Deepak Verma |

Dhun-e-Rohi: A Project with the Mir, A Community of Hereditary Musicians

Guide Sekhar Mukherjee
Sponsor Ford Foundation, National Institute of Design
Keywords dialogical process;Final Cut Pro;subtitles;tradition

Dhun-e-Rohi was conceived as an extension to the dialogical process initiated by NID through the NID Film Club. NID has hosted a Mir performance twice, the performance during the closing ceremony of Chitrakatha 2009 being one of them.The intention of this project was to understand the context of Mir music and document it in its present condition. The outcome of the project was a film combining various animation and live-action techniques.

The film tries to fill the gap for a new and mostly urban audience helping it understand, comprehend, and enjoy Mir music. It also documents the current Mir community members' struggle in reinvigorating their community's tradition. The film tries to dwell upon the complexities of the individual vs. community’s idea of growth and survival in the modern times. Most of the conversation in the film takes place in Hindi, so English subtitles were provided in appropriate places. The animated sequences were exported from After Effect and were all placed together in the Final Cut Pro to be edited for the last time.

In the film, Mirs emerge as knowledge entities, representing a way of life, which would be lost if not supported. The individuals among the community fail to continue their passion for music and end up working as labourers or migrate to cities for work. As an intangible heritage, the Mir community needs acknowledgment for its knowledge of music and skills. The community members deserve the status of dignified artists and musicians rather than beings reduced to working as mere labourers.

This project has been a deeply enriching experience, right from understanding the lyrics, to recording and the making of the film; all stages have contributed to one’s personal and professional growth.
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