Punjab. Land of the Five Rivers. Of the 10 Gurus. Of Kings and leaders. Of poets and politics. Of partition. Home away from home.
The setting for our story. Our foreground, backdrop and all that lays in between.
Every corner of this wonderful land is a captivating picture, ready to be framed. And that’s what we’re here to do. So we begin….
We’ve arrived in Punjab to film music videos and along with the production process, I’ll be writing this blog, which will serve a few different purposes. Firstly, as a behind the scenes production diary for the music videos we are producing and also as a small window into the beautiful world of Punjab in present day India. It will also serve as a mildly technical insight into the filmmaking process.
Over the coming two weeks or so, I’ll be posting writings, images and video which will hopefully bring you closer to the work that we do.
Punjab is my ancestral homeland. My parents left from here and settled abroad in the mid 1970s, like so many others from this region. It’s ironic that almost 40 years ago, my mother and father travelled west in search of work and a better life and four decades later, I’m taking the exact opposite route, in the other direction for the same purpose – albeit for a much shorter time!
The migration of Punjabis during these iconic decades created a dynamic culture for first generation immigrants and more so for their second generation ‘British Asian’ offspring. A new dual identity, a unique bracket of international society and unmistakably a refined culture which consisted (and still consists) of the finest elements of both Eastern and Western life and values.
Along with this was born, the UK Punjabi music industry. Pioneered even before my time by groups such as ‘Bhujhangy’ and ‘Chirag Pehchaan’, the industry has grown and sprouted in various directions and adopted many different sub-identities of its own. It has spawned from a tiny folk based movement for Punjabi musical reflection, to a large scale international genre.
And like other musical genres, the age of the music video within Punjabi music was inevitable. However, unlike many other genres, the way video production functions in this corner of music is somewhat different. We function with comparatively modest budgets, yet seek to create products that have to captivate often on a global scale. These polar opposite limitations and expectations create unique challenges and it’s these challenges that I’ll look to explore in this blog. The very reasoning behind me writing these posts.
I refer to the particular genre as ‘Punjabi Music’ and not as Bhangra. There is often common confusion between these two terms. For me, Punjabi music is not Bhangra, but any lyrical or musical form that contains foundation elements of the Punjabi language and instruments and musical styles of traditionally Punjabi implementation. Even if these have been fused with ‘modern’ music or non-Punjabi lyrics, if the core is ‘Punjabiyat’ -, then I guess it can be termed Punjabi music.
As its the first blog posting and I’m still adjusting (widening!) my senses to absorb the vibrancy of Punjab, I’ll cut this short here and save all the project details for tomorrow’s posting. In the meantime, please continue to give your feedback via the comments sections on this page, on our Twitter (www.twitter.com/filmlore) and via email firstname.lastname@example.org.
See you tomorrow…..!!