1:21 PM IST - Friday March 27, 2015

No need to copy west, Indian music unique: Thorsten Mueller

Gulmarg (Jammu and Kashmir), March 14 There is innovation and impressive growth, but the Indian music scene is still ruled by film songs and tends to lean on the West for inspiration, says Mumbai-based German arranger and composer Thorsten Mueller.

“There is no reason for India to copy one to one from the West. It has its unique musical culture and if that can be combined with modern technology and instruments, it would be awesome. It is happening, but in a very limited manner. Some more work can be done in that direction,” Mueller, who has spent six years in India working on jingles and has also composed background scores for TV shows like “Magicskool”, told IANS in an interview.

“Music companies don’t really worry about alternatives. They go for the big bucks, which is in Bollywood,” a concerned Mueller said on the sidelines of the Gulmarg Winter Festival that saw various bands and musicians participating from various parts of the country.

But he is impressed with the growth and innovation in the music scene. “It is nice to see that people have started developing their own style. Now you see lot of people making their own music.

“Earlier, bands used to be a copy of European 1980s rock bands. It has come to musicians now developing own flavours. I would love to see much more Indian elements… not just Hindi vocals, but also the rhythm.”

He is happy with the fact that the internet is helping independent musicians reach out to wider audiences.

“With internet, the idea of music distribution has changed. Nobody is really buying music. Now anyone can upload a track and chances are if you are good and people like you, you get exposure.

“You might not be making money but it is a good promotion…you get famous, you get work; so I think that is the future of music distribution,” he said.

“People using old channels of distribution are crying over how much money they are losing. Exorbitant prices are keeping people away from buying music. Earlier, there were vinyl records, then came CDs but they were introduced in the market almost double the actual price,” he added.

Mueller came from Germany to India six years back and started working in Goa but shifted to Mumbai due to financial constraints.

“I wanted to come to India since I was 15. There are different stories that my friends used to tell me when they returned from a trip to India,” he said.

Comparing life in India with Germany, he added: “The nicest thing about India is that you wake up and you don’t know what will happen. You see something funny, something interesting and learn so many things every day.

“In Germany, you wake up and everything is scheduled. You don’t get to experience anything off track; you can predict what will happen. But in India, there is nothing of this sort.”


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