On that fateful midnight of 15th August 1947, even India’s First Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, might not have known that years down the line, he will inspire a musician to score a music on his first speech as Prime Minister, “India’s Tryst With The Destiny.”
Saxophonist and composer Ted Nash won the Grammy award for Best Instrumental Music for his track Presidential Suite: Eight Variations on Freedom. Apart from Nehru’s speech, the composition took inspiration from speeches by John F Kennedy, Franklin D Roosevelt, Lyndon B Johnson, Ronald Reagan, Winston Churchill, Aung San Suu Kyi and Nelson Mandela.
As Forbes reported,
“Nash transcribed the actual pitches and rhythms of the speeches and then transformed them into original motifs, riffs and grooves. He also imbued each composition with the character, location and era of that leader via contemporary jazz.”
As Nash himself explained,
“Nehru’s inaugural address, rich with passion and intelligence, expressed so colorfully the arrival of India’s Independence. You can feel the emotion in his delivery. It gives you goosebumps. He spoke in a very narrow range, so the resulting thematic material stayed contained to smaller intervals than that of the other speeches on the album.”
Even the great Nehru might not have known at that time that one day he will have a Tryst With The Grammies. The section of Nehru’s speech begins at the 11 minutes 40 seconds in the above video.