The long queue right until the gate of the Chowdiah Memorial Hall was enough to prove the musician’s worth.
There was no way you could break the queue, for people had started arriving an hour before the concert and waited patiently for the doors to open. This is how every concert by Zitar player Niladri Kumar has been in the City.
Niladri played a few pieces from his album and a few other pieces that were untitled. His concert was nonetheless lively.
He began the evening with an album titled, Priority; the second and the third pieces were untitled. Most of the pieces were based on Raag Kafi. Niladri scores his music and talking about it he says, “My pieces are all based on my experiences – the music I have learnt and I have heard.”
The band never plans what it is going to perform. Niladri always mixes up the order in keeping with the mood of the audience. The band does a lot of improvisations on stage during the performance.
In addition to classical music, Niladri is known to play a lot of fusion music.
“I think anybody who wants to mix more than two genre of music will have to be a virtuoso. They need to have the knowledge and the wish to combine two different forms of music and also know what they’re doing in the end,” he explains. Niladri says he’s noticed a few young musicians do it just because they want to join the popular bandwagon.
“But that’s not done. Unless you enjoy the music, you can’t mix and match,” he advises.
It wouldn’t be wrong to say that those in the audience were thoroughly mesmerised by the performance.
Most of those who were there had heard Niladri before and said that they never tire of his music. “It’s not a monotonous flow. There’s never a dull moment,” says Navneetha, a music lover and adds, “there’s such vibrant movement and sound. There’s a lot of warmth in his music.” Harpeet Singh, a musician himself says, “Niladri plays music that the ordinary folk can relate to. It’s simple and uncomplicated.”