Lets think talk about music and interesting topics...

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Puna Concert

Performing in pune is indeed a big opportunity for a classical singer. And one should be fortunate singing in front of stalwarts like Dr. Prabha Atre. On Nov 4th, I performed in Swaramayee Gurukul, founded by Prabha Tayi, a wonderful platform for upcoming artistes. This place reminds me of my guruji & Pt Vinayak Torvi Music Foundation in Bangalore. It’s a good gesture of such great artiste to provide opportunities and guide young musicians. Prabha Tayi heard me sing, and blessed me. It was a nice feeling singing before gurujan, your involvement and performance would be a full 100 % . Yes , I am sure it is a motivation to dedicate yourself much more and aim to become a successful performer. I presented Raag Bhoop, Kedar and Chandrkauns. Prabha tayi must have sung these raags a numerous times. I really felt very small performing in front of Prabha Taayi for it really needs years & years of rigorous practice and confidence. I was like a kid singing rhymes in front of a mother… as any loving mother loves and appreciates what ever the kid does , Prabha taayi was so kind to bless and guide me towards the right path. Her soft spoken advice was full of genuine music. I was observing in train, the catering people work for 18-20 hours a day, and asked myself, how much time I spend on music?… the nature of work cannot be compared but its sheer determination. Though it is more of physical than mental excercise. In general we discuss about the different types of jobs ,their remuneration, time they spend and offcourse the stress factor,but when we read any great musician’s life, the so called practice or Riyaaz used to be 16-18 hours a day. Can we ever think of it today ?.. YES WE CAN.., but let’s not give any excuses.. its only the will power.. Not singing but mental practice (thinking about music)& listening is essential to become complete musician. We have more facilities but we don’t have time… we have electronic tabla & tanpura but less practice … if you devote time and respect music, your music will take care… in my guruji s words- ‘sangeet rakshati rakshitaha’

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


Few questions arises in my mind, how much Shastra is importance for actual performance. How much we have to learn (shastra) and look on it when you sing on the stage. Knowledge is like ocean. Many people talk about ocean, by standing on shore, how much is the depth width and all. When you are really in the middle of that, when you feel the depth of the ocean you will be speechless… only you can experience the warmth and wide spread ocean there. Your mind will become shanta, very calm. We talk about music and try to explain things. I have observed, who start learning music talk a lot, as you progress, you become silent and start thinking. I use to talk lot about music, but today, I feel,I don’t know how to describe music. Sometimes Shastra becomes speechless or monotonous. In musicology you study about raag and taal, but when you perform you add emotions and experience to it . When you enter the ocean of swara and laya , you become speechless, you talk less in the process. Only those who have attained can tell us about this stage but NO,they wont, they become more intra ward. Presently I am doing my M A from KSGH music university Mysore, got the opportunity to study few books and little bit of shastra. Now I slowly realise that, when you learn music for 15 to17 years and then study Shastra, it would be easy to relate. I am not propagating this but just my observation through the process that I have undergone. I think its like kids learning language, they learn how to talk first, later they learn grammar. I don’t think it’s wise to teach how to talk with grammar… Relating shastra changes from time to time and different levels. Our musicologist or sangeet shastragnas are very intelligent and have worked hard. Music is very vast subject, it is not an easy job to give some shape to it, lot of contradictory thoughts, lot of branches. They have contributed a lot to music. If you read Pt. Paluskar or Pt Bhatkhandeji s life, contributions to music is stupendous. Pt Bhatkhandeji s concept of Thaat is not very ordinary Idea. That is not like while playing cricket, kids make two teams distributing players. There is logic, some methodology and lot of brain storming ... involved... When you perfrom how much importance to be given to shastra is the basic question of music student. City map is very helpful to know about the city and roam around but with map you can’t enjoy the city, you have to be there actually experiencing the architecture or natural beauty of that place. When you sing Yaman, ..... you know vadi, samvadi , pakkad etc., you think yaman as complete. Once ..you know raag Yaman’s chalan and how it develops, there is no need of vadi samvadi or pakkad. Shastra is like body but singing music is body with soul. So without Shastra we can’t sing and, only with shastra we can’t sing… this sounds strange but this is our classical vocal music.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Class and form

Generally people talk about class and form in many fields; sports, arts and music. A painter creates many works in his life time; his selected works will be far superior to others. Soccer player plays superbly once in few matches, musicians give excellent recital in few concerts.If the artiste is very consistent in performance, he will be considered as high quality performer. With his rigorous training, extra ordinary talent he attains a level where he can be called as a class artiste or classy player... but some instances he will be extra ordinary, we can say he is in very good form. In music we can take this idea of form and class for some extent.We can see how the artiste performs in a span of 20 to 30 years,especially in classical music. Artiste will start his true musical journey around 35-40 years of his age. That time he will be mature, well trained and well-practiced. Classical musicians very good time in his life is 45- 60 years , in which you can say few artiste has class, but few are only having good form for short period. Audience can’t decide or come to conclusion regarding musicians’ class and form in one or two concerts. That particular concert may be average due to many reasons. Maybe his/her health, sound system, accompaniment, atmosphere of the hall or venue. Earlier the number of concerts was less, artiste used to get more time in between concerts. They used to prepare well. Keep their form and class for long time. We can’t generalize this; even now few artistes have class and form for long time. Music has changed a lot in many angles. But an artiste class and from is very important in music field.

