Q. Being a young tabla player yourself, do you see the Indian youth taking up Indian Classical music these days?
A. I think, both children and the youth are coming back to Indian Classical music. I have been approached by several kids for teaching them the instrument. In their case, most of the time, it is an initiative by their parents due to which they attend the class in the first place. However, from there onwards, if the kid is interested in learning or not is his/her own choice. So far, they want to learn it as they love the sound of the instrument. Tabla is a vibrant and happening instrument that keeps everyone glued; not only elders but youngsters too.
Q. The West seems quite interested in Indian music. Having taught in institutes like the New England School of Music, Massachusetts, USA, what have your observations been like?
A. Yes, Indian music is very popular abroad. Initially
many start off with a curiosity for our music because of performances by musicians like Zakir Hussain who draw huge audiences for their concerts abroad. Yet most of the times it is not limited to curiosity; they have a will to learn Classical Indian music too. Indian music is not limited to practising the instrument physically only; it is connected to your soul. People want to achieve that state of mind. Hence, it has become very popular abroad also. I have got many international students that pass all the levels and perform in shows. This longing for Classical Indian music is eternal.
Q. Your take on music is off-beat? What is your connection with Classical Indian music like?
A. Indian music is like meditation; and the instrument, Tabla has a different language altogether. Once you listen to it, you will want to listen and learn more about it. Indian music can be aggressive too. But it has a different peace and emotion, which is irresistible. You get emotionally habituated to it so that it no longer remains a hobby.
On July 5, 5.30 pm onwards
At Yashwantrao Chavan Natyagruha, DP Road, Kothrud.