Cartier’s Speech – Quebec Conference, 1865

To many, Confederation is not a choice, but a force that we have been driven towards out of urgency. As we gather here today, we must think; will we be content as mere colonies existing side by side, or is it more in order to come together as one great nation? One of financial and cultural success, one of representation for all!

Many fear that this development will jeopardize the dignity and identity of these separate colonies, and feel it is best for those in need of support to flourish on and support themselves. However, the purpose of banding together and reconvening into one great nation is not to tear apart these separate identities, but to tie them together and share them with one another. Imagine a place where we are able to mutually understand one another, and respect one another, a time in which we may come together to support one another’s needs, and build off one another’s strengths.

We shall not follow that of our American brothers; we may not turn against one another in fight for the ultimate decision of power. We shall, instead distribute power, and bring our people together. We cannot be content with violence as a form of decision making. We must think toward what it right for all, what is best for the greater good.

Could Quebecois Sovereignty Be A Result of Confederation?

(this is irrelevant so skip to the actual post if you want to – I was listening to this song while writing this post and it made for just the right amount of cynicism about the whole Confederation thing for me to write this post)

In a situation where decisions are made for the “greater good,” it can be difficult to identify the “right” and “wrong” of multiple sides. Through learning about confederation, we have explored the various perspectives which took place in shaping Confederation into the enormous movement that lifted Canada onto it’s feet as a country. However, with every change, there are consequences. The most notable negative consequence coming out of Confederation was the implementation of Residential Schools, permanently damaging the cultures of the Aboriginal peoples in Canada, and affecting those communities to this day.

Since the first talks of Confederation, protecting minority rights has always been a priority to the founding fathers, which at the time, included many of French descent. To many looking from the outside, the idea that today, there is an act of sovereignty in the province of Quebec would seem based on some kind of cultural ego. But when looking deeper into the French people’s experience with Confederation as a whole, tales of threat, having no alternative, and the erasure of culture are all topics of interest.

So what were the elements of confederation that threatened the independence of the French people in Quebec? What are the guiding elements of confederation that are the most prominent in Canada today? Do any of these ideas lead to the act of sovereignty in Quebec we have seen since the 1960s?

 

 Still, assimilation is the concern of the French people.

The old Union of 1840-1841 had been transformed from an instrument of assimilation and oppression of French Canadians into a partnership where Quebec and Ontario shared equally power on the principle of duality. Since, by Confederation, Quebec only had about 40% of the population of the United Province of Canada, to share equally in the government put it in an advantageous position. This was so much so that it was Upper Canada that now complained about the Union and its most important political leader of the time, George Brown, claimed that the province had become ‘French dominated’. While Brown’s comment disclose an intolerant attitude,  to most Upper Canadians it contained a good deal of truth and they wished something to be done about it. Their great solution to this problem was to propose Representation according to Population. Had this proposal been implemented, it would have made it possible to form a government with only political support from Upper Canada and, consequently, put George Brown in power. Such a prospect could not be accepted in Quebec as it would endanger all the cultural gains its people had made in the union since 1848. Simply put, to have accepted Rep. by Pop. would have put the cultural survival of Quebec on the line and, ever since the 1840’s, cultural survival was the central question, the existential question, in Quebec.

  – Claude Bélanger,
Department of History,
Marianopolis College

Quebec and the Confederation Project (1864-1867)

Though being able to feel culturally secure outside the government, the constant overrunning of any kind of French power was a common theme in early stages of asserting Confederation-esque ideas. The source above continues to discuss the reasons Quebec even decided to join Confederation in the first place:

  • Political realism (breaking the political deadlock)
  • Their elite representative power (people like George Cartier who advocated for Confederation)
  • Lack of alternatives
  • Federalism (in the grand scheme, Confederation was a good idea, though maybe not catering to the French specifically)

The last point they mention is the fact that the Fathers of Confederation were committed to keeping the culture of the French intact, even though representation was skew wherever it could be.

