A Sunday morning, the sun shining brightly in the sky. Happy faces all over. Children from the SaPa School of Music and the government school of Immadihalli are getting their hands dirty. We are running around trying to capture everything.
Let me give you a little context. SaPa, the Subramaniam Academy of Performing Arts was founded by India’s leading violinist-composer Dr. L. Subramaniam and Bollywood Legend Kavita Krishnamurti Subramaniam to accomplish their dream of creating a home for global music in India. L Subramaniam’s children Ambi Subramaniam (an accomplished violinist himself) and Bindu Subramaniam (vocalist) head the SaPa institute here in Bangalore.
Thair Saadam Project
On the other hand, Mahesh Raghvan is a Carnatic fusion artiste with a very diverse repertoire across radio, television and digital media. Mahesh Raghvan, Bindu, and Ambi Subramaniam have come together to form a new band, “Thair Saadam Project”, literally meaning Curd Rice Project. This is a funny take on the fact that all of them are of Tamilian descent.
After the success of their first song as a band, (the cover of Coldplay’s “Something Just Like This”) for the second song they chose to cover “A Million Dreams” from the movie The Greatest Showman. They wanted to make this song the anthem of SaPa School’s 10,000 Deeds Campaign.
The 10,000 Deeds Campaign
A world without poverty, hunger, with gender equality and full sanitation. Seems utopian doesn’t it? But those are just some of the goals of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. The Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs) are a collection of 17 global goals set by the United Nations in 2015. The SDGs cover social and economic development issues including poverty, hunger, health, education, global warming, gender equality, water, sanitation, energy, urbanization, environment and social justice. To drive action on these goals the students from the SaPa School of Music have taken the “10,000 Deeds Pledge” to show that every deed counts. No deed is too small.
The Idea for the Music Video
The initial plan was to shoot the video like any cover song where the artists just perform the song on screen. But, a song filled with such meaning had to have a video that showed the purpose behind the song. While brainstorming with the band, they came up with the idea that the students of SaPa School should paint a wall mural for the video. At the same time, we were making a mini-documentary for SaPa about their SaPa In Schools programme. We had visited a couple of government schools for the same. It was there that we got the idea that the children should paint on the wall of a government school with the students from that school. Now, that would be the perfect set up for the video.
The Lesson on Unity
On the day of the shoot, we set off to the government school of Immadihalli and reached there by 5 in the morning. The plan was to first get the shots of the musicians performing. The students would come by later to paint the wall. The sun rose on the east side. As the golden hour passed by, we finished the shooting of the musicians. By eight o clock, the students of SaPa came along with their parents. We had the drawing teacher from SaPa help the students to make the mural.
The moment the children of SaPa started playing with the paint and applying them, the government school kids started gathering around them. They started getting curious and slowly, they joined too. The SaPa kids started teaching them a classical song and they started singing it. What was beautiful about this shoot was we got to see, the kids from so many different backgrounds come together through art. They were singing together, painting together and playing together. We, along with the musicians even got to play football with the kids. Obviously, within 5 minuted we were out huffing and puffing and gasping for breath.
The shoot ended at around midday. We were all really hungry and exhausted. We planned to go to a pizza place at the nearby Forum Value mall and celebrate the successful shoot.
If you like this, you should check out our work stories blog on Om Shantidhama school project where we stayed in the jungle for two days.