Sunday, July 18, 2010

Argentine Musician, Gustavo Santaolalla to compose music for Bollywood film

Argentine musician, Gustavo Santaolalla is going to direct music for the new Indian film ¨Dhobi Ghat¨. Aamir Khan has contracted Gustavo for the film being directed by his wife Kiran Rao. Gustavo was in Mumbai for this recently.

The Golden Globe Award winner Gustavo is well known for scoring music for the films Brokeback Mountain, Babel and The Motorcycle Diaries. He had won Academy Awards in 2005 and 2006 for ‘Best Original Score’ in Brokeback Mountain and Babel respectively. His music also earned him the Grammy and BAFTA awards.

In the film Dhobi Ghat, Gustavo has tried to give the Indian feel by using instruments like sarangi, veena and the Carnatic flute. After watching the film, he said, “This movie is a reflection of the identity of Mumbai. I liked the way the characters are presented by Kiran in the film, I liked the story.”

Santaolalla was born in El Palomar in Argentina. His professional music career began in 1967, when he co-founded the group Arco Iris, an Argentine band that pioneered the fusion of rock and Latin American folk. Later, he assembled Soluna, in which he played alongside teenage pianist and singer Alejandro Lerner and his then-girlfriend Monica Campins. As a solo artist, he has recorded three albums. His first self-titled album, Santaolalla (1981), broke new ground by incorporating the "eighties" sound into rock in Argentina for the first time.

Santaolalla is based in California since 1978.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Magic has dropped from the Magical Realism of South America

The South Americans were living in the world of magical realism for the last one year, dreaming and preparing for the world cup. In the last one month, they were talking and breathing football. They postponed meetings and projects to dates after the world cup. When all the four countries of Mercosur reached quarterfinals, there was euphoria. It was a Mercosur moment... of football power and pride. It was expected that 11 July would be a Intra-Mercosur affair.

The South Americans shopped on thursday and stocked their fridge with beer and barbecue meat. They took off from work on friday and prepared for a long weekend of football fiesta with friends and family.

On Friday morning, the Brasilians started in form with 1-0 over Holland. But after the Dutch equalised and made one more goal, the overconfident Brasilian players, who underestimated the Dutch, became nervous and lost out. The Brasilians who were watching in the big screen TV in the Copacabana beach were stunned and shocked.

This morning , the Argentines were humiliated by the Germans with a 4-0 . The Germans outsmarted and overpowered the Argentines who were running around like headless chicken. It seemed to be an unequal battle. The Argentine infantry against the supersonic Luftwaffe bombers. The Germans bombed at will and destroyed the impotent Argentine infantry.

In the afternoon, the Paraguayans fought a valiant battle against the odds and had a honourable and expected defeat. Now the Uruguyans, who won yesterday against Ghana with luck and the Hand of Suarez, are the only ones left to hold the flag in the semifinals. But their chance against Holland is not very bright. It appears that South America is out and Germany is unstoppable to win the 2010 cup.

The days of magical realism are over in South America. Today it is the day of realism without the magic. It is the realism of disbelief and disillusion... grief and gloom....anguish and agony... dejection and despair.

The Argentines have suffered the worst. They are perplexed and depressed. Even the normally talkative Maradona was lost for words and did not even attempt to give any explanation or excuse. The masses who watched in the big screens in public squares left in silence and sadness.

For Maradona, who was shouting all these days ¨ Vamos Argentina ¨ ( Argentina..Ahead ) the only option now is to sing ¨Dont cry for me Argentina ¨ as Madonna did in the movie Evita.

What is incredible is that the Argentine team had more star players than the Germans. The Argentine players are the pride of the European teams and their star performers. How could the star team let themselves be decimated so pathetically and inexplicably.

The other realism sans magic is the zero goal of Messi in the entire world cup.The best player of the world, the top scorer in Europe and the one who commanded the highest price did not get a single goal. The Argentines are at a complete loss to explain or understand this mysterious fate.

The Argentines have realised their mistaken belief in Messi as the Messiah. For those who worshipped in the Church of Maradona, today is the day of crucification.

The Argentine football stars failed to shine today. It is a dark sky over Argentina tonight. The Argentines are not going to dance Tango tonight. Instead, they will sing the sad Tango song of Carlos Gardel,

sola y triste en esta noche,
noche negra y sin estrellas.

Alone and sad this night
Dark night without stars.

Friday, July 02, 2010

Maradona… oh… Maradona

¨Maradona…oh…Maradona… with the fire in your belly and strength in your nerves .. you will come back to succeed¨. This was the Bengali song of Mokam band with which Maradona was welcomed in Kolkata in December 2008. The god-denying ideologues and men of dialectical materialism of Kolkatta made exception and worshipped and treated him as a god. Overwhelmed by the ovation, Maradona said, ¨ I thought there were no more surprises left in my life but my visit to Kolkata has changed that".

Maradona is, of course, god to some diehard Argentine fans who have set up a Church of Maradona, with its own Ten Commandments and tens of thousands of international followers. He is worshipped as D10S, which combines his shirt number ten and Dios, which means God in Spanish. The autobiography of Maradona is the Bible. Those who helped him are apostles and his adversaries are heretics. Having gone through glorification, crucification and resurrection, Maradona´s story fits the legendary requirements for a new religion!

The Argentine team is packed with more stars than any other team. But it is a Maradona team. He is not just yet another coach. El Diego is the man in the spotlight. His leaps of joy and slumps of sadness like a Tango dancer outside the touch-line is as much watched as the game of the players.

While Maradona has the feet of magic and the ¨Hand of God¨, his mouth is known for verbal shots and colourful vocabulary. He said,¨ Only Dalma and Gianina are my legitimate children. The others are children born out of money or mistake¨. About the strikers who get the ball near the goal area but fail to put it in, he says it is like dancing with a sister.

His autobiography (published in 2004) is like a canvass of his emotion and passion. The book is like the history of Argentina itself. Both the man and the country had seen memorable days of glory and forgettable times of infamy. Boom and bust… ups and downs..

His story of rise from poverty to fame is like that of Evita, the goddess of Argentine masses. At the age of ten, he was spotted by a talent scout who got him into the junior team of Argentinos Juniors. As a twelve year old ball boy, he amused spectators by showing his wizardry with the ball during the halftime intermissions of first division games. From there he rose to become one of the greatest footballers.

Maradona´s moment of glory was the 1986 world cup and his Goal of the Century. From that peak, he plunged into ignominious bottom with drugs and scandals. He was banned from playing for fifteen months. He came back and joined the world cup team in 1994 and scored a great goal against Greece. But thereafter he was sent back in disgrace after failing the dope test. Then he got into serious problems of drug addiction, became massively overweight and suffered serious health problems. After near death scare, he was admitted to a rehabilitation centre in Cuba where he recovered. He came back and reinvented himself as a TV host and in 2008 became the coach of the Argentine team.

Will this man of miraculous resurrection inspire their team to overcome the supersonic Luftwaffe of the Germans on saturday and to win the world cup on 11 July? Asking such a question is heresy in the Church of Maradona.