When we look at the cultural makeup of Canada today, we see the overwhelming Anglo-population, as well as other branches of people who are culturally diverse in non-French ways – various ethnicities, religions, languages, etc. Perhaps this development of the country into a largely non-French country is a fire for French people in Canada to feel threatened, especially after countless promises of maintaining French culture prominently in Canada were a part of Confederation. There have even been acts taken by the Quebec provincial government that have been seen as controversial, as acts of rebellion to this French erasure concept, such as the example below.

Public employees would not be allowed to wear overt religious symbols at work under the proposed charter of Quebec values, released by the Parti Québécois today. The minister in charge of the charter, Bernard Drainville, announced at the national assembly that if the charter were adopted by the legislature, the wearing of kippas, turbans, burkas, hijabs and “large” crosses would be banned for civil servants while they are on the job.

CBC News

Charter of Quebec values would ban religious symbols for public workers

It is rare to find much French culture outside the Quebec area, which is seen as the assimilation of the French culture to many of the French people living in Canada today. The fact that Canada has developed into a country that boasts about it’s prized bilingualism but has such little emphasis on the French culture within it is reasonable to be seen as disgraceful and in order for a rebellion of some sorts. Enter Quebecois Sovereignty; the idea that Quebec should be able to gain independence from Canada and become it’s own country has been floating around for nearly 60 years now.

A group of prominent Quebec sovereigntists has penned a manifesto that slams the Parti Quebecois as a spent force in the fight for independence. The group is calling itself the New Movement for Quebec and is composed of former members of both the PQ and the Bloc Quebecois. In a manifesto published online today, the group says the independence movement is undergoing a serious crisis and needs to be transformed.

“The crisis that the sovereigntist movement is going through is not banal,” the manifesto reads. “It crystallizes the end of an era and the start of a new one.”

– Jonathan Montpetit and Sylvain Larocque, The Canadian Press

New Movement For Quebec: Prominent Sovereigntists Publish Manifesto, Slam PQ As Spent Force

Marching forward.

Thinking about one of our own provinces wanting to separate from our country can be a shocking idea to many people. But with a bit of background, it is clear that Quebecois Sovereignty is a movement built upon pent up oppression and neglecting of the French people, while still having the government’s favourite parts being thrown around as decorations on our reputation. It will be interesting to see how this long haul of a movement progresses with time, whether there will be a success or the most anti-climactic end for the movement entirely. It is valuable to understand how this grand decision is received by various groups, whether they be French, Anglo, or Aboriginal. It would be interesting to see the ability for French-Canadians to empathize more with Aboriginal peoples, who have literally gone through the most atrocious event in our history, and have suffered through cultural genocide. Maybe bonds could grow strong between French-Canadians and Aboriginal peoples, or maybe the French sovereigntists will continue on their path to freedom, never daring to look back for a second.

Could Quebecois Sovereignty Be A Result of Confederation?

(this is irrelevant so skip to the actual post if you want to – I was listening to this song while writing this post and it made for just the right amount of cynicism about the whole Confederation thing for me to write this post)

In a situation where decisions are made for the “greater good,” it can be difficult to identify the “right” and “wrong” of multiple sides. Through learning about confederation, we have explored the various perspectives which took place in shaping Confederation into the enormous movement that lifted Canada onto it’s feet as a country. However, with every change, there are consequences. The most notable negative consequence coming out of Confederation was the implementation of Residential Schools, permanently damaging the cultures of the Aboriginal peoples in Canada, and affecting those communities to this day.

Since the first talks of Confederation, protecting minority rights has always been a priority to the founding fathers, which at the time, included many of French descent. To many looking from the outside, the idea that today, there is an act of sovereignty in the province of Quebec would seem based on some kind of cultural ego. But when looking deeper into the French people’s experience with Confederation as a whole, tales of threat, having no alternative, and the erasure of culture are all topics of interest.

