HYDERABAD: The festival will be presenting a unique combination of Pt. Shivkumar Sharma with his son Rahul Sharma on stage in a never seen before jugalbandi. They will be accompanied by Ghatam wizard Vidwan Vikku Vinayakram and renowned Tabla maestro Pt. Anindo Chatterjee and Mukundraj Deo.
In conversation with Santoor maestro Pandit Shivkumar Sharma and Rahul Sharma
Performing together on stage
Panditji: I am very much excited.
Rahul: Yes, after several years we are performing in India together. We are looking forward to being together on stage as father/son guru/disciple
Any ritualistic ways
Panditji: We don’t rehearse before playing together but we do exchange ideas like which raga and composition to be played. I also meditate before going to the concert.
Rahul: Well, closer to the concert we may decide a raga that we’ll play but of course all is improvised on stage and for me meditating before the concert always helps.
Performing in Hyderabad
Panditji: I have been coming to Hyderabad since the last three to four decades. I have always enjoyed playing in Hyderabad.
Rahul: I was in Hyderabad recently for a performance and I always like coming back to Hyderabad as it’s a warm receptive audience
Panditji: It is very difficult to select one place in India or outside India because with the passage of time our music is very well appreciated all over the globe.
Rahul: I recently performed at The Kennedy Centre in Washington. It was good but I think performing at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland for world leaders was memorable.
On today’s music
Panditji: Classical music is not electronic music. We play acoustic instruments.
Rahul: Well, music has changed a lot now and I like experimenting and in today’s digital age even the Santoor has forayed into electronica with my collaboration with Grammy winning electronica group Deep Forest. I personally enjoy all genres of music and it’s but natural for changes in music all the time.
Panditji: As I said, we don’t plan our concerts in advance. Every new concert is a new experience for us as well as the listeners.
Rahul: Well, for me collaborations and experiments and taking Santoor to newer listeners is always exciting.
Performing together on stage after a decade
Panditji: Banyan Tree had presented our duet for the first time in India many years ago. Afterwards it was a conscious decision to go solo and we both have been giving solo concerts around the world. Banyan tree again approached us and persuaded us to come together and play duet for our music lovers who have not heard us for a long time.
Rahul: Banyan Tree is like family and they were the first to get my father and me together on stage in 1996 and after that there was no looking back. We’ve come together in India after almost more than a decade.
Music in life
Rahul: Music was always on my mind more than studies. Though I graduated in economics , music played an integral part of my life having a guru at home itself and for me the Santoor was a very delicate and beautiful sound which became a means of expressing myself
Musician and songwriter
Rahul: Naturally growing up in a music family had so many influences and my interest kept growing from composing , learning classical and practising and watching my father play at home and in concerts was a major influence which shaped me as a musician.