Jonathan Bager admits that being a flautist has helped him manage his professional life better. He balances his musical passion with a busy schedule in managing IT systems at a multinational bank. “At times I think about how it has been a wonderful medium to focus on work,and then after that,just get lost in its music. That takes you to newer places as a person, he says with a dreamy look. Bager,along with his longtime friend Kristinn Orn Kristinsson,will be collaborating for a musical concert to be held at Mazda Hall in Camp on June 16. Originally from Iceland,Bager has been in Pune for the last nine months,working on an official assignment for his firm.
The concert is going to be about exploring various forms of Western classical music. It is not just a concert with me playing the flute and Kristinn on the piano. We are bringing together folk music from places like Germany,France,Russia,the Czech Republic and Slovakia. In addition,Kristinn will be performing pieces from Iceland,which is a form of music that has not been showcased here in Pune, he says.
The concert will see them perform pieces from Faure: Fantaisie Op. 79; Roussel: Joueurs de Flute Op. 27; Leifs: From four pieces for Piano Op. 2; Poulenc: Sonata; Birgisson: 23 icelandic folksongs for piano; Three songs from the east of Iceland for flute and Piano; Beethoven: Variations on folksongs; Schulhoff: Sonata and Enescu: Cantabile et Presto.
As the conversation meanders to the topic of the flute,Bager is quick to mention that it is one of the oldest instruments in the world. I mean all it takes is a hollow wooden or bamboo stick with equidistant holes and someone who can learn to alter the air pressure to create sounds from it, he says. On the topic of the flute being a perfect fusion instrument between Indian and Western classical music he says,I wouldn’t call it a fusion instrument but I would call the western classical flute a cousin of the Indian one. The difference is that the Indian one can be altered to produce a very wide range of sounds. The western one is more suited towards the kind of music played there. You cannot bend it to match the Indian sounds. If I were to play the Indian flute I would say I am a beginner,because even though the basics are same there is a lot of difference between the two.
He mentions that he is not working on any musical albums or even collaborating with artistes because he still considers music to be more of a hobby for him. I don’t depend on music to provide me a living. Perhaps I would cut a CD for my mother someday, he jokes.
Pune,however,is a treasure trove of fond memories for Bager. These last few months has been a pleasant dream. Working here is a different thing,but the people here are just wonderful. Even during the previous times that I have performed for audiences here,they have always accepted the music with open arms. If not officially I would definitely come back here on my own to experience the country in depth.
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