Stalwarts in music were prone to make a trite remark to a novitiate eager to impress – “Prove through performance not by idle talk”. Often did pupils of Dr. Lalmani Misra hear this remark and were motivated to devote themselves to their art. As Dean, Music & Performing Arts and Fine Arts, he introduced a weekly concert where a teacher and a student were selected to present recital each Thursday. He insisted on breaking the monotony of self-same Riyaz through such innovative practices. Madhukali, in keeping with thought and practices of its mentor, has sought ways and means to energize practice and appreciation of music. To mark the tenth anniversary of UNESCO Convention for Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage, Madhukali planned this year’s activities to start with teaching of music. Click here to view a clip of Workshop in progress
One of Madhukali’s friend and supporter, late Dr. Chandrakant Sardeshmukh had expressed his wish to see a Sitar in every willing hand. When Dr. Pooja Sardeshmukh decided to give flesh to her departed husband’s ideas, Madhukali eagerly offered its support. Dr. Ragini Trivedi began interacting with students who were learning with the departed artiste. Dr. Trivedi designed the syllabus for an intense Guru-Shishya learning experience. Dr. Chandrakant Sardeshmukh Music Academy had been giving an annual award to a talented artiste. In keeping with Madhukali’s vision of providing visibility to safeguard intangible heritage, it was decided to organize a function – Nava Swar (Novel Notes) – to invite the awardees for a public function. On one hand it emphasized the relationship between Dr. Chandrakant Sardeshmukh Music Academy and the young artiste it recognized; on other, the awardees performance would fire the dreams of other youngsters.
In continuation with the recital, Nava-Swar, the intense Sitar Workshop, designed and supervised by Dr. Ragini Trivedi is certain to provide a first glimpse into mysteries of Indian Classical Music to young and even the adult listeners who get motivated enough to try out Sitar for themselves. To assist Dr. Trivedi, Smita Tanshikar (Ahmednagar), a virtuoso in Misrabani style, and Urmila Apte, initiated in intricacy of Sitar by Smt. Annapurna Devi would be present in the intensive morning and afternoon sessions on 24th-27th February.
In past, such workshops have benefitted students from Japan, Australia, U.K. and of-course from across India. They are supported by close family members of Chandrakant and Pooja Sardeshmukh, friends and well wishers. Umesh Moghe, who used to accompany Chandrakant on Tabla is there with his students. Continuing the affection their head of family, late Yusuf Mirajkar felt for Dr. Sardeshmukh, brother Zakir and son Sajid work on existing Sitar-s and supply absolutely fresh pieces for the workshop. Sajid has ben trying to obtain Dr. Trivedi’s book, Raga Vibodh Misrabani for workshop students and other musicians who visit his shop and inquire about source for string compositions. These workshops organized at Amruta, (Ashok Path, Erandwane, Pune) also serve as meeting point for local artistes, scholars and enthusiasts to interact with visiting academics and practitioners. It is a treat to students to listen to practitioners discuss their style / gharana / technicality of art in impromptu yet academic manner. Enthusiasts travel from far-off corners to savour such rare yet deep deliberations.
The workshop, together with Chandrakant Sitar Award, would raise the visibility of Classical music on Sitar. Over the years, the hazing boundaries between popular and the standard has done away with intrinsic qualities and practices of Indian strings. The sound of instrument has gained attention over musical content. In trying to imitate and mix sound-phrases, instrumentalists are distancing themselves from consonance-based note-as-unit Indian classical music system. If allowed unabated, the growth in Tantrakari – Maseetkhani, Razakhani, Misrabani – would get stunted, even forgotten and Indian instruments would be one among the thousands, cherished now-and-then for its tonal quality. Madhukali hopes that with such endeavors as Chandrakant Sitar Award the musical talent would be reintroduced to challenges of the art, giving them space to grow.