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Salil Hutton’s new music video pays tribute to the elderly

‘Withered Leaf’ is an experiment involving three different genres of music and singers of four different nationalities

‘Withered Leaf’ is an experiment involving three different genres of music and singers of four different nationalities

For Kozhikode-based musician Salil Hutton, the pandemic was, like for most people, an opportunity to reconnect with his loved ones and spend more time with them.

Back home after his two-decade-long hiatus in Mumbai, Mr. Hutton’s latest music video ‘Withered Leaf’ is a tribute to old age and his parents, especially his father Archie Hutton, who passed away this year. It is an experiment involving three different genres of music and singers of four different nationalities.

The song is a rare combination of rock, jazz and electronic dance music (EDM) to which Elena Marco (Spain), Ruth Joy (U.K.), and Sunway (USA) and Mr. Hutton have rendered voice. “It was a real challenge to compose, with different tune signatures for each genre and coordinate the singers who were in different countries,” said Mr. Hutton.

The song brings to the forefront the plight of the elderly during the pandemic, their loneliness, uncertainties and the hope provided by the vaccine through an elderly couple. “I had a hard time finding the appropriate actors for the roles, as most elderly refused to venture out during the pandemic times. Gladys Issac, former principal of Malabar Christian College, and Sreekumar Pookat made the roles memorable,” said Mr. Hutton, adding that he himself scripted the scenes. Elban Krishna is the cinematographer.

A video grab from the music video ‘Withered Leaf’.

A video grab from the music video ‘Withered Leaf’.

Mr. Hutton’s father Archie Hutton, a veteran musician of Kozhikode known for Hutton’s Orchestra of the 1950s, one of the first music clubs in the city, passed away in March 2022, after suffering from dementia and Parkinson’s disease. However, he enjoyed his son’s experiments with music and partook in jamming sessions with him, even in his delicate state.

Mr. Hutton himself was quite popular in Kerala during the 1990s through ‘Dread Locks’, the first band from Kerala to feature in MTV and RSJ MTV Music Festival in 1997.

‘Withered Leaf’ has received good feedback from musicians across the world. As he shuttles between Mumbai and Kozhikode, and sometimes Hyderabad where his family resides, Mr. Hutton is cooking up a new number, the theme this time being ‘the girl child’.

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