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Friday, December 1, 2017

Music of Satyajit Ray - Documentary

Though I haven’t seen much of Ray’s films, I have heard most of his film scores thanks to the compilation The Music of Satyajit Ray, which has 53 musical cues from his scores, and have been a huge fan. His polyphonic arrangements are minimal, elegant and interesting, and motifs simple and precise. The sheer clarity with which he pretty much does everything shines through his music too. Found a documentary made by NFDC in 1984 on Music of Satyajit Ray, which has rare footage of live recording sessions of some of Ray’s music. Ray is instructing the musicians and conducting the orchestra. He is also seen playing his synthesizer at his home, trying different ideas while writing a new melody. 

Also found an interview with Satyajit Ray on his music, by a French documentary film maker Pierre-Andre Boutang, in which he articulates with astonishing clarity his process, reasons, about other composers he used for his films and how he played pieces of Schubert or Sibelius in reverse in one of the scenes in his film The Music Room. This was in 1989. 

Ray talks a lot about fusing Indian and Western classical idioms in his music, a style and approach we find in Ilaiyaraaja’s music. I wonder if Satyajit Ray ever heard Ilaiyaraaja’s music and if he did, would be amazing to know what he thought of it.

Music of Satyajit Ray Documentary

Ray on Music - Interviewed by Pierre-Andre Boutang

Ray on Music - Interviewed by Shyam Benegal

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