So what were the elements of confederation that threatened the independence of the French people in Quebec? What are the guiding elements of confederation that are the most prominent in Canada today? Do any of these ideas lead to the act of sovereignty in Quebec we have seen since the 1960s?

 

 Still, assimilation is the concern of the French people.

The old Union of 1840-1841 had been transformed from an instrument of assimilation and oppression of French Canadians into a partnership where Quebec and Ontario shared equally power on the principle of duality. Since, by Confederation, Quebec only had about 40% of the population of the United Province of Canada, to share equally in the government put it in an advantageous position. This was so much so that it was Upper Canada that now complained about the Union and its most important political leader of the time, George Brown, claimed that the province had become ‘French dominated’. While Brown’s comment disclose an intolerant attitude,  to most Upper Canadians it contained a good deal of truth and they wished something to be done about it. Their great solution to this problem was to propose Representation according to Population. Had this proposal been implemented, it would have made it possible to form a government with only political support from Upper Canada and, consequently, put George Brown in power. Such a prospect could not be accepted in Quebec as it would endanger all the cultural gains its people had made in the union since 1848. Simply put, to have accepted Rep. by Pop. would have put the cultural survival of Quebec on the line and, ever since the 1840’s, cultural survival was the central question, the existential question, in Quebec.

  – Claude Bélanger,
Department of History,
Marianopolis College

Quebec and the Confederation Project (1864-1867)

Though being able to feel culturally secure outside the government, the constant overrunning of any kind of French power was a common theme in early stages of asserting Confederation-esque ideas. The source above continues to discuss the reasons Quebec even decided to join Confederation in the first place:

  • Political realism (breaking the political deadlock)
  • Their elite representative power (people like George Cartier who advocated for Confederation)
  • Lack of alternatives
  • Federalism (in the grand scheme, Confederation was a good idea, though maybe not catering to the French specifically)

The last point they mention is the fact that the Fathers of Confederation were committed to keeping the culture of the French intact, even though representation was skew wherever it could be.

When we look at the cultural makeup of Canada today, we see the overwhelming Anglo-population, as well as other branches of people who are culturally diverse in non-French ways – various ethnicities, religions, languages, etc. Perhaps this development of the country into a largely non-French country is a fire for French people in Canada to feel threatened, especially after countless promises of maintaining French culture prominently in Canada were a part of Confederation. There have even been acts taken by the Quebec provincial government that have been seen as controversial, as acts of rebellion to this French erasure concept, such as the example below.

Public employees would not be allowed to wear overt religious symbols at work under the proposed charter of Quebec values, released by the Parti Québécois today. The minister in charge of the charter, Bernard Drainville, announced at the national assembly that if the charter were adopted by the legislature, the wearing of kippas, turbans, burkas, hijabs and “large” crosses would be banned for civil servants while they are on the job.

CBC News

Charter of Quebec values would ban religious symbols for public workers

It is rare to find much French culture outside the Quebec area, which is seen as the assimilation of the French culture to many of the French people living in Canada today. The fact that Canada has developed into a country that boasts about it’s prized bilingualism but has such little emphasis on the French culture within it is reasonable to be seen as disgraceful and in order for a rebellion of some sorts. Enter Quebecois Sovereignty; the idea that Quebec should be able to gain independence from Canada and become it’s own country has been floating around for nearly 60 years now.

A group of prominent Quebec sovereigntists has penned a manifesto that slams the Parti Quebecois as a spent force in the fight for independence. The group is calling itself the New Movement for Quebec and is composed of former members of both the PQ and the Bloc Quebecois. In a manifesto published online today, the group says the independence movement is undergoing a serious crisis and needs to be transformed.

“The crisis that the sovereigntist movement is going through is not banal,” the manifesto reads. “It crystallizes the end of an era and the start of a new one.”

