But the Ustad, who recently collaborated with tabla maestro Zakir Hussain for the first time, says it’s live sessions that he enjoys the most. He spoke to CS about the same:
Playing with the other Ustad
It was an honour to perform with such an iconic personality in the world of music. He is the heartthrob for both the classes and the masses. It’s not that we haven’t met earlier, but just that I didn’t have the privilege to perform with him before this. Zakir and me have been together during my stay at SRA (Sangeet Research Academy- Kolkata) in the late 70s and early 80s. We have travelled together for SRA tours in India for performances. During these travels, we have enjoyed playing cricket as well. For me, he is just not a percussionist but almost a complete musician. We just never performed together on a public platform till last week. The concert was a treat for me as well as for the audience.
The reception and performance of any artist depends on the concert audience in that place. And personally, it is really important. I have observed that reactions have changed over the time and is different from one city to another. The audience in Mumbai is just superb. They have better understanding of music, particularly more for a vocalist. Mumbai and Kolkata are the two cities in India that are known as forts of Indian Classical Music. But for me, every concert is special.
Live, with love!
I have always enjoyed live performance than the recorded ones. The idea of performing in front of thousands of people is very engaging. It gives a performer a different high all together. The screens, the applause and even the silence is something we artists crave for. The connection that we make with the audience in those two hours is instant, divine and positive. The music in a live concert is like a new lease of life every time you perform.
The trend of collaborations and fusion is very good, as long as it is kept authentic. All the collaborations I have had in the past have been unique and close to my heart. Every association has been special in its own way. The parameters for each collaboration differs and so also, the joy from it.