The magic of yearning

The magic of yearning

Everyone must listen to Pt Chaurasia's fusion experiment with African drums at least once in their lifetime

The album cover of 'Moon Magic'

That misnomer of a genre ‘world music’ has a curious penchant for exotic titles and mile-long pseudo-poetic track names. Pt Ronu Majumdar’s ‘Dancing Daffodils’, for instance, has everything from ‘Shepherd’s Call’ to ‘Wisp of Cloud’ to ‘Meadow Magic’. Very Wordsworth. Very umm...bleh. In fact, all the tracks in the immensely popular ‘Song of Nature’ series have similar flowery titles, but the unnecessary flourish is easily forgiven because of the excellent quality of the music.

An album where the track titles seem totally apt though, is ‘Moon Magic’, a fusion work by flute maestro Pt Hariprasad Chaurasia. Pt Chaurasia is one of those rare flautists who is equally comfortable with pure classicism as he is with genre-mixing fusion experiments. In this album, his bamboo flute makes love to African drums, creating some truly sensational tunes that teleport you to wherever your mind wants to go — from expansive grasslands to rainforests that obscure sunlight. The tracks have been uploaded on YouTube by some good soul — listen in the dead of the night if you can and trust us — you will not regret the experience. The track we like best is called ‘No Fear’, while the ‘Song of Madhu Bamba - The Marabu of Senegal’ (yes, that’s what it is called) comes a close second. Both have a tinge of yearning woven seamlessly into them; and yet, something springy and joyful gently taps you. Perhaps they appeal so much because they are, in a sense, a reflection of life itself — even when joyful, our yearning never stops.

Play By Ear showcases a potential earworm every week for you, the discerning listener, who is on the hunt for some musical serendipity and is keen to explore genres beyond pop and Bollywood.