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I dont think Indian classical music is neglected: Santoor maestro Rahul Sharma

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New Delhi: Rahul Sharma, the son of santoor maestro Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma, regards it a misconception that one needs to be absolutely aware of the know-how of classical music in order to enjoy it.

Following his fathers’ footsteps in taking the Indian classical music scene globally, the young maestro is often seen adding a foreign touch to his work.

“It’s a misconception that if you don’t understand the classical music you cannot enjoy it. This is not true. Today I see several youngsters at my concerts. I guess when they see a younger artist who has the potential to be an icon, a connection is made with the younger listener.”

“I think more classical concerts should be broadcast live and collaborations with popular western artistes will also help in making people aware of Indian classical music,” Rahul told reporters on the phone from Mumbai.

He had collaborated with Egyptian artist Georges Kazazian and Indian playback singer Sunidhi Chauhan for a project in 2011.

It was not the first time that Rahul joined hands with an international artist. He has also worked with French pianist Richard Clayderman and keyboardist Kersi Lord. He even collaborated with international musician Eric Mouquet on “Deep India” concert in 2013.

With the receding popularity of classical music amongst youth, does he think the art form is fading?

“Not at all. Apart from my collaborations with Grammy winners such as Kenny G, Eric Moquet of ‘Deep Forest’, which had great sales in India, we also managed to reach the number one spot on the Billboard jazz charts with Kenny G and my album ‘Namaste’.”

“I don’t think it (classical music) is neglected. It’s an individualistic imagination that helps an artiste to bring in audiences in India,” said the musician, who started accompanying his father to concerts at the age of 24 in 1996.

The talented composer, who gave music for the 2002 Hindi film “Mujhse Dosti Karoge!”, is a sought-after concert artiste and has released more than 40 albums including “Maya”, “The Rebel” and “Samandar”.

Rahul, who endorses Brooke Bond Taj Mahal Tea, a brand that has been synonymous with classical music, became part of a 14-hour-long music concert recently in Mumbai with sitarist Shahid Parvez and djembe player Taufiq Qureshi along with other artistes to celebrate the brand’s golden jubilee.

The artiste says he was floored by the idea as it presented different variations of Indian classical music.

“I think it’s a great idea to have so many classical musicians come together spanning a 14-hour duration. The beauty about Indian classical music is that it has a time cycle and different ragas are played from sunrise to sunset,” he said. (Sugandha Rawal, IANS) (Image source: blogspot.com)

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Indian Classical Music is For a Certain Class: Vocalist Suhas Vyas

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An Indian classical music performance
India Night for the Cultural Association of India's 50th anniversary at Mizzou. Wikimedia

New Delhi, Sep 24, 2017: Indian classical music generally has a limited audience. Pune’s popular vocalist Suhas Vyas feels that it is because classical music is for a certain class of people.

Asked why the genre is mostly restricted to the elite audience, Vyas told IANS in an email interview: “As it is called, it is classical music. Therefore, it is for a certain class of people. Surprisingly, our music has been received with extreme love abroad.”

“In India too, the audience is opening up and the newer generation is learning and taking the art to their generation too.”

He is doing his bit to promote Indian classical music by training students, conducting lectures and performing in India as well as abroad.

Earlier this month, he experienced “nothing short of extraordinary” when he performed in China.

“The show was in Xiamen, China for the BRICS Summit cultural conference. To represent our nation and culture on foreign soil was a great experience. The auditorium was packed to its complete strength and we received standing ovation,” he said.

What about language barrier?

“As they say art has no language, it is all about emotions. The entire audience connected with the music. I performed a very rare composition by S.N Ratanjankar (scholar and teacher of Hindustani classical music).

“One delegate came backstage after the concert. As we both didn’t understand each other’s language, he kept on pointing at his heart and then mine. I got the message.”

There is another reason why, he feels, the audience connected with his music at the event where artistes from other BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, China and South Africa) also performed.

Also Read: Ragas for Preschool Children: Combining Classical Music with Fun Exercises 

“Among all other performances, which were more opera style, ours was the only one which had a seating arrangement and percussion so, it fascinated the audience and was very well received,” said the artiste, whose music is about peace and spirituality.

People often use music as a means to promote peace, but when things go politically wrong, it’s the artistes who first get affected. Why?

“Artistes are usually the first ones to take the brunt because the reaction from artistes are the least damaging politically and gives maximum political mileage to parochial political parties and pressure groups during conflicts.A

“During peace time too, due to the public connect of artistes, it is the thing that gives most political mileage.” (IANS)

 

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‘Namma Bengaluru Habba’ : Green Festival in Bengaluru Witnesses 1,000 people taking part in the event

People from all walks of life participated in Bengaluru's Green Festival

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A man on Jet Ski, Green Festival, Bengaluru
A man on Jet Ski, Green Festival, Bengaluru. Pixabay
  • The fest had about 20 artists who performed the traditional ‘Yakshagana’ theatre and drum dance dollu kunita
  • Visitors had an opportunity to cruise around the lake with fly boards and jet skis
  • As environment protection is a cause of concern, it is events like these that will create awareness among the public and lead to greater sustainability

Bengaluru, August 21, 2017: About 1,000 people from all walks of life took part in a cultural festival titled ‘Namma Bengaluru Habba’ (Our Bengaluru Festival) at the Sankey Tank here on Sunday to create awareness on the protection of environment.

