Fascinated by the flute

Magical touch
Last Updated 25 August 2015, 18:31 IST

First love comes and goes, and memories of those times linger in your mind. But after sometime, they fade away and the nostalgia remains.

This isn’t the case with Shirish Malhotra — his relationship with Western classical music is a love story for the ages. Calling it his “first love”, the flautist says, “But this doesn’t mean I don’t like other genres. Whether it’s jazz, blues, pop or rock, I love them all.”
Not one to be pigeonholed, Shirish makes sure he has space to spread his wings at all times.

“I come from a family that loves its melodies. Initially, I started off playing the violin but when I saw a flute performance in Mumbai, I was fascinated by the instrument and decided to learn it.” But he doesn’t restrict himself to just the two; Shirish also plays the saxophone, clarinet and guitar. The Mumbai-based musician was in the City recently for a performance at the Bangalore School of Music auditorium.

However, there are some restrictions he draws, “I love my Western classical music and acoustic sounds. But I’m not very fond of electronic sounds, the ones that use the synthesiser to enhance the notes. These days, most people think that the keyboard is synonymous with the piano, which is hardly true!”

Making his distaste for the keyboard apparent, he adds that the sudden growth of EDM doesn’t bother him. Shirish’s passion for music becomes apparent when he describes it as “meditative”. He even took the gamble of making it his career, and now he’s having the time of his life. But he admits that there isn’t enough scope for Western classical music in India.

 “It’s mainly the aged who are interested in classical music, all over the world. Though there is more scope for it now than a few years ago, it won’t improve unless youngsters are exposed to it.”

He thinks that only when music is introduced as a subject in schools, will there be an improvement. A journey that began when he was just 12 years old has now seen him perform for ads, films and even live concerts.

(Published 25 August 2015, 14:28 IST)

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