Wednesday, July 13, 2016


I'm in NYC visiting a dear friend, Diya, and I had the most incredible dream this morning - and for that I'm for once so thankful for jet lag and my general holiday laziness and reluctance to get out of bed well into the morning. A very concrete musical tune came to me out of nowhere and I haven't felt this blissed in a long time. The setting for the dream was basically (surprise!) my Facebook news feed, but what popped up in it was this beautiful video from a (imaginary) page I'd "liked": of Bombay Jayashree singing with her (Carnatic) orchestra on the beach, in front of a gorgeous South Indian temple. Oddly enough she was singing in Bengali - which was probably the result of recently attending a wonderful concert by Kaushiki Chakrabarty in which she sang a Bengali piece and/or the fact that Diya - whom I'm visiting now - is Bengali and/or the fact that I've lately been watching a Netflix series on Tagore's short stories. The highlight of the dream was the tune. What I heard - although it was just one line - was very intriguingly, a really well-defined and "distilled-out" tune with quite a unique meter and rhythm. (It was in khandam/ 5-beat cycle.) This has never happened to me before. Or it probably has a couple times but I've never woken up remembering the tune. This time I did, and it was an incredible feeling. I like the tune although it isn't very unique. I think it's nice - and sounds something like Pancham se Gara/ a Bihag-ish Khamaj, which has been quite a common Raga in film songs though. And I think I like it because I really had nothing to do with it. The tune isn't really mine. But what I'm feeling more than anything - pride/ happiness etc. - is a sense of intrigue. I'm fascinated by this experience and wonder if there have been other such Kekule's-Benzene-ring kind of moments of serendipity in music. (I'm sure there have, and much more grandiose ones.) I've always been a very deliberate - as opposed to a spontaneous - musician, and always felt inadequate because of that. That makes this dream even more fascinating. Right now I'm torn between developing this tune into a full-fledged composition and Googling on music and dreams. It's a good place to be :)

Sadly no amount of Google image search yielded a picture of Bombay Jayashree singing on the beach, but this post wouldn't be complete without her face, so here goes:

Friday, July 01, 2016


A clip from today's practice.