Nehru's first Independence day speech is the inspiration behind this composer's Grammy win

"Long years ago we made a tryst with destiny... At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom," said Jawaharlal Nehru, India's first PM as the clock struck midnight on our first independence day on 15 August 1947.

(L-R) Nehru and Ted Nash. Image courtesy: Twitter

(L-R) Nehru and Ted Nash. Image courtesy: Twitter

These words, fondly call 'Tryst With Destiny', have led to Nehru winning a Grammy, or atleast become the inspiration behind it, reports Times of India.

Ted Nash, a Los Angeles based saxophonist, won the Grammy for 'Best Instrumental Composition' for 'Spoken At Midnight' — the instrumental version of Nehru's speech.

This instrumental number is just the one of eight from Nash's spoken word and orchestral project titled 'Presidential Suite: Eight Variations On Freedom' that blends eight jazz movements inspired from historic speeches by 20th century statesmen — John F Kennedy, Franklin D Roosevelt, Lyndon B Johnson, Ronald Reagan, Winston Churchill, Jawaharlal Nehru, Aung San Suu Kyi and Nelson Mandela.

The Presidential Suite was nominated in two categories in the Grammys 2017. The categories are 'Best Large Jazz Ensemble' and 'Best Instrumental Composition: Spoken at Midnight.' 

His website states that the album was inspired by 'great political speeches of the 20th century dealing with the theme of freedom'.

In an email interview with Times of India, Nash told them how he came about composing 'Spoken at Midnight'.

"Nehru's inaugural address, rich with passion and intelligence, [was] expressed so colourfully the arrival of India's Independence. You can feel the emotion in his delivery. It gives you goosebumps," said Nash, describing why he found it so fascinating when he stumbled upon it five years ago. "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."

You can listen to 'Spoken at Midnight' on Soundcloud here.

Here is Nehru's speech that inspired the composition:


Published Date: Feb 16, 2017 11:38 am | Updated Date: Feb 16, 2017 12:11 pm