“My gayaki makes me find myself”, said classical vocalist Kalapini Komkali, the daughter and disciple of Pandit Kumar Gandharva and Vidushi Vasundhara Komkali.
In Chandigarh for a concert organised by the Chandigarh Sangeet Natak Akademi, Komkali talked about her journey, her inheritance and the fact that she was blessed to have her parents as her gurus.
Apart from the technique and grammar of her art, Komkali learnt many intricate and finer qualities of classical music from her gurus, and how it is absolutely essential to give joy to the audience and connect with them.
“We want to share with the audience the power of the music we feel and live. That’s the ultimate goal. So, before a performance, I don’t like too many distractions. I want to focus and never ever want to be casual about it. I learnt to be meticulous from my father, who kept a chart of his performances, with dates and the compositions he had sung, so that he did not repeat them. That’s why he did not like to take requests, for he wanted the audience to hear something new and unique,” said Komkali.
Komkali believes time, experience, hard work and introspection are the factors that make an artiste and help discovering one’s own strengths.
“I was fortunate to have my taalim from Kumar ji and my mother and had the privilege of being on stage with him, and over the years discovered myself through my gayaki. Learning continues and you are a student in front of the bigger force,” she said.
She was encouraged by her father to listen to other musicians, watch classical dance and understand instruments, which gave versatility to her music.
“Kumar ji stepped out of the system of gharanas and created his own magic. That’s what I strive to,” Komkali said. The vocalist, who sings bhajans by Kabir, Mira and Surdas, said in today’s world they give solace to the restless souls. “Kumar ji gave a lot of value to the words of a bandish and I have put in a lot of work to deeply understand bandish. There is no playing with the original composition, for I don’t want to lose the beauty of it. It’s all a journey and I can challenge that if you come to my performance twice, you will keep coming back. And in Chandigarh, keeping with the mood of the season, I will present composition depicting the shades and moods of monsoon.”
Committed to the promotion of classical art, Komkali organises a festival at Dewas to bring together dancers, musicians, folk artistes, vocalists. “My parents lived here and for many coming to the festival is like a pilgrimage and the work and music flow,” said Komkali. The concert will be held on July 21 at Tagore Theatre at 6.30 pm.