A classical tribute to cherish

STRINGED EMINENCE

A musical evening called ‘Vadya Jhankar’ was recently organised in the City at Kamani Auditorium, to mark the 83rd birth anniversary of Bishan Dass Sharma, a pioneer of instrument-making.

Introducing: Pt Ravi Shankar (centre) at the launch of E-Sitar.The occasion was graced by Pt Ravi Shankar along with wife Sukanya Shankar. The living legend unveiled an ‘E-Sitar’, an adaptation of the sitar, crafted by Sanjay Sharma.

Sanjay, president of Sanjay Rikhi Ram Vadya Parampara which organised the event, said, “We try to create an atmosphere where the instrument-maker and musician come together. This relationship is important because only a skilled craftsman can cater to the needs of an excellent musician.”

When asked about E-Sitar, he said, “It is after many years of research that we have been able to come up with this modern concept, high-tech design and techno version of the sitar. We have tried to keep the design non-traditional, and make it light weight and compact, so that it even fits in a flute-carrying case.”

 The evening included a mesmerising sitar recital by Rishab Sharma, who paid tribute to his grandfather, Bishan Dass Sharma. Talking about his first encounter with sitar, the 13-year-old Rishab said, “One day in my school’s music room, I happened to see an instrument and asked my teacher about it. I was told that it is a musical instrument called sitar and that is how I was introduced to it for the first time.”

Next, Ustad Shahid Parvez Khan played the sitar and Ustad Rashid Mustafa accompanied him on tabla. There was pin drop silence as the audience absorbed the soothing music.
 Mesmerised by the notes, Shalini Sharma, a school teacher said, “A programme such as this not only touches the hearts of classical music lovers, but also inspires and enchants the young generation towards our traditional roots.”

After this, the audience was transported to a divine world by Daler Mehndi’s Sufi singing. The well-known pop singer sang ‘rababi’ or Sufi music and introduced the audience to another side of his personality. Talking about the ‘rababi’ genre of music, Daler said, “Rababi’ music connects the soul to God just like Sufi music. It is also a way to pray to ‘Rab’ (the almighty) through music.”

He also launched another innovative musical instrument named swarmandir, which is an amalgamation of ‘rubab’ and a traditional tanpura.

Ritesh Mishra, a classical singer said, “This is an innovative attempt to give traditional musical instruments a new approach and outlook. The ‘E-Sitar’ is a very good attempt and has raised the expectations of musicians like us who are looking forward to see more such innovations in traditional instruments.”

Also present on the occasion were noted personalities such as Grammy Award winner Pt. Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, Pt. Madhup Mudgal, Hindustani Vocalist from Gwalior Gharana and santoor ‘vadak’, Pt Satish Vyas.

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