From Folklore to Future: Discover the Inspiring Journey of India’s First Female Music Technician
In an era marked by technological advancements and a vast array of digital content, audiobooks have surged in popularity, particularly among art and literature enthusiasts. Recognizing this growing demand, Saajida Khan, a trailblazing audio engineer and recipient of the prestigious President's Award, has emerged as India's first female music technician. Hailing from Hyderabad, she is currently embarked on a remarkable mission to safeguard the captivating musical instruments and folklore of tribal Telangana, among other interesting projects.
During an interview with TNIE, Saajida Khan expressed her concern regarding the modern generation's inclination towards learning popular musical instruments like the guitar and piano, often overlooking the cultural and traditional ones such as the tabla, veena, and mridangam. Reflecting on a tribal music festival she attended at Osmania University, she lamented the passing of many participating tribal artists.
"About forty tribal artists who graced the festival are no longer with us. Hence, it is crucial to document these unique and rare folk songs along with their musical instruments," she emphasized. This realization has fueled her determination to preserve the invaluable folk songs and musical instruments of indigenous communities.
Saajida Khan also sheds light on the significance of instruments like the Kinnera, a stringed instrument akin to the veena, tracing its origins back to the 4th century CE.
Saajida has also ventured into creating audiobooks from the writings of government school children in Telangana. These unique audiobooks encompass stories, poetry, and motivational tales penned by the students themselves, narrated in their own voices. This pioneering initiative aims to cultivate a love for literature among students and stands as the first of its kind in Telangana.
Recently, Saajida's audiobook on the Telangana Forest Act, available in both Telugu and English, was launched on the International Day of Biodiversity. It serves as a comprehensive guide to the rules and regulations for environmental conservation as outlined in the act. Saajida believes that this initiative will raise awareness among residents of remote areas about the vital importance of environmental preservation.
Driven by her passion for art, culture, literature, and tribal music, Saajida Khan aspires to create more audiobooks free of cost. Additionally, she is working on audiobooks centered around sound design, with the aim of guiding others into embracing this profession and supporting their livelihoods. Through her studio, Saajida remains unwavering in her commitment to the development and preservation of various art forms, enriching the cultural landscape of Telangana and beyond.