Swami Vivekananda’s message about music is only relevant to spiritual seekers? Or even we as music professionals imbibe his idea about music. We have to classify usage of music in spiritual, commercial and as a bread earning tool. It is necessary to earn money to sustain. Every musician can’t afford Merced Benz but definitely he can earn and survive with decent basic needs through music. Once our basic need is fulfilled can we treat music in different manner, but it is very difficult to decide what and how much is basic needs. There are few artistes who dedicated their life to music and they never bothered about money, award or performing opportunity. They did music as ‘Sadhana’ and spiritual practice. It is possible to pursue music only as a tool to achieve commercial achievements also. No thoughts about spirituality or music sanctity. I feel it is personal and intentional decision to follow music in their life. Music has the power to provide you what you ask for; if you need only commercial entity you can get it. It is possible to achieve both commercial and spiritual objectives or If you feel to practice music as only spiritual path to achieve higher goals that also possible through music.
Friday, October 19, 2018
Saturday, January 14, 2017
Monday, April 27, 2015
Wednesday, April 15, 2015
Jod raga is a beautiful concept in Indian classical music. Singing Jod raga is always a challenge and needs a certain temperament. Jod raga may not be sung elaborately unlike other ragas, such as, Yaman, Todi and Bhimpalas. But Jod raga has been extensively explored by music stalwarts. Jod raga means singing a blend of two ragas, with a single identity. Bhairav-Bahar, Hindol-Bahar, Lalit-Bhatiyar, and many such combinations are popular these days. Singing Jod Raga does not mean that you sing each raga 50-50 or a few phrases in one raga and a few in another. It should sound like you are rendering a single raga. When great singers present Jod raga, they will balance both the ragas so well that you can see only one picture. Transition from one to another is crucial in such a presentation. It requires identification of a few track changing spots and making the shift from one to the other without glitch or doubt.
LearnQuest Academy of Music, a well know music organization in USA organized its 10th Annual Music Conference from 3rd to 5th April in Boston. Academy always showcases both genres of Indian classical music, Carnatic and Hindustani. Conference not only organizes concerts but also provides an opportunity for listeners and music lovers to attend Lecture Demonstrations as well and interact with world class musicians. I was fortunate to have an opportunity to perform in that extraordinary music conference. In a span of 10 days, I attended about 25 events including concerts, lec-dem, cross culture fusion events, homage to artiste (A/V presentation). Great musicians of both styles participated in this festival of Indian classical music
I observed that performances of very famous Dhrupad duo Gundecha brothers, Carnatic singers duo Malladi brothers, were like Jod raga! You can see two scales and one raga, two brothers and one voice. Their coordination, appreciation for each other and balance in the presentation were all extraordinary. Carnatic and Hindustani styles of presentation is like Jod raga, throughout conference we observed the beautiful balance, each performance better than other and the entire conference felt like it was in Jod raga. During the trip to America and Sweden this time, there were instances were I could apply this Jod Raga analogy. LearnQuest Music Conference. (Carnatic and Hindustani style) Performances by brothers together. (Gundechaji Brothers and Malladi Brothers) My students who performed (Sohini-Poorvi Torvi sisters and Medha-Sadhika Hiremath sisters) I presented Jod raga in one of my concerts (Hindol-Bahar) I visited a place where two seas meet (in the photo you can see the two different entities merging as one. The difference in colour is noticeable)
Prakriti and Purush are the two elements of entire world. We can say, Jod raga embodies prakriti and purush and its balance is key. When blend is suitable and appropriate then the effect of Jod raga is beautiful. It is not the precise measure that matters, say, one unit of oxygen and two units of hydrogen makes water. We cannot infer that a certain units units of Hindol and a certain units of bahar makes super blend. The quality of the presentation depends on how the singer balances both the ragas and presents it as one. Our senior artistes composed very high quality compositions in Jod ragas. A single composition which depicts both the ragas and does justice in giving a good idea of both the ragas.
