Mr Murphy’s Opus

Connecting souls through sound...isn’t it the most natural thing to do,communicate,but sans words,” it’s almost heavenly,this musical philosophy of Conductor David Murphy. For him,music is the sole reason for existence...

Written by Jaskiran Kapoor | Published:February 19, 2009 2:26 am

For Conductor David Murphy,music is the reason for existence

Connecting souls through sound…isn’t it the most natural thing to do,communicate,but sans words,” it’s almost heavenly,this musical philosophy of Conductor David Murphy. For him,music is the sole reason for existence,and it’s through these expressions he strives to keep it alive. “Especially the classical form. It’s very important that it exists,and this is part of my mission,” says the Conductor of Scottish Chamber Orchestra who’s in town along with Ustad Amjad Ali Khan for Seagram’s 100 Pipers concerto,‘Samaagam’. “We’re trying to create a new genre of music,one that unites the east and the west,but keeps the tradition intact too,making this form both appealing and accessible,” David’s western orchestra has travelled to India for the first time,that too at this extensive scale. And it was none other than Pandit Ravi Shankar who introduced him to Indian classical music. “I’ve had the privilege of learning from the Masters….Leon Barzin’s golden techniques,Sir Charles Mackerras’ cutting edge interpretation,and Pandit Ravi Shankar’s spontaneity,” David was deeply influenced by the subtlety with which Panditji presented his music,the rhythm and the way his mind is instantly energetic and creative. Later on,he met up with Ustad Amjad Ali Khan and through many meetings,Samaagam was created. “The key thing about Indian music is the way melody is explored and expressed…it simply glides from one note to another,while in the western music,we jump. We have harmony while it’s the rhythm and melody that lends excitement to Indian music,and these are the skills we are picking up,” he says. For David,education about music is essential,“and so,I make sure I interact with the audience through with musical examples. See,the myth about classical music is that it’s remote. It’s not,and that’s why today,in the west,we have rush-hour concerts,45-minute long ones which capture the attention of both young and old for they are the ones who are hard pressed for time,” David’s been extra cautious with Samaagam. “We’ve tried not to break any rules of Indian or western music. We’ve been true to the roots.”

Meanwhile,it’s the Indian audience that’s got his ear. “Unlike the stiff west,Indians are a much more lively,colourful lot. Play and their chinese whispers give you an instant feedback!” Well,we are like this only!

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