In tune with GenNext

Updated: Feb 18, 2020, 09:23 IST | Dalreen Ramos | Mumbai

A unique concert in collaboration with percussionist Taufiq Qureshi and city-based music venture The Sound Space to see 150 students across schools and NGOs jam

Qureshi with son Shikhar Naad at a rehearsal in Lower Parel earlier this month. Pics/ Bipin Kokate
Qureshi with son Shikhar Naad at a rehearsal in Lower Parel earlier this month. Pics/ Bipin Kokate

Rooted in Persian, Aamad or "entrance" in Indian classical music signifies the first breath, a graceful entrance, before reaching the sam, ie the first strike, in a taal. Tomorrow, the term serves as the name of a concert put together by The Sound Space (TSS) in collaboration with percussionist Taufiq Qureshi, who along with his band Surya and Mumbai Stamp will also perform alongside over 150 students aged above three years.

On a Saturday afternoon, when we drop by a rehearsal in Chowpatty, the excitement is palpable. There's a lot of chatter around costumes, which we later learn have been designed by TSS co-founders Kamakshi and Vishala Khurana, and the practice sessions proceed in batches comprising children from schools and NGOs. The Khurana sisters conduct the rehearsal with infectious energy — no one is bored and even a three-year-old is giving the singing her best shot. When the energy dips for a second, the adults cheekily say, "If Taufiqji plays the djembe like this, no one will attend."

The show has been in the works for six months, and Qureshi readily came on board five months ago. Talking about what the audience can expect to hear, Kamakshi says, "There's a piece by Taufiqji's band Mumbai Stamp [comprising drummers who use waste material as instruments] which has been specially conceived for the show. Even Rhydhun, drawing from his debut album, has been modified according to what the children can do," while Vishala adds, "I think children can do more [on stage] because they don't know what they're doing. They don't really know how tough the raag they're singing is. If that were me, I would be under so much stress."

Qureshi has specially conceptualised and adapted pieces for the concert
Qureshi has specially conceptualised and adapted pieces for the concert

Anika Chandra, a 14-year-old student from Dhirubai Ambani International School tells us that she along with her friend Anya have worked on getting five children from the Jai Vakeel School in Parel that caters to intellectually disabled children to join in on a piece at the event. "My mom pushed me to study Indian classical music. It helps me in every aspect of life. I'm having a blast and do not feel like stopping," she says.

Along with his son Shikhar Naad, Qureshi's Indian classical fusion band Surya will also be a part of the concert delivering world percussions coupled with Indian rhythms on the djembe, Hindustani melodies on the sarod, and supported by the keyboard. Happy to see the efforts the kids are putting into the performance, the legendary percussionist says, "I believe that knowledge needs to be shared. I have been imparting the knowledge that my father [Ustad Alla Rakha] has passed on to me, to the GenNext for the past 20 years, be it through rhythm or singing. This knowledge is universal and I want to try and be one with the kids."

Vishala and Kamakshi Khurana teach Indian classical music in a deconstructed form to both, children and adults. PICS/BIPIN KOKATE
Vishala and Kamakshi Khurana teach Indian classical music in a deconstructed form to both, children and adults

So, the concert's title 'AAMAD 2020', here, is also a metaphor. "For the children it's like an entrance into the world of Indian music," says Kamakshi, while Qureshi remarks, "This is the entry of their world into my world. I feel like these two worlds will become one and maybe go a long way."

On February 19, 6.30 pm
At Nehru Centre Auditorium, AB Nair Road, Worli.
Log on to bookmyshow.in
Cost Rs 590 onwards

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