Bonding Voices Blending Strings


photo3He is pretty weak – one might say, fragile – these days. For the necessary movements, he prefers to walk on his own, holding on to wall and furniture rather than take human help. Failing eyesight makes it difficult for him to recognize people unless they come close under bright light. The speech falters and one wonders if he is meeting the famed musician and composer who carved his signature in playing Santoor and created a whole new choir based on Indian classical music. Pt. Omprakash Chourasiya, one of the senior players of Santoor, established Madhukali Vrind with the express of reviving the ancient tradition of orchestration and choral singing. Instead of Vedic hymns he chose poems of national poets. All these poets, in their own way, had contributed to enriching the modern Hindi language.

They often find a token space in text-books of school children but with changing norms, values and concerns, the poetic wisdom and linguistic excellence find little patronage. The literary Hindi, for which scholars worked over a hundred years, failed to percolate to masses, with local dialect as strong contender everywhere.  Conversant with the appeal of the dialects – Bundelkhandi in Sagar, Bhojpuri in Benares – Omprakash ji could also appreciate the power of thought in the poets’ Hindi. These were modern mantras that needed to reach the people. And therefor, he decided to compose these ‘challenging’ ‘unpronounceable’ ‘terse’ words using an equally intellectual music system – the Raga compositions. The time-honoured compositions of Nirala, Prasad, Mahadevi, Dinkar and others were composed as choral songs and presented live in ever-growing numbers. It was at Bharat Bhavan that these classical-based poems rang throughout the city with 5,000 school children singing them. It is the thunder of those songs that can be espied in tremors in his present voice. Granting the poems, the music, the idea of choral singing a new lease of life, a novel garb and renewed vitality, Pt. Chourasiya has uncomplainingly limited himself to confines of his artistic home.

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One Response to “Bonding Voices Blending Strings”

  1. Neela Bhagwat says on :

    It is very good piece .Very realistic and written with so much warmth ,it is very moving .
    Neela Bhagwat

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