We Salute Them

coll11Although 2009 was a good year for music with a lot of revolutionary albums such as Dev.D and Gulaal coming out in Hindi movies and lot of international artists such as U2 and Bruce Springsteen also coming up with some great albums, the year was also marred by the deaths of some of the most legendary artists from the world of music. While welcoming the new year and expecting a lot from it, we would like to take some time out and pay homage to artists whom we would be missing for the years to come.

Michael Jackson

Though his final days were marked by controversies of various sorts, the fact remains that to most people alive today, Michael Jackson still remains the embodiment of pop music. The day was December 1, 1982 when his path-breaking album Thriller was released, the album that topped the US charts for 37 weeks, the album that sold over 104 million copies worldwide, the album that forced MTV to abandon its white rock-oriented scheduling. The man has ruled our hearts ever since. The year also saw the posthumous release of his album and the documentary film by the same name “This is it”.

Les Paul

The man who “made the sound of rock and roll possible” passed away in August this year. Les Paul will be most remembered for his contribution in developing the solid body electric guitar. Besides, he is also popular for developing a lot of other sound effects such as tape delays, phase effects etc. Although majorly known for his sound engineering skills, Les Paul was also an accomplished guitarist. While playing for numerous well-known jazz and blues artists such as Georgia White and Django Reinhardt, Paul found himself unsatisfied with the sound of acoustic guitars and hence created several versions of his own that were later also used by some of the greatest names in Rock’n’Roll.

Asheem Chakravarty (Indian Ocean)

Christmas did not bring much joy to Indian Ocean — one of India’s most pioneering fusion bands as their percussionist and singer Asheem Chakravarty passed away of a cardiac arrest in Delhi. Asheem had shown his musical prowess at a very early age when he surprised musicians with his proficiency in the table without any formal training. As a member of Indian Ocean he played the tabla, tarang and various other percussion instruments. Without Asheem, the band will miss a major Indian element in their music.

Ustad Ali Akbar Khan

Held by violinist Yehudi Menuhin as ‘The Greatest Musician in the world’, this sarod maestro was instrumental in taking Indian music to the west. He was most known for his collaborations with Sitar Maestro Ravi Shankar. In his career the Ustad travelled across the globe and also established music schools in California and Bern. During his career he was nominated for 5 Grammys and was also accorded with Padmavibhushan in 1989.

Gangubai Hangal

Born in Dharwad in 1913, Gangubai got trained under the tutelage of the renowned Sawai Gandharva in the Kirana Gharana. A strict purist, she always believed in the classical tradition of music. In one of the rarest instances of recording for a movie, she sang a song in the Marathi movie Vijachi Lagan. Gangubai was awarded with the Padma Bhushan, Padma Vibhushan and the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award at different stages of her life, for her outstanding contribution to the world of Hindustani music.

D.K. Pattammal

With the demise of the Carnatic doyenne in July we lost the last remaining member of the famed female trinity of Carnatic music, M S Subbulakshmi and M L Vasanthakumari already dead. Overcoming the oppositions imposed on her by the orthodox traditions of her family, Damal Krishnasamy Pattammal made it big in the then male-dominated carnatic world. She was known as an authority on Muthuswamy Dikshitar’s compositions. She also dabbled in film music, though only for patriotic and devotional songs. She was part of the A R Rahman-Bharat Bala project Jana Gana Mana which featured over 35 top artistes in Indian music.

Rahul says:

Good Work.. Anirudh..

These people deserve a lot of praise for the exceptional contribution to the field of music….