Organised by the Karnataka Tourism Department, the fest had about 20 artists who performed the traditional ‘Yakshagana’ theatre, and drum dance ‘dollu kunita’, while apart from the street musicians, magicians, jugglers, caricature artists and painters, visitors had an opportunity to cruise around the lake with fly boards and jet skis.

There were also 20 stalls and a flea market selling organic produce and eco-friendly products, including terracotta jewellery, natural soaps, millet-based products and jute etc.

“As environmental protection is a cause of concern, it is events like these that will create awareness among the public and lead to greater sustainability,” said state Information Technology, Biotechnology and Tourism Minister Priyank M. Kharge in a statement.

“It is great to see so many people participating in support of the cause. The fest is a community building activity to preserve Bengaluru’s ecology,” he added. (IANS)

 

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India-Bahrain Art Exchange: The event in New Delhi to Feature Work of 30 Artists from across the World

Indian art scene is considered among the most developed in the region with great talent, therefore, India will be a huge platform for artists to showcase the artwork of Bahraini artists

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Encouragement of Indian artists and Bahraini artists
A painter working for Islamic Art annual fair. Wikimedia
  • Rouble Nagi has teamed up with Kaneka Sabharwal to show an initiative, that aims at connecting creative enthusiasts from Bahrain and India
  • The event will be conducted later this year, in Mumbai and New Delhi 
  • The event is set to feature work of around 30 artists including the significant presence of Bahraini female artists 

New Delhi, August 17, 2017: Indian art doesn’t seem to show any signs of abatement in the international art world, and eminent artist and philanthropist, Rouble Nagi is all pumped up to show the master that she is.

Rouble Nagi Art Foundation has teamed up with Kaneka Sabharwal to show an initiative, first of its kind, that welcomes contemporary artists from the entire world and aims at connecting creative enthusiasts from Bahrain and India through an unparalleled exchange program. The initiative is supported by the government of India.

“I was very keen to create something that will fall in line with the emergent global consciousness that has entered the international art scene. I wanted to introduce the world to contemporary Indian art and bring global art to the country so that the relationship with art is much more intimate and undeviating. The event won’t be limited to showcasing art but also consists of art-talks so as to open a dialogue between international artists,” mentioned Rouble Nagi, in the ANI report.

“This initiative aims to give a platform to Bahraini and Indian artists, exposing them to local and international aspirational values, as well as creating economic capital from the cultural capital,” she added.

ALSO READ: Indian art gaining worldwide recognition. 

The event which is to be conducted later this year in Mumbai and New Delhi will be held under the patronage of Her Royal Highness Princess Sabeeka Bint Ibrahim Al Khalifa, wife of the King of Bahrain, President of The Supreme Council For Women ArtBab. She produces art on an iPad, and is going to visit India for the very first time.

The event is all set to feature work of around 30 artists, ranging from impressive video art installations, eclectic pop art, to contemporary sculptures and the significant presence of Bahraini female artists.

Balqees Fakhro, Faika Al Hasan, Jamal Abdul Rahim, Khalid Farhan, Lulwa Al Khalifa, Nabeela Al Khayer and Omar Al Rashid are some of the Bahraini artists who will be showcasing their works.

There will also be an exhibition of the artistic dexterity of the underprivileged children, who are supported by the Rouble Nagi Art Foundation.

Kaneka Sabharwal, Co-Founder of ArtBAB and Founder of Art Select and Jonathan Watkins of Birmingham’s Ikon Gallery, who is also chair of ArtBAB’s international selection committee, will be the curator of the event.

“Bahrain, which traces its roots to one of the oldest civilizations in the world, the Dilmun Empire, has a rich history of art and many historians assert that the art came to the kingdom of Bahrain from India. The Bahrainis are known to have some of the best art collections and I want to introduce art collectors and enthusiasts around the world to the talent of Bahraini artists,” noted Kaneka, who moved to Bahrain in 2009.

According to Dr. E M Janaki, CEO Tamkeen, art sector has not only locally but across the region, achieved importance as an engine of economic growth.

ALSO READ: Indian art: The folkish inclination 

Indian art scene is considered among the most developed in the region with great talent, therefore, India will be a huge platform for artists to showcase the artwork of Bahraini artists.

The vision is to bring together an art alliance that isn’t limited by geographies and widens the conception of art, in regard to which, the multi-cultural arty affair will be host to a bevy of notable guests from various spheres, including political and corporate.

-prepared by Samiksha Goel of NewsGram. Twitter @goel_samiksha