BY SAI SEN
New Delhi, Oct 27 (IANSlife) Do you remember the times when people used to go to various music stores to find Cassettes and CDs of newly released albums? While they might not have necessarily liked every single song of an album, they would stay patient and explore, until the next album arrived. Whereas in this era of technology advancement, we have quick access to watch and listen to anything we want.
Various online platforms and streaming services have made the entire process so easy and user friendly that we can change the song/soundtrack with just a single click on the screen. This revolutionary era comes up with a drastic change in human behaviour i.e. a shorter attention span. But on the other side, it brought up greater opportunities for emerging talents like never before. It allows artists to release albums on their own without sharing the royalty to the labels. Thus, we have thousands of innovative artists and genres to explore, especially in our country where 80 percent of entertainment streaming media is all about Bollywood songs.
Have you ever wondered that clicking the fingers, patting the chest, clapping the hands and stamping the feet can produce enough variety of sounds that one can form a band and create music. This is called “Body Percussion” and traced back to the mines of South Africa, where miners communicated with each other using sounds and rhythms. You can make music even without instruments because your body is an instrument!
Have you ever seen a group of people working together to produce the same rhythm? It’s unifying, electrifying, fun and yet unexplored. Perhaps the most famous body percussion ensemble is the United Kingdom percussion group Stomp. Stomp performs in a musical genre known as trash percussion, which involves the use of non-traditional instruments combined with body percussion. In Brazil, the most well-known body percussion group is Barbatuques.
Biomusic is a form of experimental music which deals with sounds created or performed by non-humans. The definition is also sometimes extended to include sounds made by humans in a directly biological way. For instance, music that is created by the brain waves of the composer can also be called biomusic as can music created by the human body without the use of tools or instruments that are not part of the body (singing or vocalizing is usually excluded from this definition). This genre of music is definitely worth exploring and some of the greatest composers and bands have been using Biomusic’s elements such as Roger Water (Pink Floyd), Ron Geesin, David Rosenboom, Julian Bachlow and many more.
Originally known as Thereminvox, it is an electronic musical instrument controlled without physical contact by the thereminist (performer). It is named after its inventor, Leon Theremin, who patented the device in 1928. Just like it sounds like a science fiction movie, it’s worth exploring though. The sound of the instruments is often associated with an eerie situation. Thus , the theremin has been used in movie soundtracks such as Miklos Rozsa’s spellbound and The Lost Weekend, Bernard Herrmann’s The Day the Earth Stood Still, and Justin Hurwitz’s First Man, as well in the theme songs for television shows as the ITV drama Midsomer Murders.
Pans are a musical instrument originating from Trinidad and Tobago. Drums refer to the steel drum containers from which the pan are made; the steel drum is more correctly called a Steel Pan as it falls into the idiophone family of instruments and so is not a drum which is a membranophone Steelpan musician are called Pannist. Steelpans were introduced to the genre of Jazz Fusion by the player such as Dave Samuels and Othello Molineaux in the 1980s, and Jonathan Scales in the 2000s. The sound of the steelpan adds a pleasant and accessible sound to an otherwise complex musical style. They are featured in the early fusion album Morning Dance by Spyro Gyra.
(The author Sai Sen is drums coach at Furtados School of Music)