Monday, July 26, 2010

SPRENG FEST 2010 BANGALORE – Inter IIT Indian Music Competition

Dedicated to charity - LIGHT FOR EDUCATION

Venues – Chodiah, Ambedkar, St. Johns or equivalent (will be booked by Monday)

Date – 25th September 2010


6.30 to 7.00 – Registrations and Magic Show

7.00 to 7.30 – Inaugural Ceremonies comprising of

* Welcome Note

* Light For Education (solar lighing for rural children thro Selco run by

KGP graduate) and handing over cheque

* Launch of Outstanding Faculty Award initiated by Bangalore based

KGP Alumni

* Launch of IIT Alumni Club Bangalore

7.00 to 9.00 – Music Competition

9.00 to 9.15 – 11th Hour tunes up

9.15 to 9.30 – Prize Distribution

9.30 to 10.30 – Western Music Performance by Eleventh Hour – all IIT Band

10.30 to 10.45 – Vote of Thanks


  1. We expect all 7 IITs to put up teams
  2. Each IIT will nominate one person as the Group Leader. Already identified

Shanti – Chennai

Ranjita – KGP

Vijaya – Mumbai

Shankar – Kanpur

We need to get names for Delhi, Roorke and Guwahati 27th July 2010

  1. Each band will be given 10 to 12 minutes to perform. 12 minutes x 7 = 84minutes + 6 switches x 5 minutes = 30 minutes Total 114 minutes. Band exceeding 12 minutes will be given negative marks. Within their stipulated time, band can perform any number of songs.
  2. Music should be Indian and performance should have Vocals
  3. Heavy Duty Classical Music not allowed.
  4. Teams putting up full band on their own will be given bonus marks
  5. The team with the largest band will get bonus marks (provided they play in synch!)
  6. Professional Percussion / keyboard assistance will be provided for teams that can’t mobilize full band. Professionals will be available at venue on the same day a few hours for practice. Teams that want to avail Pro assistance should give the songs one week in advance.
  7. Teams can also get non-Bangalore based alumni to augment their team
  8. Children of Alumni are allowed to be a part of the band


  1. Booze obviously is out
  2. Food Stalls will be there for people to buy food
  3. We are looking at keeping Ticket price very low and are targeting at 500+ audience
  4. Prizes will be awarded for No1. Band, No.2 Band, No1. Vocalist, No.2 Vocalist and Best Instrumentalist.
  5. During breaks, we will have MC to entertain people with crowd games, etc. Thoughts?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

A sonata a day keeps the doctor away

A recent research at Tel Aviv University say that the music of Mozart has a calming effect on premature babies. When these babies listen to Mozart's music they are less agitated and calmer. Hence they expend lesser energy and grow faster because now they need lesser calories to grow. The research doesn't conclude firmly what the actual reason behind it may be or what specific characteristics of Mozart's music may be causing this, but the researchers do mention about a hypothesis. They are of the opinion that Mozart's music has certain repetitive melodies which may be acting as the calming or soothing effect on the babies. They have also pointed out that similar repetitive melodies are characteristics only of Mozart's composition and not of anyone else's like that of Bach or Beethoven.

After I read he report I consciously gave attention to the music of Mozart and others like Bach and Beethoven. It's not easy to classify if only Mozart's music has repetitive melodies and others' don't, but still there's no doubt that in many of Mozart's compositions a particular melody flows around throughout the piece, very much like a theme music or like a hymn.

Here are some examples.

String Quartet No. 17 in B flat major ('Hunt'), K. 458

Andante-Grazioso - this one is perhaps a very good example of the repetitiveness in Mozart's music - it keeps on repeating like a hymn.

Symphony No. 25 (Titan theme music)

Symphony No. 40 (Salil Chowdhury's Itna Na Mujhse Tu Pyaar Badha)

The repetitiveness in music having a calming effect may not be a new thing. I can't say if there's any connection, but still it may not be just a coincidence also that all religious chants are very much repetitive almost in all cultures. The Mantras are always chanted in a typical repetitive fashion. There's no doubt that any hymn or chant is meant to soothe or calm our minds. Perhaps it's a very primitive intuition that was known to the mankind for ever and it came naturally more to Mozart than other composers.

