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Archive for January 2nd, 2011

30 years of Dissidenten (group) – on tour in 2011 with Manickam Yogeswaran (vocal/Kanjira)

Posted by ElJay Arem (IMC OnAir) on January 2, 2011

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Der Hamburger Bürger- u. Ausbildungskanal TIDE sucht zum 1. Mai 2011 eine/einen RadioredakteurIn

Posted by ElJay Arem (IMC OnAir) on January 2, 2011

Originalquelle: Tide TV – Tide 96.0 FM -> Mitmachen -> Jobs

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Indian classical music cartel leaves young artistes in lurch

Posted by ElJay Arem (IMC OnAir) on January 2, 2011

(originally) Published: Sunday, Jan 2, 2011, 2:55 IST
By Yogesh Pawar | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA

The rustle of silk, the smell of jasmine mingling with a bouquet of perfumes emanating from the audience, mixed with the quaint odour of a musty auditorium. The first strains of the tanpura strike up and the artiste clears her throat to sing the first note…

The nip in the air this time of the year has always heralded the season of music concerts. But visit any major concert in the country and the same five or six A-line artistes appear in the list of performers. Why is this happening?

“This is the handiwork of the cartel created by a few big names,” says Benares gharana legend Girija Devi, adding, “Such monopoly is not good for a legacy that should be handed down from generation to generation. If the flow of fresh blood into the art is stopped, it will do irreparable damage.”

The doyenne of thumri feels that artistes in Mumbai and Delhi tend to hog all the limelight. “Organisers use big names as crowd and sponsor magnets. Then it just becomes a huge marketing event,” she rues.

Leading Hindustani classical music event organisers like Mahesh Babu defend this trend. “The idea is to savour performances of the maestros time and again, one performance being very different from the other,” he says. At the same time, there is an audience for other performers too, insists Babu. He says, “For example, we’re hosting an event, Teen Prahar on January 8, which features someone like a Talvin Singh for the first time in a classical concert.” Pt Chhannulal Mishra and Ustad Aashish Khan, who are rarely seen in Mumbai concerts, will also be performing in the festival.

Famous for his no-holds-barred anecdotes mid-performance, Pt Chhanulal Mishra believes that Mumbai has a “gang of artistes” who feel threatened by others. “They will simply push themselves and their cronies to organisers, effectively ensuring that only they get propelled ahead,” he points out. “Artistes like us, who do not spend time hobnobbing with these ‘maestros’, are lucky to get a concert or two,” says Mishra.

For the love of music
Bhavana Sharma, who handles the PR for many of the season’s big-ticket Hindustani classical programmes in Delhi, says that these concerts are purely business decisions and one should not get “overly emotional or romantic” about it. “Do you know what rentals are for auditoriums like the one at Siri Fort?” she asks, “Each artiste will want a to and fro business class flight ticket with some coming up with demands like an extra seat for the tanpura.” According to Sharma, unless she does not have one or two artistes who are established heavy weights, finding sponsors becomes difficult. “We are obviously forced to get someone with whom the top officials of the bank or company would like to get photographed with,” she reveals, “This also ensures that the Rs500-1,000 tickets get sold out first. Everyone knows that most of these people are there to network, envy each other’s jewellery and air their silks.”

However vocalist Aarti Ankalikar laments that the entire edifice of creativity, talent and art is being replaced with one based on lucre and commerce. “Today, festivals and concerts are so commercial that one is shocked to see people who have made it the programme list only on the basis of their PR and marketing skills,” she says, adding, “That this can happen at a time when phenomenal talent is wilting for lack of recognition is very hurtful.”Ankalikar, however, sees little hope. “There is this sinking feeling one gets. Its like the whole genre and the tradition which has survived thousands of years, is suddenly gasping for breath,” she rues.

Event over art
Well-known santoorist Pt Satish Vyas also blames the ‘event mindset’ for the state of affairs. “I can understand that for an event to become a revenue spinning success, it has to be grand,” says the man who is the brain behind the annual Gunidas Sammelan, “But with no scope for small baithaks and mehfils, the new just-initiated do not get enough platforms like they used to until even a decade ago.”

Vyas also points out how many artistes are the
engines who drive these festivals and events.

“Young performers want it to be a viable showcase for their own art, but often have to pander to sponsors and their whims, and give in to demands for the inclusion
of certain artistes,” he laments.

A senior Kolkata sitarist, who agreed to speak anonymously, speaks of his exasperation with having to suffer those who come to concerts for everything else except the music. “This is like Bollywood and superstars, where a few people have monopolised all the top billing dos and so keep getting all the limelight. This in turn means that everybody keeps falling over them, even though there may be noticeable cracks in their supposed talent.”

He cites the example of sarod players Amaan and Ayan and sitarist Anoushka who’ve been able to propel themselves ahead based on their father’s name. “There are so many instances when you will find them off key,” he points out and adds, “Regardless, music companies and organisers still line up to sign them given their heavy-weight lineage.”

One last hope
Mahesh Babu has a different take on this. According to him, the veterans who are a hit on the concert circuit have earned their stripes. “Audiences are always eager to listen to the maestros, given their wide repertoire and sheer mastery. At the same time, this field is not one that can accord instant success/fame. An artiste must work for years on end to achieve a certain level in this field,” he explains.

It is ultimately the quality of audiences that determines the fate of artistes and a musical heritage, feels santoorist Pt Vyas. He cites the example of young Kirana gharana vocalist Jayteerth Mevundi from Hubli in Karnataka. “He’sbarely in his late 30s but he is already the toast of audiences all over. 3,000-seater auditoriums get packed when he performs. All this without a godfather and purely on the basis of his talent,” he points out, adding, “Unfortunately most youngsters, even those with questionable talent, want to straightaway become the next big thing,” he laments.

So is the Indian classical music heritage lost for good? “That’s not true,” insists Pt Vyas, “Audiences can and will finally get this mess sorted. There was never any doubt about that. The only question is when.”

(Source: 01/2011 – DNS – Daily News & Analysis)


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