‘Subh-e-Azadi’, Faiz Ahmad Faiz’s poem-turned-theme song for Indian VR docu-drama Child of Empire, is out now – Music


Revolutionary poet Faiz Ahmad Faiz wrote only one poem on Score and it has now been turned into the theme song for an animated VR docu-drama called Child of the Empire. Composed by Amira Gill and Vasundhara Gupta, the track is now available for online listening!

The Sundance-nominated film is a work by Project Dastaan, a peacebuilding initiative that reconnects displaced refugees from the partition of India with their childhood communities and villages through bespoke 360-degree digital experiences. The Partition animated project was released this year.

Released on all streaming platforms, the creators of “Subh-e-Azadi” believe its launch will be a landmark moment in the South Asian art and music landscape. It is very special because its release coincides with the 75th anniversary of independence.

In a chat with *Images,* Gill and Gupta revealed why they chose Faiz’s poem. “Sparsh Ahuja, Founder of Project Dastaan ​​and Director of Child of the Empire, had planned that at the end of said film, the only poem Faiz ever wrote about the Score would be set to song. He wanted a song made to the poem that would be the theme track for the film.

Ahuja approached the composers and exactly one year into their journey, the song was released separately. Featuring musicians from across Asia, “Subh-e-Azadi” brings together the worlds of traditional Indian music and modern electronic music production. The thematic track was produced with the full support of the Faiz Foundation and Faiz’s daughter, Salima Hashmi.

“It was important to use the words of Faiz, a man who directly lived and experienced the tragedy of the Indo-Pakistani partition when we try to tell the story of the partition inspired by the real experiences of two characters,” explained the duo

They find it fascinating that Faiz’s poems are still chanted and sung by South Asian youth today, despite having been written decades ago. Commenting on the timelessness of his lyrics, they said, “It shows that his lyrics are relevant to us even now and that they move and invigorate an audience that wasn’t even alive in his day. We wanted the message to reach today’s audience and I think Faiz’s words do just that.

The song’s release was intentionally set after August 14 and 15. The artists were aware that the significance of the 75th year of independence will burst content barrages and consequently drown their track. “This song is extremely special to us and we wanted to do our best to help the song reach as many people as possible and get maximum exposure,” the duo added.

This project is very important for composers who have felt both personally empowered and professionally challenged. Historically linked to her through their family trees, the score was a very personal subject.

“When this opportunity came to us, we felt so elated and grateful. It was like, and it really ended up being, something that was bigger than us. We had the chance to explore how writing music about someone else’s words, emotions and experience. Differentiating between writing your own story and someone else’s, they continued: “It’s a very different creative muscle that one has to use – you almost have to be more mindful and sensitive in that situation than when you’re writing music for your own story or experience.”

Bringing a “true and honest story” to an audience that goes beyond South Asia, child of the empire toured Europe. He takes the stories of the poem-turned-song of Score and Faiz with him to be heard by international audiences who may not even understand the language.

“We truly believe that music and stories have the power to break through man-made boundaries and we really hope this song does that, even if it’s just with a handful of people,” Gill said. . The team hopes ‘Subh-e-Azadi’ will find an audience among South Asians at home and abroad, who are very steeped in the same story.

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