Dec 9, 2005

Sawai Gandharva


George said...

what classical music really needs is some marketing, since it isn't something that immediately appeals to the majority (after all, commerce thrives from numbers). In addition to the art, the performers also have the responsibility of bridging this divide and making it "cool" for people. After all,
commerce thrives from numbers.
Quite a few performers simply let their talent speak; if you're already tuned into classical music, their talent and worth is rather obvious. But for the uninitiated, there's often nothing to latch onto. On the other hand, you have people like Zakir Hussain who have managed to draw a lot more people into the space. The quality of the audience is something that ceases to be in their control at this point. In some sense, it's a compromise for the greater good -- a larger audience for the art form.

This means that popular/mainstream media have the mix just right: the content and audience compliment each other;)

On a Sawai note: did you catch Dr. Arawind Thatte on harmonium? Breathtaking moments guaranteed.

Anonymous said...

I agree with George. Marketing is needed. There is nothing in the market for classical newbies, absolutely nothing. On the other hand, I have seen some Mozart / Beethoven CDs costing a few dollars released by some unknown Canadian company.
I am looking for a good classical 101.

drsundeep said...

I whole heartedly agree with all of you regarding the issue of popularity of Pop music channels. Just by banning them we can't popularize classical music. George hits the nail on its head - Classical music needs proper marketing. You go to any music shop and enquire about CDs of A-Grade artistes and you're told that it costs anywhere between 250-500 bucks, SHUCKS! Why should anyone purchase these CDs when pop albums are selling for 80 - 90 bucks?
When you attend a western music concert, you are given a complete itenerary of the performance, including information about the peices being played. Did you get any such info' 8 Sawai Gandharwa Fest? I too have attended every one of the SG fests when v were 8 Pune from 1980-1999, but never was there a proper info' about the artiste, the ragas he/she's going 2 play/sing etc.
Finally, classical music, isn't something which everyone can actually enjoy. How many in the west actually listen to western classical? Appreciation of the fine arts needs that type of social upbringing also. How can a lower middle class family enjoy a concert or a recording if they are involved all the year round in making 2 ends meet? Its become fashionable these days 2 lay the blame squarely on music channels!

Anand said...

I beg to differ, Sir.
What you say about performances of maestros being better that second rung is felt only in a live concert. If one were to listen live, then the difference cannot be spotted.
So perhaps taking on from George, what makes these p's special in the first place is the marketing--so you feel you are witnessing something special.

Prashant said...

I guess, along with marketing, you need to inform people about the very basics of raag and taal.. I was initiated by a SPIC-Macay concert where the top violinist N Rajam just taught basic concepts of Raag (so basic that a guy like me without any training could understand). With that basic knowledge, the music generally grows on you when you can make out when a mukhda comes for example. I still sometimes cannot appreciate the 'Alaap' part, but as I hear more and more, I appreciate more and more.

I guess this kind of knowledge needs to be more easily available.. a good idea would be websites with that knowledge which plays parts of a composition, explain what the part means and then puts it all together.
I have yet to see such a website. Someone who has basic classical music training could do this.