– Jonathan Montpetit and Sylvain Larocque, The Canadian Press

New Movement For Quebec: Prominent Sovereigntists Publish Manifesto, Slam PQ As Spent Force

Marching forward.

Thinking about one of our own provinces wanting to separate from our country can be a shocking idea to many people. But with a bit of background, it is clear that Quebecois Sovereignty is a movement built upon pent up oppression and neglecting of the French people, while still having the government’s favourite parts being thrown around as decorations on our reputation. It will be interesting to see how this long haul of a movement progresses with time, whether there will be a success or the most anti-climactic end for the movement entirely. It is valuable to understand how this grand decision is received by various groups, whether they be French, Anglo, or Aboriginal. It would be interesting to see the ability for French-Canadians to empathize more with Aboriginal peoples, who have literally gone through the most atrocious event in our history, and have suffered through cultural genocide. Maybe bonds could grow strong between French-Canadians and Aboriginal peoples, or maybe the French sovereigntists will continue on their path to freedom, never daring to look back for a second.

Yeh Sangeet Mere Dil Ko Lagaaya (In-Depth #5)

“I feel the music in my heart.”

I was on the phone with my grandmother the other night, and I was explaining my in-depth project to her (what it is, what my project is). My grandmother was a musical icon in her neighbourhood in Calcutta, and has been involved with Indian music her entire life. I told her I was on a mission to blend Indian music and western music through my singing, while exploring different genres and mixing and matching songs, and she replied with something I didn’t expect her to say, something along the lines of:

“I am so overjoyed to see that my granddaughter is pursuing such an innovative path of music. It’s so essential, what you’re doing, introducing a little bit of either culture to those on either side – English or Indian. It’s very important for you to keep up your heritage in your musical endeavors in Canada.”

I felt like sharing with this blog, as it really meant a lot to me and really supplies me with motivation.

This update leads with one of the more productive meetings I’ve with my mentor so far. I came to her with three song combinations I recorded roughs of (which I will not include here as they are extremely rough audio recordings), two jazz and one classical combinations (with various Indian songs):

Autumn Leaves x Kabira 

A Night in Tunisia x Dil Chata Hai

Widmung x Purano Shei Diner Khotha

In short, our conversation consisted of me showing her the songs she didn’t know, explaining and demonstrating my ideas to her, and talking about the ways we could develop them and build beyond just mashing up songs. Here is a transcription of when I played the German classical song “Widmung” for her and asked for her thoughts on instrumentation for a mashup of this and “Purano Shei Diner Khotha.”

Anika: I actually learned this song with my voice teacher a few months ago, and it’s just really beautiful and when I was going through my music I immediately thought this would go nicely with that Bengali song I was talking about. (Yellow, Red)

Nina: Which one is that… the Rabindranath Tagore one? (White)

A: Yes!

N: Oh yeah okay, let’s see.

(this is when I played Widmung for her – listen to it here!)

N: Oh, that is lovely! (Red)

A: The translation is really beautiful, it basically is talking about someone who is the singer’s soul, heart, mind and soul – their whole world, right? And it goes on like that through the whole song and ends with the singer saying how that someone is their better self. (White)

N: Wow… that’s so powerful, like, I could really feel that emotion you know? I didn’t even know what it was about and I could feel it, and now that you’ve explained it – it’s really moving. (Red)

A: It is! It fits also really well with the other song melodically, even though the translations don’t exactly line up but I think I can work around and make it more theme-based you know? (Green, Yellow)

N: Yeah, of course, like taking the ideas of both songs. (Green)

A: Yeah.

