Flautist Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia spends quite a lot of time between Mumbai and Bhubaneswar, the place the 2 branches of his Vrindaban Gurukul are positioned. Based mostly on the guru-shishya parampara, it helps upcoming artistes imbibe varied abilities to construct their musical personalities.
In an interview with Bharat.One, the Allahabad-born maestro stated these two cities are his favourites. He joined All India Radio at Cuttack, close to Bhubaneswar, in 1957, and moved to Mumbai six years later. Although he gave recitals as a youngster, he started taking part in professionally six many years in the past. To mark the milestone, the 81-year-old musician carried out on the Anant Gatha live performance this week. He was accompanied by Subhankar Banerjee on tabla, Bhawani Shankar on pakhawaj and Jayanti Gosher on guitar.
Once we spoke Chaurasia, was trying ahead to the live performance because it was to function only one artiste for all the night. “So I can play at length, and showcase many aspects of my repertoire,” stated Chaurasia. The flautist can even carry out on December 1, when he and santoor maestro Pandit Shivkumar Sharma will do a jugalbandi on the NCPA Add Artwork Competition, a three-day occasion being organised to have a good time 50 years of the Nationwide Centre for the Performing Arts.
Working in tandem
“There was a time when Shivji and I did many jugalbandis, but eventually we got involved with individual projects. As musicians, we always thought alike. It doesn’t happen too often among artistes, but it was our good luck it happened with us,” shared Chaurasia. Together with guitarist Brij Bhushan Kabra, Chaurasia and Sharma launched the profitable album Name Of The Valley in 1967. The 2 musicians then fashioned the movie music director duo Shiv-Hari, and labored on Silsila, Chandni, Lamhe and Darr. Why did they cease? “One should give a chance to younger music directors too. But on a serious note, while we enjoyed what we did, it wasn’t anything permanent. My focus remained classical music,” he emphasised.
Whereas quite a lot of time lately is spent on the gurukuls, Chaurasia can also be busy travelling for live shows. For a few years, he was concerned with the Rotterdam Music Conservatory in Holland. When requested about his fusion collaborations with jazz guitarist John McLaughlin, saxophonist Jan Garbarek and rock band Jethro Tull, he stated, “Fusion must involve different cultures simultaneously. While playing, both of us have to show our strengths and unique features, and not indulge in one-upmanship or copying each other.”
Adhering to custom
Chaurasia, who comes from a household of wrestlers, factors out that quite a few adjustments have taken place in Hindustani classical music since his youthful days. “The whole approach to learning has changed. People try to learn through Internet and they seem to be satisfied. But it’s like teaching wrestling on the Internet. Music requires dedication, focus and hard work. I always emphasise on the importance of maintaining one’s health. It’s just not about playing the notes correctly,” he elaborated.
The aim of the gurukuls is to show musicians in a supporting atmosphere. Apart from music, the scholars are concerned in day-to-day actions like cooking and cleansing. Particular occasions are held on festivals. “It’s like a family, and there is a certain lifestyle. And since I have two gurukuls, it’s like having two homes,” stated Chaurasia. After spending over six many years within the discipline, what’s his present mind-set? Chaurasia smiled, and concluded, “It’s like I have just been born. There’s a lot to learn.”