Feb 24

Guru for fusion: Prem Joshua

Fusion music – is not about just mixing two different styles of music together, it is a very delicate interleaving of the two with neither of them losing its identity individually, but yet on the whole appear in a different pattern of waves that seep through you and reverberate deep within the heart and mind! It is about blending cultures without offending any of the primary components, and as such is far more challenging in the musical world. There has been experimentation on using different instruments for different styles of music. Pt. Vishwamohan Bhatt, who won the Grammys speared the use of Hawaiin Guitar for Classical traditional styles! But there is a group of people class apart from the usuals, who have a passion for experimenting in different styles/traditions of music across the world and bringing them together. And when it comes to blending Eastern, and more so Indian Music with the Western, the one name that stands out all by itself is that of Prem Joshua.
Prem Joshua was born in Germany and took to music at a very young age, and started experimenting in many contemporary styles of West – Rock, Jazz, and fusion. His unsatiable quest and spiritual inquisition soon brought him to India – the place where he (in his own words) felt “instantly at home”. By then he had also studied the Islamic music, as well as been to Greece, Turkey, Iran and Afghanistan. He had once heard a CD of Ravi Shankar, and that instantly transformed him. To him, that music gave him one of the most ethereal, and divine experience he had ever felt. Well before long, he did win the accolades from the master himself as well as his daughter Anoushka. Prem’s teacher was Maestro Ustad Usman Khan. He even plays flute, Sax, guitar, tabla, drums, bass and several other instruments. His many albums vividly put to tune several Sanskrit and Sufi hymns. The stand alone factor is nevertheless the music that portrays the main style presented in the album – be it sufi, or tantric, or the soothing meditative style. His albums include “The Dance of Shakti”, “Water down the Ganges”, “Shiva Moon”, “Dakini Lounge”, “No Goal but the path”, “Tribal gathering” and few others. What strikes me the most in his music is the distinct sounds that he produces, some of them rather weird, by using a medley of familiar instruments!! His combination of the acoustical effects and the infusion of words in between give a transcendental feeling to the listener.
Prem Joshua continues to tour the World over, giving his mesmerizing performances to the growing number of fusion enthusiasts accompanied by a highly complementary band of musicians and performers.

6 comments

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    • Deepak Jeswal on February 25, 2006 at 2:44 AM
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    I read ur post on Bhatt’s movies’ music. Even I like their music a lot. They do come up with melody. Good to see mention of Saatvaan Aasman as well. At one time this played non-stop at my house – ‘Tum kya mile jaane jaaan’ , ‘Socha tumhe khat likhun’ , ‘Mausam gun gunraha hai rasta tumse kah raha hai -dheere chal’ and ‘Jaanam kab aaooge’ were my favs. Also liked the cutsie ‘Tum tum ho ke nahin’ and ‘Tumhe purse mein’ 🙂

    And oh, was I in love with ‘ghar se nikalte hi’ from Papa Kahte Hain!! Apart from ‘chhithi aai hai’ in Naam, I really fell for ‘Veriya ve, kiya kya kasoor maine tera ve’ -brilliant lyrics mocking love!

    Also read patriotism songs – hmmmm, made my heart swell and happy – Lata’s Ae mere wattan ke logon is a stupendous number!!!

    • Praveen on February 26, 2006 at 7:18 AM
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    @DJ yeah dude.. ‘ghar se nikalte hi’ was my favo too.. what with there being a cute gal at the end of my street.. I felt that song was written exclusively for me!!! I even loved the song – “yeh joh thode se hain paise”.

    • anukta on March 2, 2006 at 6:55 AM
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    People always say Indian music lack symphony, I guess fusion is the answer.Combo of Western and Indian music is exquisite.

    • Praveen on March 2, 2006 at 5:17 PM
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    @anukta: That is one of the basic differences as seen between the Indian and Western style of music. While harmony is prominent in the latter, the former revels in rhythmn. Each has its distinctive pros and cons and obviously have been in vogue owing to the culture too! So yes, fusion can make the music more wholesome or even provide a new dimension hitherto unforseen.

    • Deepak Jeswal on March 4, 2006 at 5:57 AM
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    Hey Praveen, hv u heard the songs of Water – amazing score!!! A review is there on my blog – but do try to catch it. Beautiful numbers.

    • Praveen on March 4, 2006 at 7:15 AM
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    Hey deepak, I will surely listen to them dude. thanx for lettin me know!

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