I remember that my grandmother and other elder people at home used to say that it's good if pregnant mothers listen to religious songs or Gayatri Mantra or some other mantras because that is likely to have a very good impact on the baby in the womb. I heard a similar thing from Lata Mangeshkar. In an interview she mentioned that her father Dinanath Mangeshkar used to always sing good classical songs and read pieces from classical literature every time her mother had baby in her womb. She even claimed that the extraordinary sense of music in the Mangeshkar siblings might be due to all the music they all had heard since they were in wombs. A similar reference is found in the Mahabharata where Abhimanyu learns about a particular battle art while in womb. I haven't come across any scientific research on whether anything that babies hear while in wombs has any far lasting impact, but this particular research about repetitive music having calming effect on premature babies may be of some relevance. Also the age old Indian belief that listening to religious songs, which are in most cases repetitive in nature, in womb is good for the babies may have something to do with it.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Jamming for a cause

Deccan Herald: Wednesday 3 February 2010

The evening saw former IIT students belting out a selection of Hindi songs —some old, some new

IITians from all over the country got together for some music, fellowship and above all, a good social cause at a well-attended event in the City recently.

The evening was also in aid of Hippocampus, an organisation that promotes reading habits among disadvantaged children, which was founded over six years ago.
“Many of the IITians used to jam in college and never lost their passion for music over the years.They were anxious to get together like in the old days, play out their passion for music and meet up with friends and family. Many also felt that since they are well-settled in life now and pursing different careers, they would like to come together and be part of a cause that gives back to society,” said Umesh Malhotra, founder of Hippocampus.

The evening began with a selection of light Hindi songs from yesteryears played and sung by former IIT students.
As they sang the old melodies, the appreciative audience kept tapping to the beat and humming to the well-loved old tunes.
Once the band moved into the more contemporary set of songs, many were inspired to get on to the dance floor and rock the night away.
“We hope to raise funds for worthy self-sustaining causes through initiatives like these which combine fellowship and social awareness. In fact, we were quite overwhelmed by the response today as many of our alumni came forward enthusiastically to help put this event together,” Umesh said.

“Bangalore alone has 20 self-sustaining libraries that helps children from economically disadvantaged background improve their reading skills and do away with the menace of tuition with the active participation of their parents,” added Umesh.
The evening’s programme was interspersed with presentations on the reach and scope of Hippocampus as well as with live music played by the talented band.
Besides Bollywood numbers, they also played a mix of rock and typical IIT style music keeping the crowd well-entertained.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Lyrics of "Pherari Mon" from Antaheen

Film: Antaheen (wiki)
Lyrics: Anindya Chatterjee & Chandril Bhattacharya
Music: Shantanu Moitra
Singer: Shreya Ghoshal & Babul Supriyo
Awards: 2009: National Film Award

Pherari Mon: The escaping Mind

Alo alo rong jamkalo chand dhuye jai…
Chena sona mukh janasona hat chhuye jai..
Fire fire ghum ghire ghire gaan rekhe jai…
Kichhu michhu rat pichu pichu tan deke jai…

The hues of light drape the moon gorgeous,
The acquainted faces touch the known hand,
The lingering slumber surrounds me with its songs -
Those few nights, call me, call me back!!

Ajo ache gopon….
Pherari mon…
Beje gechhe kakhon….
Se telephone…

Still is concealed
The escaping mind -
When has it rung
That telephone?

Choto choto din, alape rongin, nurir moton..
Chhoto chhoto raat - chena mou tar polasher bon..
Agochhalo ghor, khorkuto moy chilekotha kon

Kotha chhilo hete jabooo chhayaapoth….