N: Yeah exactly, you’ll never be able to find two songs that fit together melodically and lyrically perfectly, there will be some compromise. (Yellow)

A: Yes exactly, and that just makes it more interesting as well. (Yellow)

N: Absolutely! And are you going to be using, like, a more western instrumentation for this or use a harmonium and tabla do you think? (Green, Blue)

A: I actually I am not sure, do you think it’s realistic to try and combine them somehow? I don’t know how cohesive that would be though… (Black)

N: Well, it all depends – you never know how good something can sound until you try! (Black, Yellow)

A: Do you think if I wanted Hriday (Nina’s son) could play tabla for me? I have a harmonium. (Green)

N: Yes, definitely, he would be more than happy. We have a harmonium here too if you guys want to jam out you can come over whenever. We also have a keyboard, actually, which works out well. (Blue, Green)

A: That’s perfect!

The hats most identifiable in the conversation we had here are, from most to least: Green and Yellow, Red, then White, Black, and Blue.

This conversation involved a lot of idea development and justifications for certain ideas and actions, like when we talked about how even though only the melodies of the two songs line up and not just the words, it will still make for a good mashup as we can make something of the overall theme of the story the mashup tells with the two songs. We touched a bit on the connection we felt with Widmung and how beautiful it was. I find Nina and I tend to try and keep an open mind when working with different songs and music, as being too judgmental can be a roadblock to creativity.

I find De Bono’s hat concept very interesting, as you never would regularly think of the different types of statements or comments being brought up during a conversation as serving different functions or paths to development of the conversation – when we talk we just talk. It’s really helpful to be able to look back on our conversations and analyze the better and more productive parts, the more heartfelt ones, and the parts we can improve on for next time.

 

Finding My Voice (In-Depth #4)

Things are getting wild with my mentor!

As of the meeting previous to my last, we discussed taking fusion music into directions I had never thought of before. The last meeting with my mentor was over facetime, as neither of us were available to meet in person for too long. Brief but valuable, she had devised some tasks for me to complete for our next meeting, and during our call, I was able to create a flow chart of sorts to help organize our ideas.

My last post outlined some of the various styles and forms of inspiration my mentor has advised me to take a listen to. After delving through a deep hole of so many kinds of fusion music, we were able to discuss a few ideas I was interested in and wanted to explore further.

visual-organizer

De Bono’s Guidelines:

#5 Discuss any new points of view you developed while in conversation with your mentor.

After talking about realistic possibilities with my mentor, it is clear that my original plan of having three completed fusion songs ready for performance by the end of these next few months is slightly unrealistic. She talked about how I cannot underestimate how much there is to research about a topic as broad as this, and as diverse. It took me much longer to specify and reevaluate where to take this project and creation of music than anticipated, and now with around 3 months remaining, I have decided to mostly focus on curating one piece of music I can really explore deeply and properly. The difficulty now is focusing my scattered thoughts into one idea, and focusing in only on that idea, not being trailed off in another direction completely.

#6 What were some of the alternative perceptions that are new to you.

I had known that modern pop and Bollywood was a more popular way to fuse music and has been done a lot, but it wasn’t as clear to me just how common it was. While discussing with Nina, we came to a mutual agreement that in order to properly explore the roots of mt culture through this music, it would be more interesting if I were to gravitate towards something a bit more unconventional and unheard of. This idea did, and still slightly intimidates me, but I think it’s an essential path to take in order to really feel satisfied in the process and at the end.

#9 How do your mentor values differ from yours?

One thing I didn’t expect going into this mentorship relationship is how excited my mentor was to share my work with the public. My idea for this project was to keep it a bit more personal and private, but my mentor has recommended me organizations and hubs in Vancouver and the Lower Mainland in which I would be able to share my music with others and enter it into a place surrounding Indian culture. Another value that we don’t always see eye to eye on is the validity of modern pop music, as I believe modern Western pop music has a value that doesn’t necessarily have to do with the lyrics or what a song means, but more how it makes you feel. My mentor sees modern pop and amateur and meaningless, which is something I hope to reason with her on.

