Music Composer Abhishek Ray: ‘Saali not my lucky word’

By Hindustan Times

Director Tigmanshu Dhulia and music composer Abhishek Ray have had a long working relationship. But when Ray was approached to score for his latest film, Shagird, the brief intrigued him more than any anything else.

“Greed is the central idea of the film and there aren’t many songs on the insatiable craving for money. That’s how the central song ‘Kaisi talab hai…’ happened,” he says, adding that the entire film has used music a lot to define certain scenes and Nana Patekar’s character. “He is this huge fan of old Hindi retro music. So in any scene, if he’s about to kill someone and he hears a Kishore Kumar song playing in the background, he stops and goes into a trance. Even the last scene of the film uses this
treatment.”

Saali just a coincidence

His last composition that became a success was the title track of Sudhir Mishra’s Yeh Saali Zindagi, and he happens to use the word saali in the lead song of Shagird as well. But he insists that means nothing. “It isn’t lucky for me or anything. It’s just a coincidence,” says the artiste, who has also composed for Sahib, Biwi Aur Gangster and Paan Singh Tomar for Dhulia.
Calling Shagird’s music ‘anti-action-film-like’, he stresses upon the need to move away from clichéd loud sounds in films that have a lot of violence and thrill.

Unusual treatment

“Normally you’ll expect music to be loud, horrific and smashing. But in a Quentin Tarantino film or something like the Godfather, when a shootout happens, the music is haunting, slow and poised, and that works in a different way. I’ve used that sort of treatment in this film,” says Ray, who, being from Delhi, could understand the theme of the film better, which is based in the Capital. “I don’t think Indian audiences are used to this. We’re not used to anticipating the score, which most films practise in this genre.”

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