Kolkata: Very few know that legendary music composer R.D. Burman, who is credited with revolutionising Indian film music by bledning classical and western scores, had even drawn inspiration from the sounds that beggars make while doing their rounds and shepherds make while grazing their cows, those who worked with him said.
A day after his 73rd birth anniversary Wednesday, musicians talked about innate qualities of the late musician, who was fondly called Pancham-da by his fans and close ones.
"He had a very big plus point. Even while going on the road, if any music or sound made by a pedestrian or even a beggar appealed to his ears, he would incorporate it into the scores he composed," said Nitin Shankar, a renowned percussionist and chief rhythm assistant of Pancham.
Shankar, who had spent nearly eight years with Pancham in the late eighties, felt that some notes in the song "Yeh Naiana Yaad Hai Piya" from the movie ‘Manzil Manzil’ was influenced by the sound created by the Maharastrian shepherds while grazing their cows.
Pancham was a musical magician who ruled the Indian film industry with his innovations and unique fusions of Indian music with jazz, pop, blues and rock music for three decades.
Son of legendary composer S.D. Burman, Pancham kicked off his musical journey with ‘Chhote Nawab’ (1961) and remained a loyal disciple of music till his last breath in 1994.
He is credited with infusing a fresh lease of life in Indian music with evergreen melodies like "Raat kali", the sensual cabaret number "Piya tu ab toh aaja", the ultimate hippie anthem "Dum maro dum", the nomad theme "Mehbooba Mehbooba" and the classical "Raina beeti jaaye" and "Mera kuchh saamaan".
According to his troupe members, Pancham`s urge to better his performance with every musical score helped him in creating some of the immortal melodies of all time.
"I have worked with Panchamda since 1978. He was a perfectionist. And always wanted to better his last performance. He was never bothered abouthis last success. He used to become very angry if the music was not perfect," said trumpeteer Kishore Sodha, who was in the city for a live performance organised by Euphony.
Winner of three Filmfare awards and credited for giving breaks to renowned singers like Abhijeet and Kumar Sanu, Pancham, his immortal creations still continue to rule millions of hearts across India.
Drummer Franco Vaz, who played with the musician for 17 years, reminisced about his humanitarian and leadership qualities.
"Once during the recording of a song, the producer of the movie was present. During lunch the producer ordered Chinese food for Panchamda and normal canteen food for other troupe members. Panchamda after hearing this refused to eat and told the producer that he will eat the same food that his other troupe members take."