Withered Leaf: A song for 'old men'


Anand P

Salil Hutton | Photo: Arranged

Kozhikode: It was the Covid-19 pandemic that drove Musician Salil Hutton to create a music video called "Withered Leaf." Discussing the plight of the elderly during the pandemic, Withered Leaf employs three different genres of music and singers from four countries to share the message of hope.

Hutton returned to Kozhikode from Mumbai during the pandemic and witnessed the difficulties faced by his parents and many others.

"I was touched by the suffering of elderly people, especially my parents when I returned home during the pandemic. They spent every day skimming through news channels hoping for the government to roll out a vaccine to fight the virus," he said during a brief chat with mathrubhumi.com.

The Mumbai-based musician, Salil Hutton, was born in Kozhikode. His father, Archie Hutton, who recently passed away, was the first to start a music club in the city called "Hutton's Orchestra" in the 50s.

A scene from the music video

"My father was a passionate music lover and was close to legends like P Bhaskaran and K Raghavan. He was struggling with Parkinson's disease and had other health issues in the last years of his life. However, he joined me when I was composing the song. The only regret is that he was not here when we released the music video," he said.

Archie Hutton | Photo: Mathrubhumi

The nearly four-minute video is a fusion of rock, jazz and electronic dance music (EDM). Elena Marco (Spain), Ruth Joy (UK), Sunway (USA) and Salil himself have rendered voices to the music video.

The video for the music was shot at a time when Salil, like many musicians, was facing a severe financial crisis. With the help of several friends, he was able to find the cast for the video and the shooting location.

“It was not easy to find the cast for the roles since most elderly people were confined to their homes due to the pandemic. Gladys Issac, former principal of Malabar Christian College, and Sreekumar Pookat, a retired DFO, agreed to do the lead roles. The video was shot by a Kozhikode native named Elban Krishna,” he said.

Salil studied at Malabar Cristian College and was quite popular during the 1990s with his band 'DreadLocks' --- featured in MTV and RSJ MTV Music Festival in 1997. He now resides in Hyderabad with his wife and two children.

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