Small days - colorful with words - like pebbles,
Small nights - spreads like the Polash forest,
The unkept room - the littered corner of my attic -

We promised to walk together in the shaded alleys......

Ajo ache gopon….
Pherari mon…
Beje gechhe kakhon….
Se telephone…

Still is concealed
The escaping mind -
When has it rung
That telephone?

Kichhu michhu rat pichhu pichu tan obikol...
Alo alo rong jamkalo chand jholmol…

The few nights, call me, call me back!!
The hues of light drape the moon gorgeous,

Ajo ache gopon….
Ferari mon…
Beje gechhe kokhon….
Se telephone…

Still is concealed
The escaping mind -
When has it rung
That telephone?

Guro guro nil rong pencil jochhonar jol..
Jhuro jhuro kanch agun chhoyach dhekechhe anchal…
Footpate vir jahajer dak phire chole jai..

Kotha chhilo hete jabo chhayapoth………

The pieces of blue - the watery moon light of the color pencil,
The shredded glasses and the touches of fire - drape your scarf,
The crowds in the footpath and the siren of the ships - return they all!!

We promised to walk together in the shaded alleys......

Ajo ache gopon….
Ferari mon…
Beje gechhe kokhon….
Se telephone…

Still is concealed
The escaping mind -
When has it rung
That telephone?

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Unusual Jazz number in Hindi

There's a song called "Rut Jawaan", sung by Bhupinder and composed by Khayyam for a 60s movie "Akhri Khat". Given the style of Khayyam and also Bhupinder I found this song very unique. This is perhaps one of the best jazz numbers composed for a Hindi movie. I'm sure you would be surpirsed to hear this unusual song!!

Music of Antaheen

The National Awards for Best Film, Best Female Singer, Best Lyrics and few more for the year 2009 went to the Bengali Film named Antaheen. The music was composed by Shantanu Moitra and the song "Pherari Mon" fetched the National Award for Shreya Ghosal for the best female playback singer.

Listen to the songs (specially the Pherari Mon by Shreya Ghoshal) here.

The music is really great and Shantanu Moitra has created a new style of music, totally different from all his other compositions, in this film. I'm sure you all would enjoy the songs.

Friday, January 29, 2010

It's an 11th Hour passion

by Jayalakshmi Venugopal
Bangalore: Taking time off from their work schedules to make music at a friend’s home, about 15 senior-level management professionals, all graduates from different Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT), formed a music band, the ‘11th Hour’.

Now, they perform in music concerts organised to raise fund for charity. The band will perform at the upcoming IITF5, an inter-IIT music festival, held to raise fund for the Hippocampus Reading Foundation (HRF), a Bangalore-based organisation floated by a former IIT student, Umesh Malhotra, to promote reading habit among children.

“Some of the band members were involved with music groups during their IIT days. Now they have come together to support many causes like ours,” said Sangeetha Menon, head, operations, Hippocampus.

The band will perform a range of music — Indian light music to Western and from retro to the latest numbers. The group members include Vijaya Verma (IIT-Bombay), who runs a healthcare start-up, Dhananjay Collur (IIT-Kharagpur), director of an IT company, CS Balasubramanian (IIT-Delhi), who works in an IT firm, Dilip Panicker (IIT-Madras), entrepreneur and Joe Fernandes (IIT-Kharagpur), who runs a technology business.

“With our packed work schedules, looming deadlines and irate spouses, we all end up rehearsing only a month or so before performing at a concert. That's why the name, 11th Hour,” said Verma.

The band comprises both trained and untrained singers and musicians.

“There is a good mix of trained singers and people like me , bathroom singers, who’ve graduated to the stage. We are all based in the city and meet at a fellow band member’s home. We try to rehearse at least twice a week, or on weekends, at Dilip’s home,” Verma added.

The IITF5 is scheduled to be held at the Taj Residency on January 30 from 7.30 pm onwards. Donor passes are priced at Rs750 (adults), Rs900 (at venue) and Rs400 (for children).