The News Scroll 30 March 2020  Last Updated at 6:03 pm | Source: PTI

Virus: Classical musicians unite for online concert series to chase lockdown blues away

Virus: Classical musicians unite for online concert series to chase lockdown blues away
By Mona Parthsarathi

New Delhi, March 30 (PTI) Hoping that classical music can bring positivity and cheer in times of coronavirus lockdown, Indian classical musicians have come together for an online concert series, "Utsaah #spreadinghappiness".

A brainchild of Durga Jasraj and her Art and Artistes, the series started on the day of Janta curfew on March 22 and will continue till the lockdown on April 14.

The one of its kind series, brings 21 different artistes to perform live from their homes.

"Every situation in life offers an opportunity and in this case, I felt the need to serve people sincerely. If you are born to Pandit Jasraj ji, you trust the power of music and you realise music can heal and spread happiness. It is our attempt to just do that through Indian music until normalcy returns. It may be a drop in the ocean but we are happy that we could do it,” Durga told PTI Bhasha.

Durga said initially they had planned a small set up where they would shoot the video and post it on social media but lockdown announcement led to a change in plans.

"It took us a few days to break that mental barrier to make use of features available on Instagram Live chat where I interview the artiste of the day, followed by a live performance on my FB,” she added.

Grammy award-winner Hindustani classical instrumentalist Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, who is a part of musical web series, will a pay tribute to his guru Pandit Ravi Shankar through his concert.

"There’s nothing better than our music to spread hope, positivity and cheer. Our classical music has the power to purify soul. I will perform on April 7 which is also the 100th birth anniversary of my guru Pandit Ravi Shankar. I will focus on the Ragas created by him. It will also be my tribute to him,” Bhatt, who plays mohan veena, told PTI from Jaipur.

Bhatt said he was to perform at Royal Festival Hall in London on March 22 and had a show in San Diego, US. But the shows had to be cancelled due to the coronavirus spread.

"I am doing ''riyaaz'' (rehearsal) with the help of mobile apps as I don’t have ‘saaj, sangat’ (instruments and company). Now we get tabla, taanpura and swarmandal on app though it cannot give the feeling of ‘sangat’. But at least it is helping in these trying times. I hope this shall pass soon. It is the worst time for musicians across the world,” he added.

"Utsaah" series started with the performance of Sandeep Ranade, a Hindustani classical vocalist and disciple of Pandit Jasraj. His song ”na karo, corona na karo”, composed in raga Basant and in teental, went viral on social media.

“It is a stressful and worrying time and I strongly feel that together we can beat this pandemic. I wanted to spread hope, optimism and solidarity though I had never expected such response. I got messages from all around the world,” said Ranade, a software engineer-turned-classical musician.

"I chose raga Basant as we are entering spring or Basant , the season which brings new energy and positivity," said the musician who created the iOS app NaadSadhana.

Ankita Joshi, a vocalist from Mewati Gharana, wants to keep her performance a secret but she is excited about going live without a studio or ''sangat''.

"Normally, we perform with the ''sangat'' and it was a difficult task to go live without that. We are using mobiles or laptops for recording and performing continuously for 20 minutes. It’s a unique experience altogether and for a noble cause," she said.

"I will sing the popular compositions of my guru Pandit Jasraj whom we call Bapuji,” she said.

Apart from Bhatt, Ranade and Joshi, artistes including Pravin Godkhindi (Flute -Hindustani Classical) Mehtab Ali Niyazi (Sitar - Hindustani Classical) Ambi Subramaniam (Violin- Carnatic Classical) Shashank Subramaniam (Flute - Carnatic Classical) Barnali Chattopadhay (Vocal - Hindustani Classical) Satyendra Singh Solanki and Ramendra Singh Solanki (Santoor & Tabla) will perform in this series. PTI MJ BK BK BK

Disclaimer :- This story has not been edited by Outlook staff and is auto-generated from news agency feeds. Source: PTI
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