57 Birds

Streets of Mumbai, 2016

I grew up watching a lot of cinema, and there was something very interesting about the background music of every well-written script. It made me sad for once, and it made me happy at every next frame. There is always a sad piano piece playing in the background when someone dies. Can’t forget the drum rolls and opening number for every Bollywood entry ever made. There is music when he falls in love and there’s music when someone makes a dramatic speech about life and shit. So, there is music for almost every occasion.

Music goes hand in hand with the narration of the story. Not that I am a filmmaker or a musician but a wanna-be hybrid of both. Storytellers want a background music for their narration but, Can composers narrate a story with their music?

Zimmer has always been my favourite. You can actually feel that he is narrating a story with his music. Some composers hold the power to transcend you to a whole new world.

“Is the music more beautiful than the story or does the story need to exist to validate the beauty of the music?”

While my thoughts ran faster than the train in front me, I grabbed my chai, took a sip and calmed down. I had to stop my perpetual mind wagon, I started listening and it was there a parallax vision. At that moment, there was life in the ambiance around me. 57 birds conversing, flying and dancing beneath the sinking sun. I could hear them out loud. Never have I paid such great attention to these everyday somethings. There is a story here!

“What are they even talking about? Are they singing — Acapella ?”

For some reason, I found it intense, beautiful, and more like a coordinated chaos. I took out my phone, 23% battery, 13 unread messages, 10 degrees. I ignored everything and recorded the sound of these birds. After 6 PM, railways stations in India get its own kind of an eeriness; I had to go home. On my way back home, I kept listening to this track which I recorded — on loop. There was something, it was like the crypt you’d want to crack, more like a loud secret in unknown tongues, like sine waves and mathematics.

“okay. I quit.”

4 cups down, I had given up trying to find the story. And at that moment, I remembered something my best friend told me once,

“ When you are creating something, try to be honest about it, it’s beautiful that way!”

Honestly, I don’t think it makes sense for me to decipher nature’s music (or language or dialect), it’s just so splendid just the way it is. 51 birds, 4 of them flew away and I suck at mathematics. My friend and I sat together one weekend, thought through this with our hearts. We are not musicians so we decided to create a background music for their little carnival. This one is for the four birds which left us early, to the trains that run every day, to the stories we breathe, to hybrid dreamers like you and me, to cinema and music.

Birdsong (Ambient sound from an Indian Railway Station ft Piano)
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