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December 22nd, 2008
11:35 am

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The Making of " We Are KDE".
Some of you might have already seen the video of "We are KDE" song. But here is the inside story behind the song.

So we ( folks from the KDE-India group ) were working really hard to make sure that KDE has a blast at this wonderful conference called FOSS.IN/2008. One of things we worked on were the "KDE Handbook"


Here is the "His Highness Geek God and Mighty Blogger" Gopal V endorsing the brochure/handbook. More about the handbook later.

But for now, you must know that the the layout and design of this brochure was done by a dude called Lakshya Shrivastava ( Lexi ). Over a period of time, I was interacting with him on daily basis over IM and phone with regards to the brochure. One fine day, I came to know that he is an painter and amateur musician as well. I saw photos of his painting and even heard him sing and play guitar. Then one day, when he was almost done with designing the brochure, I generally asked him, if he could write song. He said, he hasn't done that before but can try. I also contacted our dear Summer Of Code ( Marble ) candidate Shashank Singh ( shanky ), who is btw, Lakshya's classmate and of course the one who got us introduced in first place and told him about this idea. Shanky loved the idea and told me something that made me even more enthusiastic about the idea. Apparently, his childhood friend Lokesh Gupta ( Loki ), magically knew to play a guitar as well. Shanky wrote the first email to all of us concerned with the subject "Lets Rock FOSS.IN ... literally". So we had two guitarists, one dude doing the vocals and a possible song :)

So Shanky, Lexi, Loki, Sharan and myself got together on irc and fleshed out what we could do. Problem we faced was, Lexi and Loki were more or less KDE agnostic. But thankfully by then we had our handbook ready, so we told Loki to read up the booklet and Lexi found it amusing that he has to read up the handbook he designed ;). Shanky, Sharan and me tried to explain them a few KDE points that we could stress on. Free Software, Freedom, Pillars of KDE and such was some of the things we decided upon.

We signed off that night with Lexi promising to deliver the first draft soon. The dude did all nighter, not only wrote the song but also put the lyrics to a nice tune. Sang it, and sent it across to us. Next few days, the song went back and forth between all of us, trying to polish as much as our amateur musician brains could. We kept a complete "Radio Silence" about the whole sub-project ;).

We had some glitches, one of them being Lexi told us that he won't be able to make it to FOSS.IN/2008 which was unfortunate. I must have had hours of discussions with him over im/phone, trying to get him to FOSS.IN/2008, but in vain. Anyway, we realised that we have lost our vocalist. But kudos to Shanky and Loki, who took it upon themselves and practiced themselves from then.

So, once the conference started, I revealed the idea to Ade and Piyush on day 2 of the conference. On day 2 evenning, after dinner, all the KDE speakers ( Ade, Shanky, Piyush, Sharan, Me ) met up at the hotel. We were joined by Loki and his friend Kingshuk. At the hotel lobby/atrium, we made ourselves comfortable on the nice big couches and started our first and only group practice session. Our hotel roommate Ajay Kumar of Sahana fame also joined us. Together we blazed away to glory.

First it was Shanky and Loki, who sang the first version. After which it was Ade and his trust KDE@Solaris laptop all the way. Ade reviewed the lyrics for like 30 minutes or something, suggested some changes and then we started practicing. Ade automagically became our Lead Singer and rest of the wonderful chorus. Some of us even had coffee during practice. Btw, all this was happening in the middle of the night, and a night before our talks. Most of us had 2 talks next day ;)

So as we practiced really hard ;), fellow FOSS devs, ace photographers and all round cool dudes Kushal Das and Sayamindu Dasgupta came downstairs with their photography artillery. I guess we were singing really loudly in the middle of the night and they couldn't sleep ;). Kushal video recorded the practice session and the dude has nicely put together a "collage" of what he recorded. The video ends with a beautiful picture by Sayamindu. Cool stuff!


Here is the Ogg version.

Thanks Lexi, Loki, Shanky, Sharan, Piyush, Ajay. And Adriaan, thank you so much, I knew you as a friend, as a leader, my first ever KDE contact back in early 2005 ( helping me with some pilot-link code ). But now I also know you as a singer ;). Thanks Kushal, Sayamindu for giving us company and capturing the moments of what was truly so much fun. We can cherish memories for a long time thanks to you both.

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[User Picture]
From:whichburner
Date:May 2nd, 2009 03:03 pm (UTC)
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Wow, crazy stuff way beyond my head, thanks for the journey.
Keep the Home Fires Burning!
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