Empathy in Symphony
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Musicians join hands to help their fraternity and families in the tricity
Nearly 30 years ago, when Manjit Singh left the Mumbai music industry to bring his father back to his roots, here in Chandigarh, little did he know that his journey will leave an impact that would resonate for years to come. It was 1984 when violinist Amrik Singh and his percussionist son, Manjit Singh, relocated to Chandigarh. While the senior Singh had years of experience behind him — having worked with the likes of Ghulam Haider and Bappi Lahiri — his son can be credited for introducing finesse, style and professionalism in Punjabi music production. "We were in our twenties and Manjit changed the way we made music," recalls music composer Atul Sharma.
Unfortunately, Manjit died of an ailment at the age of 33. "His father is alive and touching 93 now," says Sharma, who, along with other musicians in the region, has now established the Manjit Singh Memorial Society. One of its major objectives is to assist musicians and their families in need. "We are not here to make money, but to help the families sustain and survive, through jobs, financial help, promoting new talent and so on," says Sharma, who is now busy tracking down those in need. Several of these artistes made noteworthy contributions to the Punjabi music industry. Giving the example of Amrik and Manjit, Sharma says, "They gave a new lease of life to the Punjabi music industry in the 1980s by providing Bollywood-style orchestra arrangements in Chandigarh. It was a time of live recordings and they introduced a new style of orchestra, acquainted us with new recording styles, techniques and brought in expertise regarding rhythm and how to play in a studio."
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