Sunday, July 21, 2024

No age for Music

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The Pandemic years, horrendous as they were, brought out the best in some. Senior citizens felt the brunt; yet there were many who took to singing, writing and even found creativity in form of short videos, funny or otherwise. Social network media was abuzz and new apps came into vogue zooming in on innovative ways to reach out, work from home and most importantly to learn new things, a new way of life.

It is amazing how many seniors took to karaoke singing popular melodies from yore as groups and multi-location videography added to ambience of amateur productions. Music and videos since pandemic have upsurge not just in numbers, but in quality too.

I was fortunately, ahead of this game as one who just turned 65 around then. Over last decade of so, I had already more than 100 self created music videos, many originals on YouTube, etc. I was also operating from my 1-man music band and home studio. No, I was not even a trained musician or singer, let alone composing par Bollywood songs from scratch to master, which were being heard even by established musicians and technicians.

Important aspect was that after a mighty challenging international career which included CEO and Director positions, it seemed God’s will that all roads were automatically taking me towards my hidden dreams. In Mumbai and Chennai I got to work with great musicians and technicians during my job assignments in fact and learn intricacies of music at A Levels.

Such are ways of the almighty. He would hurt me by taking away job opportunities, but seemed to be balancing all this with utmost happiness as I saw my children drift to success in their respective careers with myself happily surrounded by electronics and wires in my ‘cave’, my home studio.

The pandemic in fact ended my career in water and energy infrastructure consultancy for good, which had already tapered down after a heart bypass in 2017.  It was almost a relief as I had created my little home studio in Delhi, which was actually portable enough to be carried to Africa and other terrains where my projects had taken me to over the decade.

Technology needs constant upgrade, but I would generally have no money to spare as my children too were at peak of education and f in to their respective careers. So compared to other studios, ambience was modest. With consultancy earnings trickling in, I would hire musicians. Discarded Apple computers of children as they rose in office added to upgrade my software capabilities. My studio renovation was all self-made despite my very recent bypass surgery. I knew I had to excel, as the opportunity cost of investments in music was already very high.

So it was truly propulsion and thrust I got from family to pass those out-of-job and circulation times. Some began to call us the Trapp Family from ‘Sound of Music’ as my daughter was my singing diva adding to my own voice in music albums; my son played guitar and gave, often, offensive but useful critique whereas my wife, the English language school teacher would put red marks on lyrics. I created my own videos and had to be politically correct in everything, so it all needed serious research.

Well, I also got directed by the kids to right social media support systems to have my music albums posted on YouTube, SPOTIFY, Gaana and other apps  – all this during the peak of Pandemic. At this time I had so much music on my computer sessions, but event organisers and music companies would look past an “old man” who like so many they came across, was ‘taking out his bhadhaas’! Professional outsourcing was turning out to be too expensive for an entrepreneur without salary!

Very recently I have recorded a few devotional tracks with our largest music company. But until these do actually get released, I am on an edge. It has been lyrics of my own songs, which set me right, away from worries.  That my music and voice are getting better like wine with age can only be God’s doing.

A lesson for all, young or old, from my story would be to believe that it is really God who is guiding us to our destiny in His amazing ways. All we can do is to recognize by having faith in our intuitions as we age. We have to take our risks, compete with our own last work only and treat every day as a day at school, not ‘at work’. We are never old as long as the flame to learn new things and to excel in the small things will lead us to the larger picture.




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