The Week, June 2013
People believe their eyes when they see paintings and buy them for five crores and don’t spend any money for rest of the art work. Nobody train or teach buyers which kind of paintings to be bought or which artist is better than other.

Similarly for music people believe their ears may be ten percent for the eyes too. But while watching idiot box (TV) listeners believe 80% eyes and 10% ears.

Now a days there are organizations they claim they are teaching or training listeners, especially in the schools and colleges. They get support from the government and corporate. But the truth is it’s a futile exercise.

Historically listeners always believe their own ears and eyes. They don’t need trainers and teachers how to listen to the music and who to listen to. But some musicians and musicologist seems to be very worried about the audiences all over the world especially in India. From the time Doordarshan, the idiot box came to our lives, I have seen and heard many discussions on classical music. They seems to be worried about the audiences reactions, attendances and the future of music.

They are also worried about the corporate world not patronizing enough. Unfortunately most of the classical musician busy connecting his legacy to Tansen, Thyagaraja or Swami Haridas. It is great if you are born in the family of musicians it also a big curse for some who become arrogant, conceited and wild in their dealings.

I give more credits to musicians whose father were not musician and they were not born in the family of musicians and yet became the symbol of music like Ravi Shankar, Alla Rakha, Hari Prasad Chaurasia and Ustad Allaudin Khan Saheb, they all struggled for the gurus.

Music is like a perfume it grows on you, you don’t need guidance always believe in your natural instincts. Always feel free what you prefer to listen to. But please look for appealing music not loud noisy music it’s not healthy.

There is no dearth of audience for classical music of Europe or India. Especially in our country, school and college students should be asked which musicians or artists they would like to listen to. Let there be voting NGO’s impose some artist on the students. They should feel free to choose whom they like listen to . Since last 30 tears organizers decides the names of the artists and impose on the students. It is not good for the students of India, whether schools or colleges.

The best example is blind schools, I have served many blind schools in India and realized the value of sound and music in the life of blind community. The sound in the world of blind people is the brightest light, We, Amaan and Ayaan always look forward to serve our music for the blind community and their cause.

Grammer is good and essentially to learn in every field but you cannot impose grammer on the audience. My guru often said when on the stage musician should never think that the audience is his or her students, concert hall is not a class room and please don’t show all your knowledge in your each concert, other very important point we are also not appearing for a test while performing.

According to my guru how to present your music is a different kind of art. Very few can guide you, especially not your own guru. No book on music could guide you how to present or what to present. There are so many young talented musicians not getting proper encouragement. We must encourage musicians especially under 40’s. They are quite established in their own career.

I am grateful to the whole world for honouring creative people especially France. I feel France has honoured maximum number of Artists especially Indians. I am grateful to the Ambassador of France H.E. Mr François Richier for launching my recent book ‘My father our fraternity’ by Roli Books in Delhi. It was great pleasure talking to Vidya Shah a very talented and graceful musician.

It was such a distinguished audience and the atmosphere of that evening I and my family will always remember. Our family will remain be grateful to the Maharani Yashodhara Raje of Gwalior for her very kind gracious words. We are indebted to every member of French Embassy especially the head of Alliance Française Mr. Max Claudet and Ms. Narayani Hargovind.

music@sarod.com