Monday, May 14, 2012


Preparation is very important for everything. Music, sports, cooking, farming everywhere preparation matters. I was reading about Rahul Dravid, how he used to prepare himself for matches. Preparation is an essential part of performance. Even after learning we prepare ourselves for each and every concert, for years, throughout life. Preparation changes according to the objectives. For concert we have less time to prepare. But in the case of life we need continuous and sustained preparation. Why preparation is so important..? Once, a great tabla artiste Pt. Suresh Talwalkar told, in a vocal performance ‘Laya’ starts when you start singing, not when the table starts. What a beautiful statement… I am observing how my guruji prepares for concert.According to guruji when you start thinking about concert, preparation starts. When I go with guruji for concert tours, in India or abroad, it will always be a great experience. You learn lot of things, how his approach is towards a concert, his approach to each rag, how his preparation is for a concert, how to see accompaniment artiste etc., normally I don’t ask guruji regarding which rag he is singing or what his plans are. Once I went to Calcutta ITC SRA sangeetsammelan with guruji, he sang pooriya in that concert. It was a great concert. I observed he was thinking about pooriya from morning. I asked guruji about preparation, he told when you start for concert from home, the concert will start in head, (thinking). Thinking about rag, bandhish etc., so then you will get into that mood. I saw this in other fields also, like cricket, harikatha, fine art, teaching math in IIT. You start thinking about it all the time till it starts then it will lead to a very good rendering. I saw in tv, tendulkar or dravid, they wear everything and sit in dressing room, I saw once tendulkar sitting with helmet also… I thought how many times he must have played cricket, but every match every innings is new and requires preparation. Amir khan prepares himself for his movies. Camroon , a very famous director ( titanic and avatar fame) he took 7-8 years for prepare his movie Avatar. My father’s gurujiSantBhadragiriAchyutdasji, renowned harikatha exponent, will not be talking a word before 2-3 hours of recital, like he is meditating. Every field requires preparation, maybe IT or politics, fine art or drama, music or sports. In classical music, mental practice and preparation is very important. If we prepare well we can present it beautifully.

Monday, April 23, 2012

LearnQuest Academy of Music- conference

LearnQuest Music festival 2012 - Boston When I entered Regis College hall, I saw the atmosphere like some music festival in Gwalior, Mumbai or Bangalore, but it was in Waltham, Boston USA. Organizing music festival abroad is not very easy. First thing we are organizing Indian cultural event in different country where the culture differs. The credit goes to learnquest team who are conducting conference since 7 years. Music conferences consist of vocal, instrumental and dance recitals. (Literal meaning of music is combination of vocal, playing instruments and dance) it may vary from festival to festival. In India we have Sawai Gandharva ustav, Gwalior tansen sangeet ustav calcutta doverlane in bangalore gururaodeshpande all night music festival like this, every festival has its unique identity and speciality. LearnQuest is the organisation, which promotes and spreads the essence of Indian classical music in New England area, Boston. It provides formal instructions in Hindustani and carnatic vocal and instrumental music. Once a year, they organize a music conference, which is a new initiative and it is becoming a famous event in Indian cultural arena in USA. Inviting artiste from India in different genre of music and organizing such a big and important event is very difficult. Various types of performances in one event are the key for the success of the conference. As an artiste I enjoyed and participated in this years’ music conference, which gave me a mesmerizing experience. When my guruji gave his performance it was a bit late, around 9 pm, which was concluding concert of the conference. The Fact that the hall was full with audience, when we came to the stage, was such a surprise. People were waiting for the program and until the end they enjoyed the vocal and appreciated the concert. The quality of the audience was also great. Again the credit goes to LearnQuest who have become a pioneer in introducing music conferences in this area and transforming this city into main hub of Indian music.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Changing Time in Music

When I joined Guruji, Pt Vinayk Torvi for learning classical music 20 years back, he used to describe his experience about concert duration. 4-5 hours concerts were very common and that was the minimum time duration of a concert few years back. More the time duration, more was the pride and test for the artiste that he or she can perform. Time has changed, man has also evolved. We have experienced many new tremendous inventions in all the fields including music. Even in musical instruments like tanpura and tabla, we have electronic versions. Along with the growth of music, presentation, instruments and duration of performance has also changed. If we see the present day situation in Indian classical music in India and abroad, maximum duration of a concert is 2-3 hours. 3 hours concert of one artiste is very big( we have few chamber concert which may be longer than this due to keen interest and knowledge about classical music). In Television and Radio we have to present just 30 mins to one hour performances. Present day artiste works and tries to show his mastery in lesser time duration than in the past. If we take classical Hindustani Khyal, singer presents one rag for around 45 mins to one hour, so in one concert he or she can present 2-3 rags considering a concert of 2 hours. Within a given time you have to show your talent. Time limits your creativity and restricts your imagination but whoever does it well within the given time is a good artiste. Conveying the message in the given time limit is the key challenge and basic necessity nowadays. When you are having a performance, within a few minutes after your concert, it may appear in Facebook or YouTube, people get to know about your performance quickly but at the same time you have to keep up the practice and never get over confident. The responsibility of the artiste is much more in this new generation. We have lots of knowledge and information regarding music but presenting it in the right way is the vital part. We can listen to Pt Bhimsen Joshiji’s yaman, Pt Mansurji s yaman and Pt kumar Gandharvji s yaman, but when you present it, it should be your yaman, rather than copying from stalwarts. Time management, deep knowledge and learning the right way to present it from a guru about your subject will take you to a higher level.