Merging different musical styles

Merging different musical styles

Soothing The concert in progress.The evening began with a Khanjira performance by N Amrit.

Usually the Khanjira is an additional percussion instrument during a Carnatic classical concert.

But here it was positioned next to the mridangam.

During the performance, Amrit introduced the audience to the playing style of Khanjira and its usage in classical carnatic music, Khanjira is an individual music instrument and is usually clubbed with different genres.

Says Amrit, “Rhythm is universal, only melody and counts change. This makes its usage compatible with any genre of music.”

He adds, “The Khanjira does not have a standard pitch but definitely has a standardised tone. This unique tone blends with any genre of music from across the world.”

This concert was meant to bring Khanjira into the mainstream international music scene.

Amrit was accompanied by D V Prasanna Kumar on chande (Rhythm Pad), Lakshminarayana on morching and Sunitha Ramabadran on the violin.

The concert started with a composition Mahaa Ganapathim in Raaga Naata and Taala - Eka, in praise of Lord Ganesha.

This was followed by acquainting people with the history of the Khanjira and its references in Indian ancient texts like Bharat Natya Shastra and Ahobala’s Sangeeta Paarijaata.

The highlight of the programme was the artistes who performed and did well in blending the Khanjira with Spanish guitar, western symphony music and playing the instrument in contemporary music style.

They played a percussion ensemble in carnatic style for a composition Vaasudeva Eni in Raaga Kalyani set to Aadi Taala.

It was played in individual percussion rounds.

This was followed by a detailed percussion round with the Khanjira displaying various technical aspects.

Adds Amrit, “The various aspects of the instrument can be highlighted only during such programmes, especially for the young who are expected to carry
forward this tradition. These programmes show the greatness of Indian culture, tradition and heritage. Nowadays, there are plenty of opportunities for the young to explore rare possibilities and excel in it. Youngsters have the knowledge and wit but they should have the patience to practice, pursue and achieve it.”

Says Ram Shankar, a working professional and a music afficionado, “This concert was very refreshing in its appeal as it combined different styles. It’s good to see music evolve to this extent and merge with different genres. What is noteworthy is that the performance was flawless and all of us thoroughly enjoyed it.”

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