Titanic violinist's noble connect with India

Strings attached

Titanic  violinist's noble connect with India

New York-based violinist Paul Peabody has given music in around 90 films, including the soundtrack album for Coen Brothers’ Fargo and played for late King of Pop Michael Jackson as well as Madonna.

However, what proved to be a milestone in his career was James Cameron’s Titanic in which he was part of the Grammy winning orchestra that played for the movie.

The celebrated violinist was rewarded with the prestigious Media Guild Award 2010-11 in India for his contribution to music and support to social causes.

This time he was in the City for a concert organised by HelpAge India and Help Me See for the benefit of cataract affected persons.

This time round, he played the theme song of the Titanic and other tunes along with Indian instrumentalists.

Metrolife caught up with the socially aware Paul for an interaction on music, the City and his connect with India.

“My first trip to India was around three years ago. Since then, I have visited here four times. The first time when I came to Delhi was right before the CWG.

It was so hard to walk on streets because of the construction everywhere. Now, the infra-s­tru­cture has improved a lot,” he says.

Paul was introduced to violin by his musician father at age nine. Today, he has a rich body of work spanning three decades and the melodious score of Titanic tops the list.

Did he expect the music to do so well across the country and worldwide? “We were a 48-member crew. It was an amazing feeling.

I played Irish fiddle in the theme music of Titanic. But we did not have an idea that it would be appreciated to extent of becoming a phenomena,” says Paul, who is associated with the New York City Ballet also.

“People ask me what it was like recording with Michael Jackson. But most of the rec­o­rding sessions were done individually. Singers and inst­r­umentalists record se­p­­a­rately.

“Of all the recordings, I was with him in the same room less then 10 percent of the time. But even that was a great feeling,” says Paul, who has also played the violin for Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin.

Besides films and orchestra, he also performs in ballets. He enjoys improvisation also known as musical extemporisation. “That is my favourite because it storytelling through instrumental music,” he says.

Maintaining one’s identity in orchestra music is tough but Paul has been doing it very well as he believes in adapting to change. “I play in around 170 performances every year.

It is of course very challenging. But the key is to blend and adapt to what time demands. From orchestra to studio recording and now jazz, I adapted to all,” he says.

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