22 December 2014
Philistine meets Maestros
Philistine meets the Maestros I have always been musically challenged. Not only i sing very bad but i can rarely make out whats playing. I have been acutely aware of my inadequacy and for years trying to make amends. I still cannot sing without fear of receiving injuries but at least now i am able to make out something of the music that is playing. So i try to listen intently to all sorts of music and try to understand it. Recently I went to a concert which featured no less than 12 of the greatest of the classical musicians on the scene today. As I closed my eyes and focused on the sounds my mind began to wander to things inconsequential. I consciously and energetically tried to bring it back to the music ... mostly without success. So I tried another tack ... I tried watching the musicians as they played. I saw a sense of great happiness on their faces even as they labored on the Djembe or the Mridangam. I realised it was the music which was giving this happiness. I also tried to see the reaction of other fellow musicians as a master was playing. So as Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt was playing the guitar, Taufeek Qureishi was listening in rapt attention and nodding his head with the rhythm smiling a surreal smile. Similarly Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia would immaculately time his flute while Ustad Rashid Khan was rendering the alaap. I was mesmerised by these interactions and may that has made me a step closer to understanding the music. I also got the insight that for making good music it is humility, concentration, and great synchronisation that is paramount. I may not have understood much of the music but for philistine like me it was indeed a revelation to meet the maestros!