Monday, August 07, 2006
Sunday People review
Music: Seamless Hardesh
by Dharshana Sivapatham
IN the field of Malaysian indie films, Hardesh Singh has definitely made his mark. Dabbling in the local unsupported music scene is chancy at best, so to find one that has broken the international market, it’s a proud moment for him, and us.
As the 30-year-old tries to seat himself comfortably at the edge of a plush sofa in The Curve’s Laundry, he modestly explains that all his work is done from the comfort of his home, where his studio and life lie.
It was the launch of his debut CD, Eating Pomeloes from Tokyo to Tamil Nadu Makes My Heart Go Gubra, a compilation of all his compositions for films.
While the title may have been wittily worded from all the films the scores can be found, it is a compilation assuredly not for the pop inclined.
Prepare for a four-part journey, each distinct from each other. This very well could be the first of its kind in Malaysia.
At the launch, there were performances by Zalila Lee with her rendition of Malaria among others, and Yasmin Ahmad, augmented by Hardesh on guitar for Keroncong, from her new film, Mukhsin.
What took my fancy were the scores for Gubra, just heart wrenching with composed melodic style and ethereal sonority. Chemman Chaalai, blame my heritage if you like, had string work that was pleasingly poignant.
The best track on this album was Keroncong, so beautifully wrtten by Yasmin’s father, and composed by our man Hardesh, the sound engineer. It just stays with you, a definite tearjerker.
Appropriately the scores from Amir Muhammad’s Lelaki Komunis Terakhir are quirky and funny, the combination of sounds very accurately sending the intended message, with a melancholy look at the economy, and an army theme-inspired take on ICs. Impressive.
Original thought being such a rarity these days, this compilation makes ou giddy with laughter, weepy with forlornness, and it send you reminiscing about the things that were.
Born in Kuching, raised in Port Dickson and hailing from MMU with a degree in communications, Hardesh says running his own business has its “ups and downs but it’s all worth it because I get to do what I love to do, and that’s music”.
His score was favoured at the recent Berlinale, the Berlin Internatio nal Film Festival, for his contribution to Monday Morning Glory and Lelaki Komunis Terakhir, where the film had its world premiere.
While there may be serious talk of Hardesh being involved in a major animation feature in Germany, he has just finished remixing with German band Nude, an electronica band.
More albums are a sure thing from this down-to-earth wunderkin who seems
unawares of his impact on the local scene and is an avid fan of jazz, electronica and world music. Three guesses as to what his new album will be like.
* Keronchong, which is actually called Hujan btw, was composed by Ahmad Hashim, Yasmin's father, with lyrics by Inom Yon, Yasmin's mother. I did not compose Hujan. I produced it for Yasmin's upcoming film Mukhsin, and included it in the compilation as a bonus feature - hardesh
Posted by HS at 3:03 PM