Kronos Quartet, employing vintage electronic gear, pays homage to Bollywood composer R. D. Burman; his equally legendary wife, Asha Bosle, is featured on vocals. Says The Independent (UK), “Burman's extraordinary music sparkles and soars, aided by multifarious, multicultural collaborators and instruments.”
You’ve Stolen My Heart: Songs from R.D. Burman’s Bollywood is an homage to Burman, one of Bollywood’s greatest composers, with vocals from Bhosle, one of India’s most acclaimed singers, on eight of the twelve tracks; it features Kronos members playing vintage electronic instruments, among other departures.The world’s largest film industry by far (nearly doubling Hollywood’s annual output), India’s Bollywood is famed for its musical extravaganzas, and Rahul Dev “R.D.” Burman was Bollywood’s pre-eminent film composer from the 1960s through the '80s. His more than 300 scores complemented the films’ effervescent visuals with an unpredictable range of musical styles—Indian classical and folk music, swing jazz, psychedelic rock, circus music, mariachi, and more.
The voice heard in many of Burman’s best loved songs was that of his wife, the iconic Bollywood “playback singer” Asha Bhosle. With more than 1,000 films and 13,000 recorded tracks to her credit, Bhosle is widely considered the most recorded vocalist in the world. As the New York Times says: “When an actress in [Bollywood] films opens her mouth to sing, there’s a good chance that the sweetly modulated voice that comes out will belong to Asha Bhosle.”
“Kronos has explored the marriage of music and film for many years, so immersing ourselves in the music of R.D. Burman’s Bollywood was natural,” says Kronos Quartet violinist and Artistic Director David Harrington. “Burman’s music transcends any categories of ‘Bollywood’ or ‘film music.’ To me, it stands on its own as some of the most inventive, far-reaching, and fun music of the late 20th century. In working with Asha Bhosle on You’ve Stolen My Heart, our first album with a lead singer, Kronos has experienced not only Burman’s living legacy, but also one of the most talented and generous artists I know of. Asha truly is the Queen of Bollywood.”
Inspired by Burman and Bhosle, Kronos ventured into novel instrumental territory on You’ve Stolen My Heart, augmenting its acoustic sound with keyboards, percussion, and other instruments—all played by the Quartet members. Longtime collaborators Zakir Hussain (tabla and a variety of other percussion instruments) and Wu Man (Chinese pipa and other stringed instruments) also lend their virtuosity.
The Kronos Quartet was joined by Asha Bhosle for a series of performances during the 2005–2006 season: at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco; Royce Hall in Los Angeles; the Barbican in London; and Carnegie Hall in New York, as part of the six-concert Kronos: Live Mix Festival. Wu Man and Zakir Hussain joined the group at Carnegie Hall.
Produced by David Harrington
Co-produced by Scott Fraser and Judith Sherman
Engineered by Scott Fraser
Assistant engineers: Enrique Gonzalez Müeller (The Plant), Marc Dimmitt (Studio D Recording), Gustavo Santaolalla’s vocals recorded by Anibal Kerpel
Recorded June 2004-Jaunuary 2005 at The Plant (Sausalito, CA), Studio D Recording (Sausalito, CA), La Casa Studios (Los Angeles, CA), the Kronos rehearsal space (San Francisco, CA), and hotels in Vienna, Austria, and Paris, France
Edited and Mixed by Scott Fraser and David Harrington at Architecture (Los Angeles, CA)
Additional editing assistance by Jay Cloidt
Mastered by Scott Fraser at Architecture
Arrangements by David Harrington; tracks 3, 5, 8, 10 arranged by Stephen Prutsman, with David Harrington. Transcriptions from original recordings by Ljova. Music Preparation by Hank Dutt.
Design by Doyle Partners
Cover photography and photograph of Kronos and Asha Bhostle and R.D. Burman by Gautam Rajadhyaksha
Executive Producer: Robert Hurwitz
Asha Bhostle, vocals (1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 9, 11, 12)
Hank Dutt, viola (1-12), Farfisa Organ (1, 2, 7, 12), Hohner Pianet (2, 4, 7, 8, 9), synthesizer (2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 12), accordion (3, 11) theremin (6), organ (6. 8)
David Harrington, violin (1-12), tambourine (2), mouth percussion (2), bow percussion (2), chang (2), autoharp (2), Korg MS-20 (2), vocal percussion (2. 6), hammered violin (4), match (4), frame drum (5), harmonium (5), gongs (6), autoharp (6, 7, 8), cymbal (6), triangle (7), piano (9, 11), trumpet violin (9), glass (11)
Jennifer Culp cello (1-12), electric bass (6, 10, 12)
John Sherba, violin (1-12), bow percussion (2), hammered violin (4), trumpet violin (4, 6, 11, 12),
Zakir Hussain, Indian trap set (1, 4, 11), tambourine (1, 4, 11), madal (1, 3, 8, 11), tabla (2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10), tabla tarang (2, 6), batajon (3, 9), djembe (6, 8, 9, 12), bass drum (6), shaker (10, 12), talking drum (12), frame drum (12)
Wu Man, pipa (1-4, 6-9, 11, 12), liu qin (2, 3, 4, 11, 12), electric sitar (2, 7), gong (6)
Judith Sherman, finger cymbals (1)
James Quinn, breath (1)
Scott Fraser, electric sitar (2), guitar (11)
Anand Bhostle, vocal percussion (6)
Enrique Gonzalez Müeller, vocal percussion (6), breath (9)