Remembering the great R D Burman!
In India and abroad, R D Burman fans get ready to celebrate, on Sunday, the 71st birth anniversary of the illustrious music director, credited with revolutionizing the Hindi film music of his generation.
Born on June 27, 1939, Rahul Dev Burman, more commonly known as R D Burman, was nicknamed Pancham, supposedly by Manna Dey because of his characteristic youthful wailing apparently matched the fifth note.
Burman is credited as the composer who really brought the groove into Hindi film music, starting an era of hip and energetic youthful compositions which went on to become extremely popular and the defining sound of the period between the late 60s to mid 80s.
Introducing international influences of electronic rock, Burman was seen as the visionary director who looked beyond realms of contemporary Indian music.
He was also revered as an extremely innovative and experimental composer who brought in a whole new ‘happening’ sound and continues to appeal to many of the young generation even today.
Through the horde of R D Burman remixes, which though often seen as derogatory, his sound continues to live on and rock at night clubs and discotheques.
This year the celebrations went beyond niche music clubs and associations, to the stages of Indian Idol on a special episode aired on June 22, where revered singer and Burman’s wife Asha Bhonsle arrived along with musical assistants of legendary music director.
To mark his birth anniversary, director Brahmanand S Siingh, has come up with a 2 hour long direct-to-DVD film on Burman, some 16 years after the legend’s death and after interviewing over 40 friends and peers, titled Pancham Unmixed.
Also, using some appealing material collected during the filming that could not be incorporated into the movie, Siingh has compiled a coffee table book on Burman called Pancham – Strings of Eternity.
The book features some rare photographs, anecdotes, insights and emotions of some of Burman’s the closest friends and associates, including his wife, Asha Bhosle.
Despite ruling Bollywood with consecutive super hit soundtracks, in the late 1960s and most of the 70s Burman died, in 1994, a troubled death plagued with financial difficulties; but not before giving one of his best works as his one of his last in the form of the superb soundtrack of 1942: A Love Story.