Western tracks get Indian classical touch

Imagine the Star Wars theme song infused with some elements from Indian classical music. Sounds interesting? Then behold, as that might just be the next offering by The Indian Jam Project, a collaborative platform where musicians come together to play Indian adaptations of Western television show theme songs and movie scores.

Founded in October 2014 by Mumbai-based Tushar Lall, the musical collective has until now Indianised five Western background scores from Game of Thrones, Pirates of the Caribbean, Interstellar, BBC Sherlock, and Harry Potter.

“Since I was a kid, I’ve been under the influence of both Indian classical and western music. I played Western, but I was surrounded by a lot of friends who knew Indian classical. And also, I am a big Game of Thrones fan and like the opening sequence to the show a lot. So I wrote an Indian arrangement for the opening theme, and that’s when it all started. My friends, Samay (Lalwani) and Prathamesh (Salunke), were kind enough to perform it with me!” he says. He adds that the main idea is to incorporate the essence of Indian classical music into Western TV show themes and Hollywood scores. “It makes them sound more expressive and evokes a lot of emotions,” he says. Explaining these ‘Indian adaptations’ of songs, Lall says, “By Indian adaptations, I mean adding Indian elements to pre-existing Western compositions to make them sound more evocative. I write parts for all the Indian instruments being played, which are on the lines of Indian classical but the essence remains Western. So, the instruments I need usually depends on the arrangement.”

With no permanent members, the project allows musicians to come together, collaborate with new people and play their music. Every video features some new artistes, which is decided by Lall based on the song they plan to cover. But as of now, the members consist of Lall on the keyboard, Lalwani on percussions, Salunke on the flute, Sandip Mishra on sarangi and Prasad Rahane on sitar.

So, on what basis are the scores decided? “I listen to all the scores multiple times and see which of them can have a central point to revolve around, which of them would sound beautiful enough if they are made to sound Indian,” he tells Metrolife.

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