Conceptualized by Nanni Singh, CEO of ShowCase Events, and composed by Ravi Iyer, the song has been written by Loy Chacko.
As India enters its 75th year of independence, there is much for us to be proud of as a nation especially in our unmatched cultural diversity and unwavering solidarity as a nation. Our music fraternity has been at the forefront of celebrating our innate Indianness, through many renditions over the years. Who can forget the iconic ‘Mile Sur Mera Tumhara’, composed by Maestro Bhimsen Joshi – a real feat of coordination from across the length and breadth of the country. It is hard to imagine therefore, that a similar, more modern version could be pulled off during a global pandemic when meeting physically became a near impossible task. Yet ‘Synthesis – The Indian Muse’, did just that by bringing together sixteen artists from different musical genres and varied locations in India and abroad.
Conceptualized by Nanni Singh, CEO of ShowCase Events, and composed by Ravi Iyer, this song has been written by Loy Chacko, and mixed-mastered by Aslam Khan. It released on August 15, 2021, to mark this momentous occasion and instantly began garnering views – now close to 2 million – on its YouTube video for being almost like an entire concert rolled into one song. Since its release, it has been referred to as ‘the song of the year’ by a number of music industry stalwarts. The team that has conceptualised the song was invited to speak on the Doordarshan platform, with the song being broadcast nationally and internationally on their channels.
In the words of Nanni Singh, “I cannot think of any other production on this scale where 16 exemplary Indian artists have come together for a truly unique musical presentation – and that too remotely! Kudos to each one for their tremendous effort and blending their unique strengths together for a beautiful final result.”
The concept of the song arose from the desire to represent the essence of being Indian and what the country stands for. Perhaps, the greatest achievement however was bringing on board such a large variety of talented artists. These include vocalists Dhanashree Pandit Rai, who specializes in Thumri; Sonam Kalra, an award winning singer, composer and creator of The Sufi Gospel Project; Anushree Gupta, a soulful singer and songwriter from Bengal; Kutle Khan, a well-known folk musician from Rajasthan and Sunita Bhuyan, a talented Indo fusion violinist and vocalist.
The instrumentalists include Ambi Subramaniam on the violin, Nazir Ganaie on the rabab, Hidayat Husain Khan on the sitar, Pt. Ajay Prasanna on the flute, Naviin Gandharv on the Belabahaar, Sunita Bhuyan on the violin, Nathulal Solanki on the nagaras, Ustaad Fazal Qureshi on the tabla, Sridar Parthasarathy on the mridangam, Vijay Chavan on the Marathi dholki and Kutle Khan on the khartaal.
Though largely a musical piece, its video offers visual appeal through the talented dancers featured in it – Aditi Bhagwat with Kathak and Sohini Roychowdhry with Bharatnatyam. These dance forms were particularly brought in to showcase the ability of Indian traditional art forms to move beyond their limitations.
When asked how she felt on the release of the song, Nanni Singh shares, “Being Indian is our collective pride. We get the purest feeling of joy when we celebrate our country’s rich cultural heritage. This song shares a collective message of strength of the artist fraternity, the sound and spirit of which, even the pandemic could not dilute. By bringing together elements of Indian Classical, Sufi, and Folk music, we have tried to give prominence to each of these. Not one of them overpowers the others, and the result is simply beautiful – a fusion of sounds and moves, and of the traditional with the modern.”
It was not an easy process to direct the various artists remotely and then compile the song piece-by-piece. This is aptly explained in the words of Dhanashree Pandit-Rai who says, “No greatness can be achieved without some craziness right at the start. The most exciting part for us all was to see the song germinate bit by bit. First, we got the catchy melodic line, then the lyrics came in and seamlessly blended with the music, then came the instrumental bits, and vocal parts from different artists. Each time the song would come back with something added in, and watching it grow was very exciting!”
Yet this labour of love proved creatively rewarding for everyone involved. As Sohini Roychowdhry explains, “Love stories, like gypsies, travel from place to place. For us, that is Synthesis – The Indian muse.” The others too echo her sentiments on their collective creation. Ravi Iyer calls it an anthem of love, peace, harmony and togetherness, which he is proud to be part of; Fazal Qureshi feels it represents the emotions of India and represents India’s unity and diversity; Anushree Gupta hails it as spreading love through the sound of music; Hidayat Khan feels honoured to have been able to work with so many talented Indian musicians, composers and singers from his location in the United States; and Ambi Subramaniam is grateful that the song was created.
“Synthesis – The Indian Muse is both regional and global at once. Multiple genres and art forms from around India have been represented in a four minute exclusive presentation,” shares Nanni Singh, further adding, “We are proud of being Indian. There is the underlying spirit and feeling of patriotism and ours is a pure feeling of pride in our country’s rich cultural heritage. The message we are trying to share is that despite the difficulties of the pandemic, the artists are a strong fraternity, and nothing can dilute their sound or their spirit.”
Since its release, the video has garnered lakhs of views, and it has also been covered by numerous prestigious media platforms. Its uniqueness brought it to the attention of various foreign Embassies and cultural bodies, who premiered it as their official salutation to India on the occasion of its 75th Independence Day. These include the Indian Consulates of Spain, China, Malta, Germany, Turkey, Singapore, France, Vietnam, Azerbaijan, Greece, Philippines, and USA, and abroad it includes institutions such as the Arab Cultural Centre in UAE, Nehru Centre London, as well as FICCI FLO and the Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR).
Currently streaming across all platforms, Synthesis – The Indian Muse is an apt tribute to the country with its unique conceptualisation, melodic sound and heartfelt intent, and is sure to linger in memory for many years to come.
The writer pens lifestyle articles for various publications and her blog www.nooranandchawla.com. She can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org.