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Sunday, April 18, 2021

The right note

His story is unusual and awe inspiring. The master of the flute - Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia - never received a musical inheritance...

Written by AmritaJain |
July 30, 2010 3:07:36 am

Pt Hariprasad Chaurasia,who will be performing in Pune on Saturday,feels that classical music is still an integral part of the youth culture

His story is unusual and awe inspiring. The master of the flute – Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia – never received a musical inheritance,and his early days were spent trying to persuade his Pehelwan father Chedilal that his interests lay in pursuing music. Here in Pune for the Barkha Ritu musical concert,which will be performed on July 31,Chaurasia talks about his long tryst with music and how in order to please his father he even learnt stenography and kushti (wrestling).

Set to perform at the Yeshwantrao Chavan Sabhagruha,Kothrud,along with Pt Bhawani Shankar (Pakhawaj) and Vijay Ghate (Tabla),the Padma Bhushan award winning flautist has a special connection with Pune. “Every time I’ve performed here,I’ve received a very positive and warm response from the audience. The people here love music and it shows. Also,Maharashtra’s best musicians have been from Pune,” he says,adding,”Surili mitti hain yeh shehar ki (the soil in the city is musical).”

Having provided music for films like Silsila and Chandni,one of his most celebrated records still remains Call of the Valley. Commenting on film music,he says,”I have always liked film music. It’s my hobby,I look forward to reaching the massive audience it entitles,but then the crowd is really different there.” While he is open to the idea of composing music for films,he maintains,“It should be musically motivated. I will take it up only if the idea is good.”

Having worked with western musicians,he feels that each form of music has something to teach. “People in the West are very enthusiastic and curious about our culture. They are amazed that they take the help of music sheets to play for half an hour and we can go on for hours without any aid. But performing with them has been a learning experience for me.”

Though he is sensing a change in the way music is being perceived,it also worries him that things are motivated by money these days. “Can you believe that a sponsor once asked me to come dancing on the stage while playing the basuri?” he says with a quiet laugh. And commenting on the dwindling enthusiasm for classical music among the youth,he says,”It’s a myth. I think we forget that life exists even beyond the television box. Walk along the lanes of Rajasthan and you will see small boys and girls singing such beautiful folk songs that it would restore your belief in Indian classical music. This country is full of talent and classical music is not dying yet.”

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