Sidd Coutto, who worked on Hans Dalal’s documentary, performed last night to raise awareness on the tiger. He recalls the experience of filming with tribals
Q. When and how did you decide to record the music of the Moghiya tribe?
A. Hans and I have been friends for two decades, and musical co-conspirators for the last one. I jumped on board because it was a good cause. We used our talent to help those who are not as privileged as us and have had to suffer because of circumstances beyond their control. They have been a tiger-hunting community for generations. It’s hardly their fault that the world around them changed and tigers are now endangered. They didn’t tear down all the forests and replace them with cities, did they?
Q. What were the challenges?
A. We recorded with an ex-poacher; a reformed man who now performs as a sarangi player and singer. We recorded 12 and 14-year-old boys, who are children of former poachers. We also recorded a tribal band that has a rudimentary bagpipe player, and percussionists who’ll play on pretty much anything that makes noise when hit. Communication was tough because of the language barrier but we had an interpreter. We recorded with them in a makeshift studio. In fact, we recorded in the open with just two microphones. They were not used to the recording process, but it was mostly smooth sailing.
Q. Tell us about last night’s gig.
A. I played songs from all the bands I’ve been a part of in the last 18 years — Zero, Helga’s Fun Castle, Tough on Tobacco, Punk Ass Orifus, stuff from my solo albums, my new Blues songs (part of an upcoming album featuring all favourite Indian guitarists) and debuted my new power trio featuring Siddharth Basrur and Nathan Thomas. Warren Mendonsa, Bobby Talwar, Johan Pais, Jai Row Kavi, Gaurav Gupta, Kush Upadhyay and Caralisa Monteiro were a few other brilliant musicians who joined me.