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Thursday, Dec 16, 2004

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Bound for Beijing



READY FOR A NEW MUSIC: Sandeep Chowta in New Delhi. Photo: V. Sudershan.

FROM COMPOSING music for path-breaking films such as Satya and Company, to cutting private albums, to directing a documentary on drug abuse, Sandeep Chowta has done it all. And now he's composing for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. "I've had my share of making music for Bollywood. I want to do something that really fascinates me and there is nothing better than working with people I idolise," he candidly states.

Partnering Sandeep in his compositions for the Olympics are two American composers Jay Oliver and Ricky Gannaway who work under the name AO. He met the twosome in America while recording music for American Pilgrimage. Jay and Ricky asked Sandeep to join them after listening to his music, which they found "path-breaking yet rooted in Indian tradition". Jay says AO would like to instil in their compositions an Indian sensibility because "the roots of Indian music go down very deep and the spirit that lies within it is infused with honesty. The musicians behind this music seek to exalt their lives and create a relationship with God."

Sandeep plans to highlight the greatness of the many musical traditions in India and hopes to present them on a global platform in a style appetising to everyone. For the Beijing Olympics the trio intends to create music that will be a celebration of living, encompassing the themes of triumph and glory. "We want to bring together music from all over the world and present it in a palatable format that everyone can relate to." And for that they will incorporate children to sing along because they are pure and unconditional. "When you listen to a child your heart opens up and you are ready to receive more, going beyond your beliefs and attitudes," explains Jay.

As for his plans, Sandeep wants to continue to reach out for something "fresh and unconventional". He will soon complete his score for American Pilgrimage and is working on the music for a film with the Andhra star Nagarjuna. Sandeep hopes to get corporate support for AO, which he says is not a band but a project that seeks to create a universal sound, a sound that connects with the core of our being and reaches out to anyone who listens to it, irrespective of beliefs, values and culture.

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