Music really has no barriers: Delhi Alternative

By Nandana Das , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising | December 06, 2010
The two-hour session aimed to capture how music and sound are critical to communication.

On a bright, sunny Saturday afternoon, folks from media, advertising and background gathered to attend the first workshop of Delhi Alternative. The two-hour interactive session with live music aimed to capture how music and sound are critical to communication.

Shouvik Roy, director, Brand Planet Elephant, put forward the motto of Delhi Alternative to the gathering.

He also remembered the late Nandu Narasimhan, who was heavily influenced by music. "Nandu Narasimhan often used to say that advertising is influenced more by music than culture is borrowed by people," Roy reminisced.

The first session was by Dilip Ramachandran, ex-Parikrama and now a music producer and percussionist. He spoke about how sound influences human moods, and thus, how it is used in the business of communication.

He explained that brands develop identities with sounds. He emphasized the role of sounds in an individual's thoughts, and how people tend to associate with a particular tune or song. "People start humming a tune or singing a song, when they fall in love with the melody. It triggers up one unconsciously, and then they start moving their hands or legs along with the tune," said Ramachandran.

"Music has no language, and power of rhythm is more than anything else. Though visuals leave a mark on us, but sound is more powerful. Rhythm is the basic DNA of music," he added.

While citing instances of the tunes used by Bacardi, Nokia and Intel, he explained how people start correlating them with the brands themselves. As pictures speak a thousand words, similarly, the tune of a particular brand is equivalent to that brand's logo.

The second session was conducted by Anupam Sengupta, veteran musician, blues guitarist and educationist. He spoke about the journey of the guitar and the related evolution of music. He showcased different genres of music and played them live for the audience. Be it blues, ballad rock, rock and roll, reggae, country or southern rock, he played pieces of each and tried to identify the influences in each genre.

He explained that blues music emerged from pain; southern rock is influenced by both country and blues; reggae has evolved as a sound of freedom; and finally, ballad rock is influenced by rock and roll music.

"The concept of sonic identity comes from brand identity," pointed out Sengupta.

He also played Raag Bhopali and showed how it has influenced Western genres of music and even Oriental music.

The final session of the day was led by Uday Benegal, who shared his own journey into music. He also pointed out the fact that listeners have evolved since the '70s and '80s; and music made today actually has no barriers. Citing examples from India, he mentioned that the musical tastes of listeners have changed -- they listen to different Indian bands, irrespective of language, be it Hindi, Bengali or Malayalam.

He also explained how he as a musician, and his band, changed to cater to the tastes of the listeners. He pointed out some instances of how people are even influenced by Australian, Brazilian and South African music.

Benegal also spoke about the impact of sound and socio-political issues on the genres of music and its changing audience.

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