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"Tryst with Destiny"
Mohua Das, Composer sets Nehru's `Tryst with Destiny' to music, wins a Grammy, Feb 16, 2017: The Times of India
Jawaharlal Nehru has just won a Grammy . And it isn't as strange as it may sound. American jazz saxophonist and composer Ted Nash transcribed the actual pitches and cadences of Nehru's legendary oration on the eve of India's Independence into an original score to win this year's Grammy for `Best Instrumental Composition'.
“Long years ago we made a tryst with destiny... At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom,“ as intonated by the first PM before the Constituent Assembly in Parliament, inspired the award-winning theme.
The composer took time out between rehearsals in New York for an email chat with TOI, to outline how he crafted melodic material from Nehru's speech pattern to create the Grammywinning piece titled `Spoken at Midnight'. “Nehru's inaugural address, rich with passion and intelligence, expressed so colourfully the arrival of India's Independence. You can feel the emotion in his delivery . It gives you goosebumps,“ said Nash, describing why he found it so fascinating when he stumbled upon it five years ago. “He spoke in a very narrow range, so the resulting thematic material stayed contained to smaller intervals than that of the other speeches on the album.“
`Spoken at Midnight' is part of Nash's spoken word and orchestral project titled `Presidential Suite: Eight Variations On Freedom' that deftly blends eight jazz movements inspired from historic speeches by 20th century statesmen -John F Kennedy , Franklin D Roosevelt, Lyndon B Johnson, Ronald Reagan, Winston Churchill, Jawaharlal Nehru, Aung San Suu Kyi and Nelson Mandela.