Pnjaabi on Voilen

There is one scene in the pathbreaking movie Cash that bothered me. It was eating away at some portions of my brain while I was reviewing the movie in this post

So I decided to attempt to set the matter at rest here. The culprit is this:


The most annoying character in the movie, the butler aboard a luxury yacht derisively laughs at the man whose clothes are stitched by the sister of Armani (since morning) for his humble request that 4 “voilen” players play some earthy pnjaabi music while he romances his girl on the boat.
So, the butler has, with one careless statement,

1. Insulted Armani (because insulting the hero is like insulting his tailor)

2. Insulted Pnjaabi music (by claiming that it is not sophisticated enough to be played by an elitist instrument like a violin)

3. Insulted Violinists (by claiming that they cannot play this high energry fun form of dance music)

So, I have gathered 3 ordinary violinists (Me, me and me) and a fake cellist (Me) and proved beyond all traces of doubt that Pnjaabi music can be played on violins. So here is a rough cut version of Pnjaabi on Voilen

If you cannot see the WordPress audio player widget, click here to download the mp3.

For the musicaly inclined,

The 3 violins were recorded on separate tracks and merged using Apple Garageband. The Cello is nothing more than a violin whose pitch was electronically lowered by an octave using a guitar processor.

Update: Mr Butler, we now have a Sitar playing Bhangra as well. Awesome, Priyank!


27 thoughts on “Pnjaabi on Voilen

  1. too much boss. sudsuddenly after listening to your pnjaabi muzeek i have gotten cravings for the sarson ka saag and the dhabey di daal. this is proof of your immense talent.

    lol @ sister of armani

  2. Voracious Blog Reader, aikaterine
    Thank you very much 🙂

    Thank you. I remember a very pricey pnjaabi restaurant in Denver, whose name seems to have escaped me now. They charged us $9.99 for 2 samosas and $20.99 for a vegetarian side dish.

  3. As much as the carnatic guy (incidently am a violinist too) in me wants to reprimand you for this blasphemous act (punjabhi over kaaapi) cannot help appreciate the sound; after all the violin is truly elitist !
    Befitting answer to one punjabbhi who once asked me when i was playing thodi in my room “Oyee, yaar tere violin se hamesha sad sound kyon aata hain?”….
    Long live the violinists 🙂

  4. What clean fun it is reading your posts!
    Quite like making comments after reading them.
    So, this class of music is not really the Blues, is it? More like Voilet, eh?

  5. Rambodoc,
    No. Not the Missisippi Delta Blues. This is the Sutlej Sarson Violet 🙂

    Welcome 🙂 Another violinist. Whatay pleasure. We are apparently a rare, unglamorous, non-chick-scoring species, a big part of the reason I decided to learn the electric guitar.

    Kaapi, you say? I always thought the traditional bhangra tunes had the notes of Thodi without the dhaivatham.

  6. I would like to hear ‘Daler Mehdi’ on Piano.
    //Insulted Pnjaabi music (by claiming that it is not sophisticated enough to be played by an elitist instrument like a violin)//I agree.

  7. Prerna,
    I am not much of a keyboardist. The most I can do is use my index finger and play “Ek do teen” 🙂 Most of the piano you hear in my compositions were painfully played note by note and digitally edited for corrections. Perhaps one of the other readers of my blog can take up this challenge?

  8. I think your earlier himesinging podcast set the expectations for me – don’t know why. I still think you can do it 🙂

    Btw, I am glad that both of us have undergone similar, extensive, sophisticated training on the piano. But in my case, it actually also applies to violin, guitar, flute, sitar, veena …

  9. Arun,
    Himesinging involved the creative use of garageband instruments and fx using midi notes played from the keyboard :), no real instruments except the voice.
    To get a decent percussive effect with violins, perhaps some good attack/chorus effects will be needed. Since I played this on an electric violin, the pure acoustic pressure related fx tend to get lost. Let me try sometime with the acoustic violin

  10. Ashok machaan, couldnt agree more on your description of violinists; what a price to pay for being elitist !
    What we have though is MAMI POWER ; having the company of roots rather than having the fruits !
    Smart move that for the glam quotient i say; so which one do u like more? Is it even possible to like some other instrument ?

  11. Well, the guitar is incredibly versatile and thats why it is the most popular instrument in the world. Its hard for me to say which one I like. I use both for different expressions, so there is rarely a contention.

  12. Excellent post – I have been an avid reader of your blog since I read “Ettukal Peter”. I really look forward to some matter and jilpa with my morning coffee. Punabi violin is a nice oxymoron. I think I better stop at that and to paraphrase a comment that my friend makes – Punjabi music is invariant to Doppler effect. Keep writing. encore

  13. Finally, this bandwidth challenged fan of yours heard this yet-another-amazing-piece-of-creativity!

    If they can play Flight of the Bumblebee on the violin, what can they not play? 🙂

    The mixing is superb, Ashok. Keep up the good work. I really do wish you had a percussionist on the keyboard with you!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.