famous Bollywood numbers made for political campaigns. I was asked to compose an original song, which sounded like a rip-off. We used a lot of electronic stuff to create that crudeness,” he recalls.
The musician attributes his success to the exposure he received as a student at King George High School, Mumbai. “I must have been 11 years of age when my teacher asked me to compose music for a play by Vidya Patwardhan. I guess that was a turning point in my life,” says Barve, adding that in college he started getting music assignments for jingles, advertisements and TV. In 1999, he joined Prithvi Theatre, Mumbai, as part of Makrand Deshpande’s group, with which he was associated till 2013. During this period, he composed music for over 25 plays. The stint at Prithvi Theatre gave him the opportunity to come in contact with many creative people, which resulted in assignments like the song Mera jahan for Taare Zameen Par (2007) and composing music for films; Naach (2004) and Striker (2010).
Before Samhita came along, Barve composed music for popular Marathi films such as Gandh (2009), Bokya Satbande (2009) and Gajaar (2011). Currently, he is working on Marathi films Por Bazaar and Siddhant, and Hindi projects titled Dombivili Returns and Traffic.

 

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