Through this week I will most likely update an extra post on my progress of tying together various genres from different cultures. I am also seriously thinking of putting on a performance instead of a learning center in May! Hopefully this will be possible

Is it Worth it For What We Believe In? – November 30, 1837

November 30, 1837

Days are short and nights grow long, and I have none but this mere paper and pen to keep me company. I have no whereabouts on Wolfred, though perhaps he has found his way south as I have. He was a great man, never letting fear breach his eyes. It was an honour to fight alongside him, against those filthy Brits. The audacity, to rob us of every last strand of independence we had, stealing hard earned money and depleting our economic status. Should they not have expected a resistance? Should they not have predicted an uprising? It is simply unfortunate now, that good men are taken away, exiled from the land, simply to maintain a game of useless gambling for unneeded profit.

I now make my way down to Vermont, though it irks me to consider not being able to return to Canada. It is unfair to allow the independence and well-being of our land be taken away by some British scoundrels. We deserve sustenance, and trust. Sometimes I think just why I’m rebelling, if all my efforts can be distinguished with the crack of a gunshot on my own land. Montreal is where I hope my path leads me to next. This economic crisis cannot be left untouched by our own people. I hope it won’t be long before my return – considering it’s possible.

I aim to contact Wolfred once I reach a stable area. We must not step down, but resist until we can no more.

À son aspect le Canadien s’écrie:
Ô Canada, mon pays, mes amours

The Line Between Patriotism and Treason

David Maxey goes into depth about the enforcement of treason during the American Revolution, and the difference between committing treason as a patriot and as a loyalist. He talks about how the crime can be seen as confusing, as one would think treason against one party would simply mean to convert to the other. Laws were fuzzy, governments were confusing, and the crime was one that was being worked toward diminishing piece by piece.

The quote below states very briefly the view on how treason was treated as a crime when it came to social movements, specifically in the patriotic view point.

“As Thomas McKean, a signer of the Declaration and later Chief Justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, observed in an early case that came before him as a judge, in civil wars, every man chooses his party; but generally that side which prevails arrogates the right of treating those who are vanquished as rebels. Benjamin Franklin made the point more tellingly when, as he was about to sign the Declaration, he remarked, ‘We must, indeed, all hang together, or most assuredly we shall hang separately.'”

Read the whole page here!

Exploring the (In)Depths (In-Depth #3)

As my mentor was unable to meet with me since our last meeting, she had given me a large list of resources to look to and check out to grab inspiration from. I have been working my way through them, and by the end (hopefully by this weekend) I will have a visual organizer of the different paths in which I would like to pursue this project, as she suggested. A few main ideas and places she wanted me to explore on my own time are:

  • Indian Sufi music (soul music)
  • Sachal music
  • Vancouver intercultural orchestra
  • Ragas relating to physical properties of life

Sufi Music: Music from the Soul

Sufi music is originally a Islamic-based devotional genre of music, and has since been transferred to many south-Asian and middle-Eastern cultures as soulful, spiritual and/or devotional music. Here is a sample of Indian Sufi music, the song Man Kun Tho Maula roughly translates to “My Mind is That of God.” It is a devotional piece full of emotion, and as seen by Pooja Gaitonde, requires great love and passion to perform with full justice. I would recommend listening to the beginning few minutes, and one part that really demonstrates the intricacies involved in singing a song like this can been heard around 6:25 – 8:00.

Sachal Music: Jazz and Indian Classical Fusion

Sachal Music is an Indian group known for their classical renditions of western jazz standards. This is a really cool resource to look at, as it shows just how technical and precise fusion music can be, avoiding, in the words of Nina, “fusion music turning into confusion music.” The video below is of famous director and musician Wynton Marsalis and his band, along with Sachal Music, performing John Coltrane’s My Favourite Things as a jazz/Hindustani fusion piece.

