Saturday, February 26, 2011

Does Opera Education Influence Gingger Shankar's Film Scores?

"Whether it's composing music, performing live or song writing, Gingger Shankar has won kudos. Here, she reflects on how her musical inspirations shaped her life and the experience of working in Hollywood.The kudos heaped upon Gingger at Sundance was only the latest in a string of accolades for the California-based daughter of violin maestro L. Subramaniam. The gifted singer, virtuoso violinist, composer, model and songwriter grew up in Los Angeles, where her accomplishments already include working with top producers and film composers such as Mel Gibson, Mike Nichols, Mike Myers, and James Newton Howard. While Gingger was the artist and co-composer behind the poignant score of Mel Gibson's blockbuster The Passion of the Christ, her music can also be heard in Mike Nichol's film, Charlie Wilson's War, starring Tom Hanks, where she had a chance to collaborate with film composer James Newton Howard. Her vocals can also be heard in Jackie Chan's film, The Forbidden Kingdom, and she also worked
with George Clinton on Eastern arrangements for the Mike Myers picture, Love Guru. Further, Ms. Shankar composed music for the Sundance award-winning documentary Recycle, directed by Al Massad. Gingger has also perfected the art of collaborative ventures with a myriad of artists from East and West. In 2008 she debuted with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra as a soprano and later performed at New York's famous Carnegie Hall. She then went on to partner with such uniquely talented and diverse artists as The Smashing Pumpkins, Trent Reznor, L. Shankar, Zakir Hussain, Phil Collins, Steve Vai, Peter Gabriel, Tony Levin, Cheap Trick and the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra."

Could you explain where your passion for your art comes from, and what role your parents have had in that, especially in your childhood?

I was raised in a family of musicians. I grew up with music around me; it was part of my everyday life. I was learning music and dance from the time I was very young and was always going to concerts. My mother is probably the biggest influence in my life (personally and musically). She would play me everything from M.S. Subbulakshmi to the Beatles. She took me to opera classes, violin classes, and piano classes. She was an incredible singer as well. My father exposed me to so many incredible musicians and composers as well: Heifitz, Beethoven, and Mozart. I remember meeting M.S. Subbulakshmi, Yehudi Menuhin, Stephane Grapelli, V.G. Jog and so many other incredible artists as a child. Now I understand what blessings I had! I am definitely inspired by all the musicians in my family as well. [Source]