'Indian music is very emotive'

'Indian music is very emotive'

Soulful music

'Indian music is very emotive'

For Grammy award winner and South African flautist Wouter Kellerman, coming to India is more like homecoming. The musician, who was here to collaborate for a project with other musicians from around the world, loves and appreciates Indian music.

      In a chat with Tini Sara Anien at Indigo Live Music Bar, the artiste talks about how music has transformed and more.

Your association with India is long...

I’ve been connected to India for a while now. From collaborating with Ricky Kej for ‘Winds of Samsara’ to perfoming for the President of India, I’m lucky to have been here many times. Each time has been an enlightening experience.

How does it feel to be back here?

I’m really excited. I love the people here, they are really friendly. We have the same culture in South Africa too. (Laughs) We also share the bond of cricket, which many other countries will not understand.

How much has music changed since you started?

I have always listened to a wide variety of music. My parents listened to classical music most of the time. But the lady who looked after me listened to African music. It wasn’t always easy to collaborate with artistes across the world earlier. Technology has made things easier for the music industry now. It’s the golden age of collaborations and the right time to make music.

What do you like about Indian music?

I like Indian music for its sheer expressiveness. It is very emotive. I appreciate how the musicians are very disciplined and passionate about what they do here.

How was your experience of collaborating with Ricky Kej?

I’ve been listening to Indian music for a long while. Ricky and I have always wanted to do such collaborations. We had waited for a long while and we connected from the very first song. We realised we had a lot in common. From making music to winning the Grammy — it was a surreal experience.

How important is the flute to you?

It’s absolutely important. Music is like meditation for me and even if I didn’t play for anyone, I would play the flute for myself. It’s such an important part of me.

Your favourite flautists.

My favourite flautist, since I grew up, has been James Galway. There is also Rahsaan Roland Kirk, a musician whose technique is unique.

Your thoughts on Hindustani flute notes...

The ‘bansuri’ gives one the option to be more emotive. It bends the music like none
other.

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