It’s time to ponder for all classical musicians that what has went wrong in their profession?
Dear friends, this is not a mere article or my despondency about life or Indian Classical music scene (I am indeed not the one ever feeling failed from such things) but it’s my experience and encounter with facts of music in last 10 years, which I see created a lots of anarchy, confusion in young classical aspirants and that bothers me as a music career counselor, whenever I counsel them.
Let me put some facts,
There is a generation of music (a Gharana) whom I see to be my inspiration and whose children (the legacy carrier), with an awesome classical talent. The ones who steps in Delhi University (DU) to get certificate just because it can come as a freebie to them and thus they can have many more academic options further, the real music passionate, the exponent of Indian classical music, the leaders who deserved such talents due to their family sacrifice and generation in music. They are like it because the music has prevailed in their families’ blood since generations and they listened to it much before they came out from their mother’s womb.
And they are the ones I found doing job in call centres and learning slangs for effective communication?
There is another generation of performers I know who are brilliant demonstrators, brilliant teachers who sacrificed their music degrees (and learnt under guru-shishya tradition) because they know they are learning under a National Awarded Guru, who will not let them fall but establish them, and thus giving 25 years of their life to completely master every aspect of their instrument
But today without shows, support and no money in pockets rather a deep hurted nail of low self esteem, anger, frustration.
The 3rd number of generation of freelance artists passionate (the female artists i.e. males counterpart unlike above two), who are commercially labelled as classical experts, the ones who were born privileged, blessed as more than a student in music, whom I have seen doing large level of shows representing thousands of audience at once, finally found doing some pop songs show and keeping an IT job that is turning into a priority with time.
Many upcoming professors pursuing PhD. in DU ask me, visits me for a wider career perspective (after having spent 10 years consistently & as dedicated in Indian classical i.e. from Graduation to Masters, Mphil & now PhD in music)
But very eager to diversify, feeling as bored with classical.
And who are these people, they are teachers, exponents of classical music and treasurer of Indian classical music heritage. They are the music gods to a many students, inspiration & mirror to the new generation. They are music carriers of their family culture & technical skills.
In a recent classical book I found, authored by Chandra Mani Upadhaya, where he wrote a very demeaning thing about Sitar (in a known and famous sitar book), he wrote that Sitar instrument, when played properly, has the quality of Spanish guitar”. This is the most foolish & incorrect statement I have ever heard to define sitar, because it has described the royal, the godly tone of Sitar music in its utmost fluency and zenith = Guitar. What are you representing about Indian classical music to global music community? What’s message is it giving to Indian students? As I have played both instruments for years and I can say that No instrument can match the slide beauty of Sitar ever and Sitar can’t match Guitar. Both are different instruments in characteristics and expression of music and hold no reference point to prove each other. These statements are really dangerous & deluding for students of classical music.
My point to all classical musicians is that are we missing something? Or forgetting something?
To be continued…
(Copyrighted, Authored by Kapil Srivastava, Kapil@guitarmonk.com).
[Kapil – Music Career Counselor, Musician, Entrepreneur]