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Trilok Gurtu, the guru

This is one concert that percussionist Trilok Gurtu is really excited about. And that's because it is dedicated to his mother, Shobha Gurtu, who performed with him on many of his albums. His friend, guru and of course mother, she encouraged him to learn the tabla, something that Trilok is eternally grateful to her for. That's because if he'd taken to singing, he would never have been able to match up to her. Gearing up for a concert on January 27 at the Shanmukhananda Hall, he talks to CS about his mother and his music:


Who: Trilok Gurtu
What: Talking about his upcoming concert
Where: At his Worli residence


Mom's the word
My mother was the first lady in my band and sang in many of my CDs. At the start, people criticised me because they felt that I was too ahead of my times, but that didn't bother me too much. Besides, my mother always supported me. She was a friend, a music teacher and much more. She helped me develop into an artist.
 
Calling India
Over the years, I've found my niche. But it's sad that not even 80 per cent of what I do is known in India. At some level it doesn't bother me. I've almost forgotten that I've won a Grammy. Things might have been different if I were running after the media. But I like to keep a low profile and I've not been a loser. I do a lot of shows in Europe and participate in some of the biggest international festivals that musicians would die to perform at. I am a respected name abroad and I value that recognition. I just let my music speak for itself.

Sounding off
I love to experiment with sounds. From drums to water, woodblocks to African instruments, I find music in everything. I've devised an instrument called Basic 1 that produces a sound that's an amalgamation of Bach and contemporary India. I've made a score for an Australian as well as an Indian film using it. I like to be different and don't believe in imitating other musicians. Fortunately, that's not hard, because I've loved music since childhood. And my mother's had a role to play in that. It's a way of life for me. The sad part is that today we've made music into an ugly monster. Just like we've turned Ram into Ravan. We need to convert him to Ram once again. 

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