Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Creation Of Music

I have a fetish for musical instruments. I love buying and collecting musical instruments and playing them from time to time. I just love the the thought of owning musical instruments. I finally want to be able to play all the instruments mentioned below to some satisfactory degree.

Instruments I own:

I bought a flute from a pavement seller in Connaught Place (CP) in Delhi. I tried playing it for a bit. I failed miserably. I just don't know the technique and it shows when I am unable to draw any sound from it. However, the bamboo flute still produces one of the purest and most serene sounds I have ever heard. I am mesmerised when it is played.

Also known as a mouth organ, I bought one as a prop in a small skit I was part of. Although I am able to draw sound from it and even make it sound pretty decent to the untrained ear, I still do not know the technique and am hence stabbing in the dark. Once I learn the art of wind instruments, then I shall be able to make it a more accomplished instrument in my hands, but its reputation will forever remain embellished as the accessory of the Roadside Romeo, thanks to the Hindi movies of the late twentieth century.

The first instrument I ever bought, my affiliation with the acoustic guitar began early in school, but never progressed beyond mere acquaintanceship. Stiff fingers with regularly locking joints and a habitually poor interest and commitment level ensured that the acoustic guitar stayed in its bag and collected dust. The guitar now lies at home in Bengaluru. I continue to have no interest in learning the acoustic guitar or any other string instrument.

Instruments I wish to own:

The only instrument that I know how to play to a certain acceptable level, I used to "own" a drum kit back in MICA. After passing out though, the illusion passed and the drum kit became the property of MICA, as it always was. I'm not too sure I would want to buy an acoustic drum kit as time passes as I think that the phase of drumming in my life has passed and will not return, even though I am going for classes to update my skills.

This instrument has the greatest chance of being my next purchase. I have already identified a vendor in CP and will probably ending up buying it the next time I pass by him. This instrument will be my first in an impressive line-up of intended purchases. This instrument will also begin my initiation into finger percussion instruments that have completely captured my imagination. Although I have never really understood the bongos or been completely successfully romanced or seduced by them, I think they are simple and extremely effective finger percussion instruments, far better than my lap or the table. And hey, the more exotic the instrument, the cooler you look.

Possibly the second of my lined up purchases, this instrument, apart from the bamboo flute, is the only one that has a strong classical, and more specifically Carnatic, leaning. I intend taking formal classes for this instrument so as to hone my finger percussion skills and learn more about Indian classical music. I see this happening only after I move back to Bengaluru, so about midway through this year. The Ghatam is a very important instrument to me because of my origins and the role that I envision it playing in finger percussion expedition.

The instrument that inspired this post and my newest discovery, the hang drum will be bought only much later due to the sheer difficulty in buying one. I need to travel to Switzerland and spend a lot of money. Hence, I will buy this instrument only after I have honed my finger percussion skills and I have saved up the requisite amount.

I have always found the saxophone a sexy instrument. It just oozes class and anybody who plays a saxophone immediately looks and becomes uber cool. I nearly joined saxophone classes but ditched it at the last moment in favour of the updating drum classes, primarily because it cost a lot of money and I didn't know how long I was going to be in Delhi. My reputation for great starts but poor continuations and horrible finishings sealed the matter. However, I still harbour dreams of sitting alone in my apartment, depressed and watching the rain flow down my window pane, and morosely wailing with my saxophone.

Wind instruments (the bamboo flute, the harmonica and the saxophone) will always lose out to the sheer thrill I feel with percussion (the acoustic drum kit) and the anticipation I have with finger percussion (the bongo, the ghatam and the hang drum). String instruments (the acoustic guitar) will always come a distant third. My body and mind is more suited to the other two, in the order mentioned above. That is why I will not pick up a bass guitar, even though I know that it will complement my height beautifully.

There are other finger percussion instruments that I would want to own as time passes by. An immediate one that comes to mind is the djembe. I am sure that my list will expand as I immerse myself deeper into the world of finger percussion.

Now you know what to get me as a gift. Let the cascading musical journeys begin.

1 comment:

suraksha said...

Harmonica! :D One instrument I can actually play. Sigh, I'm so proud. :)

And you can play flute? Wow. :)

Ooh, and bongos. *Remembers sexy African beats*