Vancouver Intercultural Orchestra: Demonstrating the Effects of Ragas

The Vancouver Intercultural Orchestra is an organization in Vancouver that focuses on bringing light upon various cultures of music, one of which being Indian and south-Asian music. Below is a show hosted by the Vancouver Intercultural Orchestra, a performance by Dhruba Gosh, a legendary sarangi player (sarangi is the instrument he performs with below), performing the raga Bhairav.

A raga, or raag, is a collection of notes that form a scale, and each raag is composed of different degrees of notes, and have different moods and significance to them. In western music, the raag can be seen as the equivalent to a mode.

He goes on in the beginning of the video to explain how Bhairav is a pentatonically constructed raga with a flat 2nd, flat 7th, and the omission of the 3rd and 6th degrees of the scale. It is generally a raga that is meant to be played or sung in the very early morning, and it’s purpose being:

“… asking the Creator, with the help of time and space, to help me to recognize you. Awaken me from my deep slumber to supreme consciousness, by crossing the limits of space and time.”

Essentially, any song based on a raag is meant to evoke intense emotion from the observer. Gosh demonstrates the power of the raga on the sarangi in the performance below.

These are some of the concepts I have been able to look into over this past week or so. The visual organizer I hope to complete will contain all the resources and ideas I have collected laid out in different paths for me to consider. These other resources include two documentaries I have been recommended to watch, various other groups, and Asian Heritage Month in Vancouver. I am already learning so much about my culture and the divers ways to approach my project; I’m excited to keep chugging away!

Where Are We Going? (In-Depth #2)

It never ceased to amaze how much an idea can change once it’s being put into action. I was able to confirm Nina Buddhdev, a good friend of my mom’s, as my mentor. She has studied some depth into Indian classical music, and is very passionate about Hindustani music and encouraging Hindustani music into the modern music scene in the Tri-Cities. Before meeting with her for the first time, I had a fair idea of how I wanted my project to progress. Now that I have met with her and discussed what I would like to gain from her mentorship, I have varying paths on how I can take this project, some of which I am excited for and some of which make me wonder whether I could achieve something like that.

This first meeting was the perfect scenario to apply the first three aspects of How to Have a Beautiful Mind: how to agree, how to disagree, and how to differ.

Notes from our first meeting.

We sat for our first meeting in the evening over tea, and she basically allowed me to explain what I wanted to get out of the project, which was mainly a better knowledge and understanding of the elements of Hindustani classical music, as well as Indian music as a whole, and how to mingle my passions with my culture. I had given her examples I had already looked at, containing various Bollywood/western pop mashups and a few classical and western mashups. We discussed about how common Bollywood/pop mashups are nowadays, and how there have been so many versions of Bollywood and Western pop combinations that it would be practically redundant for me to focus all my energy into doing those kinds of mashups. This was something I definitely agreed on, and the more I thought about it, the more I realized I could really take this opportunity to delve into a deeper cultural aspect of Indian music than the commercialized side that I’m used to seeing every day. We talked about whether it was even worth me going into Bollywood at all, and discussed that focusing in on the real classics of Bollywood would be a fun twist for me to try, even trying to pair up classic Bollywood songs with older western classics. However, though she was alluding to staying away from more modern styles of music fusion, like pop and electronic, I would still like to venture into these areas in some way. I can understand why it wouldn’t be the first thing she would encourage me to do with this project, as in our talks, she mentioned something that really struck me as powerful (you can see it scribbled into my notes as well):

“Music is a spiritual – even a holistic – experience. Music wasn’t initially created for entertainment purposes, but for those of a spiritual and soulful nature. It is one of the most powerful forces that can shake a human’s heart.”

I really resonated with this idea, that music is not something that should be about performance or perfection all the time, but about using it to maintain spiritual, emotional, and physical well-being. However, these more modern genres of music from both sides of the world were things that I went into the project wanting to explore, and I will still make it a point to do so, even if in a smaller way.

As seen in the picture above, she has given me an extensive list of resources to look through and listen to to gain inspiration from. I hope to dig through them and summarize my findings soon!