Professor from US is KALEY MASON got flattered on hearing JASSIE's "Lejjavathiye"

Upcoming Arts Events University of Chicago

Winter 2012

February 13th - 17th, 2012
South Asian Sound Interventions (SASI) presents: Songcraft in South Indian Cinema


jassie logoThis February, experience several events related to the week-long visit of South Indian music director, Jassie Gift. Sponsored by the Committee on Southern Asian Studies, in conjunction with the University of Chicago Department of Music.


Two Workshops on Cinematic Song Crafting
Guided by film music director and playback singer Jassie Gift, and keyboardist Vijay Jacob, this pair of workshops introduces the art of composing, arranging, recording, and performing songs for commercial cinema in South India. Due to the collaborative nature of the workshops, only a limited number of participants can be accommodated. Students and other members of the University community who are interested in pre-registering should contact Rehanna Kheshgi ( ). Participants must register for both workshops.

Part I: Monday, February 13, 4:30-6pm (Fulton Recital Hall)
Part I provides a general overview of the creative process from a song's inception to its picturization on screen. In addition to gaining a deeper appreciation of the significance of song and dance scenes for South Asian film publics, participants learn about the many artistic roles and synergies engaged in setting dramatic situations musically.

Part II - Cinematic Song Crafting: Tuesday, February 14, 1:30-3:00 (Fulton Recital Hall)
Part II invites participants to collaborate with Jassie Gift and Vijay Jacob on crafting a film song in response to a dramatic situation that Jassie himself was given in one of his earlier film projects. Drawing on the group's collective body of musical skill sets and knowledge, workshop participants will develop a working outline for a song that serves a specific purpose on screen, whether it be advancing the narrative, amplifying characters or relationships, evoking wider historical and cultural frames of reference, or creating space for fantasy and transgression. The group will have an opportunity to perform their working song idea as the prelude to Jassie Gift's concert at Fulton Recital Hall on Friday evening, February 17.

Malayalam Film Screening followed by a Conversation with Music Director, Jassie Gift.
Film screening events are often attended by directors, but rare are occasions when audiences have a chance to ask sound specialists about the roles they perform behind the screen. As part of the week-long series of events organized for the campus visit of South Indian film music director Jassie Gift, the Franke Center for the Humanities will host a screening of his film '4 The People (2004)', followed by a Q and A session that will also include Vijay Jacob, a studio musician and arranger who worked for Jassie on the project.

Wednesday, February 15, 7pm (Franke Center for the Humanities)
Audible Intimacies: A Symposium on Song in South Indian Cinema Song and dance scenes perform several functions in South Indian film. They advance narratives, amplify characters and relationships, evoke wider cultural frames of reference, and create moments and spaces of intimacy on and beyond the screen. Despite the tremendous historical and contemporary relevance of film music in the daily lives of listeners, work on South Asian expressive cultures has only recently begun to explore the public and private intimacies film songs engender. With the intention of facilitating new research synergies in South Asian film studies, this symposium brings together a diverse group of scholars who share a common interest in considering the agents and affects of intimacies in songs that span the devotional, the nostalgic, the ordinary, the utopian, and the transgressive in South Indian cinema.

Thursday, February 16, 9am-2:30pm (Classics 110)
A Garland of South Indian Film Songs
Featuring: Jassie Gift, vocals; Vijay Jacob, keyboard

Film music director and playback singer Jassie Gift took Malayalam commercial cinema by storm in 2004 with the songs he composed and sang for the blockbuster film, 4 the People, which was later dubbed in three other South Indian languages. In contrast with dominant classical film song aesthetics favoring raga-inspired songs with light textures that emphasize the voice, he developed a rhythmically driven sound that combined South Indian vernacular and Black Atlantic stylistic features. Drawing from sources as varied as Christian hymns, folk traditions, and more recent encounters with reggae, hip-hop, and rock idioms, he has evolved a highly eclectic musical style along the same vein as world renowned innovator A. R. Rahman, the Oscar-winning composer for the 2008 film, Slumdog Millionaire. Gift has since expanded his musical reach by composing and performing on soundtracks in the Telegu, Kannada, and Tamil film industries.

Keyboardist Vijay Jacob also started his career as a Church musician before becoming a regular freelance performer at stage shows, a recording artist, and a professional arranger for television and cinema. Whereas Jassie focuses on composing songs and soundtrack themes, Vijay specializes in arranging the composer's ideas for electronic and acoustic recordings. Vijay also works across the four South Indian industries based in Thiruvananthapuram, Bangalore, Chennai, and Hyderabad.

Friday, February 17, 7pm (Fulton Recital Hall).


SASI Thursday Program


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