Sunday, June 19, 2011

Some of my favourite musicians - Part 1

The best part of being a music composer in Mumbai is that you get to work with a lot of talented musicians. While doing Marathi Abhimaangeet and then later BALGANDHARVA, I worked with a lot of musicians who gave immense pleasure to the composer in me. I thought of writing a mini-series about the musicians that I have enjoyed working with and this post can be considered to be Part One of this exercise.

Today, I wish to write about two musicians who most of the Marathi Mumbaikars are familiar with - the extremely talented keyboardist and accordion player - Satyajit Prabhu and the flamboyant rhythmist Nilesh Parab.

Satyajit Prabhu 


I remember to have first met Satyajit (Sattu as we call him fondly) at a rehearsal at Ashok Hande's office in Mahim. He was a bespectacled, unassuming boy who quietly sat at his keyboard. It was only when his fingers touched the keyboard that I actually noticed him. As his fingers ran up and down on the keyboard with amazing ease and accuracy, I realised that I was watching a genius at work.

After that initial meeting I met Satyajit a lot at various concerts and programmes. Our association as a musician and a music composer began with Sonali Karnik's album - CHAPHYACHE SHIMPAN in which he played the accordion. Since then, Satyajit has been an indispensable musician in my arsenal. Now, it is extremely difficult to imagine what a recording would be like if Satyajit is not there.
Satyajit is also the backbone of SAREGAMAPA Marathi, the reality show on Zee Marathi. I don't think the programme will be able to function without the current set of musicians aspecially Satyajit. His understanding of Marathi music is acute and he gives a different dimension to the music of SAREGAMAPA.

Satyajit also played a few lines in the MARATHI ABHIMAANGEET's instrumental version. His playing on the accordion is akin to singing. What makes him unique is presenting pure Indian music on a western instrument. I always wonder how he manages to keep a poker face, while playing so beautifully! If I was him, I would have kept applauding myself!

Nilesh Parab

Another familiar name in the Marathi households these days is Nilesh Parab, who has been playing percussions in SAREGAMAPA's all seven or eight schedules. Nilesh is a flamboyant player and like Satyajit, I know him since a long long time. Nilesh's mastery on the dholki is simply terrific, and while Nilesh has been a part of most of my concerts, I don't remember a single programme where he did not command a rousing applause.
My team of rhythmists - all exceptionally talented! Nilesh in red T-shirt
Nilesh's expertise lies in the understanding the nuances of folk music and he becomes the mandatory part of the recording if there is any folk-based song. Both Satyajit and Nilesh have been the part of my music making from my early days as a music composer to my latest project BALGANDHARVA. I thank them for always being there for me and express my belief that they will always be a part of whatever I do.

© Kaushal S. Inamdar, 2007