The accordion somehow made famous by Raj Kapoor in Mera Nam Joker is almost unheard of in present-day India. I have always been a fan of the accordion for the pleasantness of its sound. The movie Amelie had a generous dose of background score consisting of a lively accordion. If you heard Rahman's song for the movie Guru, Ei Hairathein (Ok, my Hindi spellings are not good), it starts with an accordion (or at least I think so) leisurely playing a melody, immediately bringing to my mind images of some quiet European city with cobble-stoned streets and street cafes! The morning sun casting a silver light on the cobble stones and.... and now let me get back to what I was going to say...
This Wednesday, I attended this accordion concert by Regis Givazo hosted by the Poona music club. "Regis who?", was my response too. He is supposedly a world famous (Yes! and WE don't know!) accordionist who is originally from Madagascar. Regis teams up with Mirandon a percussionist/drummer, and together they create magic! He sang with his rich Malagasy (language of Madagascar) voice while his accordion provided the rhythm and bass along with a
complex interplay of notes that simply mesmerised us! His style had a very ethnic touch to it but at the same time incorporated a strong European flavour. Having been in Paris for about 10 years, he had beautifully assimilated various sounds.
I did not know that an accordion is such a versatile instrument, or is it the greatness of the artiste? I would think the latter would be closer to truth. You can listen to his tracks at this National Geographic World Music link . Do try the song Aia Rose at this link.
Now that I hear the tracks on the little CPU speakers in my grey cubicle, it does not sound like it's a big deal. When you are in front of the artist while he is passionately playing his instrument into the amplified hi-fi sound system, each sound crisp and clear with energy, it's a different experience altogether!
That evening I went home and had the perfect hangover :-)