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Archive for March 1st, 2012

Presseveröffentlichung: Medienanalyse für Museum in Delhi… (01/03/2012)

Posted by ElJay Arem (IMC OnAir) on March 1, 2012


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Press Release: Media Research for Museum in Delhi (03/01/2012)

Posted by ElJay Arem (IMC OnAir) on March 1, 2012


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FC: Amplifying our voices amid cacophony of noises

Posted by ElJay Arem (IMC OnAir) on March 1, 2012

(re-print from Financial Cronical)

By Anil Dharker (Mumbai) – Mar 01 2012

Go to an Indian classical music concert and at some point, you will see one of the musicians gesture to the sound engineer to raise the level of his mike. However much he flails his arms in silent entreaty, it will be the percussion — generally the tabla — which will dominate, its insistent sound drowning out the more delicate strains of the sitar, yet a musician playing a Beethoven Quartet never has to signal to the sound engineer to change acoustic levels.

Why? Because western mus­icians are more meticulous about adjusting amplification levels before the start of the programme? No. It’s because western classical musicians do not use an amplification system at all.

These thoughts came to me when I read an interview with Kunal Kapoor, who has now taken over the reins of Prithvi Theatre from his sister Sanjna. “At the Prithvi you don’t need mikes,” he said, explaining why he planned to have more Indian classical music concerts at Prithvi in the coming years. According to him, mikes and their associated paraphernalia are not needed and the sound is that much purer.

As it happens, any good auditorium is designed precisely to do that: If Prithvi does not need amplification, a theatre three times its audience capacity such as NCPA’s Tata, doesn’t need it either. Yet even maestros such as Ravi Shankar and Zakir Husain, both from different generations, cannot now perform without using acoustic enhancement.

I am sorry if I am boring you with a subject this column has brought up before. But it needs asking again and again why Indian musicians who are purists in every other way. Why they are so enamoured of raising the volume of their music when their western counterparts don’t? Does it — dare I say it? — come from a state of insecurity? Jazz and Rock musicians believe in blasting the ears of their audiences, but that’s because their music relies neither on the purity of a note nor on the exactitude of phrasing. Surely, Ravi Shankar and Zakir Husain are closer to Arturo Rubenstein and Lang Lang than John Coltrane and Mick Jagger?

Last week, this column mentioned the Opera performances at NCPA’s Jamshed Bhabha theatre. Did the soprano singing from a large stage to an audience of over a thousand people have a mike hidden in her cleavage? No she didn’t. Nor did the tenor or the mezzo, the baritone or the bass. And the lower frequencies of the two Bs (baritone and bass) must be really difficult to project to the last row in the auditorium. But they manage with effortless ease because that’s what they are trained to do.

Enough said. I am no fuddy duddy old timer asserting that all technical innovations are wicked. They are not. But sometimes they are not necessary and they are most emphatically not necessary for Ravi Shankar and Zakir Husain and their peer group.

Which brings us to the use of amplifiers in general. We live in a busy part of Mumbai. At 6.45 in the morning the loudspeaker blares with the call of the muezzin from our right. In the evening there is a Satya Narayan puja in the building on our left and the loudspeaker blasts away again. Later, more loudspeakers spring into action as someone gets married or has a child, or celebrates 60 years of life, or just plain wants to make a racket. Aren’t all these events personal and private? Yet each celebrant believes that the louder the sound the greater his celebration.

Yet, were there any mikes when Islam became a religion? In fact was there any electricity around? When the Hindu priest goes Swaha, why does the entire neighbourhood need to hear his incantation?

Yes we are noisy people. Mo­re the reason why the Prithvis, the Tatas and the Bhabhas must not only encourage music without amplification, they sho­uld insist on it.

(Source: 1st March 2012 – Financial Chronicle –

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