Balance is essential in life. It may be work and family or music and work etc. The outcome depends on how you can balance and are able to give time to each. I saw few students balancing study and music so well. They never complain that studies comes in the way for music practice. I saw how my Guruji used to practice for hours at length when he was also working in bank. You can see many similarities in music and daily life. This concept of managing multiple things with the right balance applies in music also. Jod Raga requires a bit more of that balance.
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Music is structured abstract, i.e. There is a boundary for us (set of of rules) but within that we can work according to our level of imagination, experience and training. One can’t predict that a concert that is yet to happen will be excellent. In a performance sometimes you can sense that the artiste is in a good mood and is singing well. Contrary to this he can perform average and an artiste can never guarantee a performance. Thus the benchmark of a great artiste is that he consistently delivers high quality performances, their percentage of average performances will be very low.
Enjoyment, a central point is the basic requirement in music. Music and enjoyment go hand in hand. We have heard incidences of amazing musical effects like starting Rain, Anandashru (tears of joy), when swami vivekanandji use to sing Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa was attaining bhava Samadhi.
The audience can’t enjoy music unless and until the performer himself enjoys it. As a very famous drama artiste Master Hiranaih once told, ‘if you have lot of sweets, you can feed others’. A musician enjoys every aalap, every note, every piece of tabla bols he sings and plays. I used to sit with guruji for his concerts, I used to wonder at times see guruji saying ‘wah’ and ‘kya bath hai’ for tabla bol or a good harmonium support. Later I realized that it comes naturally from the bliss of sheer enjoyment. A listener enjoys an artistes work by experiencing “his work under progression”. A work is going on in ane raga and you enjoy that. For example, Leh-Laddhak is very beautiful place in India. We can see pictures or video of that place or narration of that place by friend and we can enjoy. You personally go there and experience the beauty of nature it is completely different. This is how an artiste and a listener enjoy music. Artiste visits that place and enjoy and listener enjoy in a different realm.
Monday, January 21, 2013
I have been associated with Gururao Deshpande Sangeet Sabha since 1993, learnt many things, worked to my capacity. I have been seeing music organizations while performing or visiting with Guruji. ‘Passion’ about music is gravity of any music establishments. In Gururao Deshpande Sangeet Sabha, guruji and his guru bhakti is a motivation for us and center point in sabha. Everything connects to that. Many great artistes performed on this platform. Watching them on the stage and behind the stage is good opportunity to learn many things which can’t be taught, it is learnt from experience whether it is good or bad, you grab the best things out of it. I observed things like - Planning, conversations, interaction with different people and performing on the stage.
LearnQuest Academy of Music, Boston and its founder Sri Pradip Shuklaji, invited guruji for USA concert tour in 1999. He is math professor in Suffolk University, singer and teaching classical music at academy. He has great passion towards Hindustani classical music and Academy started organizing annual music conference in the month of April since 7 years. That has a great success story. This music meet transformed Boston area into Indian music hub in USA. Pradipji has a dream of spreading classical music in many parts of world with the motto,’ connecting people through music’.
On Jan 11th 2013, LearnQuest academy of music inaugurated its INDIA chapter at India habitat centre New delhi, Pt Rajan-Sajan Mishraji and Pt Pravin Godkhindi performed .Pt Ashis Sengupta and few likeminded people from different parts of India (Delhi,Pune, Bangalore,Varanasi,Kolkota and Chennai) came together and started this venture. I have been closely associated with LearnQuest from many years. It’s a kind gesture of Pradipji and Ashisji to include me as part of this good beginning. Sri Pravin Godkhindi played ‘Yaman’ and Hamsadhwani. He is very good artiste and has god gift in him. (God exists in his name) He can play both gayaki ang and tatrakari, which is a rare combination. Padmabhushana Pt Rajan-Sajan Mishraji sang Bageshri ang Chandrakouns, this brother duo is an extraordinary one. Two bodies but one musical soul.Very nice beginning to Learnquest academy in India, Many more concerts to come….