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IIFA ROCKS! 2011: A Date with India's Creative Minds

© Hindi Cinema Blog

One of the questions most often asked of music composers is "How do you compose a song?" Thanks to the IIFA 2011 Music Workshop, we have the answer.

In a live demonstration, for the first time in history, famed composers Shankar Ehsaan Loy, Salim Merchant, Vishal Bhardwaj and lyricist Javed Akhtar come together to create a musical delight before our eyes. Kalyan "Johnny Bongo" Pathak from Chicago joined them on percussion.

To begin, Javed Akhtar came up with two lines of lyrics which he pondered on and dictated to his partner, Shabana Azmi. When the lyrics were completed, Shankar called out the key and Ehsaan Noorani began banging out a melody on his guitar as Loy Mendonsa put his magic to the keyboard. Shankar Mahadevan used his amazing voice to fuse it all together, organically working on the tune with Vishal Bhardwaj and Salim Merchant joining in.

The following two videos capture the composition session from start to finish.

In the following video, distinguished guest Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, delights the audience with a unique and pace by pace account of how the 'Rang de Basanti' title song emerged thanks to A.R. Rahman (and here Aline CineHindi, my fellow blogger and huge fan of Mr. Mehra, gleefully jumps up and down because I brought back this exclusive video for her).

It is rare for the general public to get a glimpse of the meeting of brilliant minds blending their creativity and making magic happen. The music workshop was definitely the highlight of IIFA for me and I was thrilled to learn more about the creative process. I found it extremely heartwarming to watch it take place before my eyes, seeing wonderful people connecting and coming together to make a beautiful piece of music. A very memorable date and memorable sounds.

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