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Music Review - Kavita Krishnamurthy’s: Dil Ki Awaz

Priya Kumar

(This article is sponsored by Sounds Of India)

Kavita Krishnamurthy’s: Dil Ki Awaz
     While listeners have been accustomed to hearing Kavita Krishnamurthy render a wide range of Bollywood film songs, such as the peppy “Hawa Hawai” from Mr. India, “Nimbooda” from Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam ,and more recently “Main Vari Vari” from Mangal Pandey, music lovers now have more to look forward to from the classically trained South Indian singer. Krishnamurthy has now added popular music in her repertoire of songs, and has two albums to her credit.

     Her most recent album release is “Dil ki Awaz”, or Voice of the Heart. However, “Dil Ki Awaz” is not the typical youngster-friendly pop album, with loud drum beats and lyrics meant for dancing on. Instead, Krishnamurthy’s songs are more like seven slow ballads, one for each emotion. While listening to the songs, viewers can experience a different situation, whether it is happiness, sadness, love or agony. Of course, Krishnamurthy’s album is more suited for audiences who can understand and appreciate ghazals and Urdu poetry.

     The use of Urdu words is evident in most of the songs from “Dil ki Awaz”, starting from the title song to the last number “Yeh Ghalat Hai.” In fact, listening to these songs is almost like the experience of listening to ghazals in a traditional mehfil setting. Think “ranjhish”, “ishq”, and “qayamat.”

     For example, Krishnamurthy has sung her first song “Dil Ki Awaz Hoon Main” slowly, to a tabla beat and somewhat contemporary music. However, the contemporary music is less evident in other songs, especially “Dil Viraan Hai”, Apna Daman Dekh Ke”, and “Ishq Main.”

     In “Dil Ki Awaz Hoon Main”, one can notice how Krishnamurthy has sung this song like a ghazal. Moreover, Kavita’s deep understanding of Urdu poetry is all the more evident in this song. Take for instance the following couplet: “Unki khawish hai ki mehtaab rahe badal main, zulf kehti hai chehre se hatta lo mujhko.  Main kavita hoon tarannum main sajalo mujhko”. (He [my beloved] desires that the moon remains hidden in the clouds, yet my tresses can no longer cover my face. I am a poem of love, please display me like a melody.) Krishnamurthy sings couplets such as this one throughout the song, as she expresses the love she seeks from her beloved.

     Her second song “Ishq Main”, describes the pain lovers face. One may burn to ashes for another person, and get only indifference in return. This is precisely the message Krishnamurthy conveys through this nazm. The background music of this nazm is beautiful, with nice expositions of the tabla and sarangi, an age old instrument rarely heard of today, until the release of the second Umrao Jaan four months ago. After hearing this song, one can only wish to hear more traditional music, instead of contemporary keyboard music, more often.

     With “Dil Viraan Hai”, the wish is fulfilled, as Krishnamurthy begins with a long alaap, followed by sitar music. Again, this song talks about the loneliness of one’s heat. What is life without love? She seems to ask. Again, Krishnamurthy has juxtaposed Urdu and Hindi words together in this nazm. Her voice is remarkably controlled throughout this song, as she employs classical techniques throughout all of her songs in the album.

     The only exception is “Beeti Yaadein”. With a slightly faster beat and more contemporary music , this romantic number about the memories associated with a particular season could easily be placed in a Hindi film. Nevertheless, this song adds a special touch to the album by capturing back the days when Kavita Krishnamurthy was more involved in playback singing for films.

     Overall, “Dil Ki Awaz” is a classy album. I personally recommend listening to  “Apna Daman Dekh Ke”. The sitar and tabla music is swift, and the words carry a deeper meaning than other love songs.  Hear the album once, and you’ll want more.  “Dil Ki Awaaz” is available at most Indian music stores, or online at www.musicindiaonline.com.

Priya Kumar, 22, is a graduate student in journalism at Harvard University. She is a writer for Swadharma Hindu magazine, and performs Hindi dances and songs in her spare time. She moved to Boston from California a summer ago.

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