Tuesday, October 14, 2003

An evening with Pt Sanjeev Abhyankar

ICMS concluded their official 2003 season with a vocal performance by the young and amazingly talented Pandit Sanjeev Abhyankar accompanied by Harshad Kanetkar on Tabla and Ajay Joglekar on Harmonium (whose incessantly fluid runs and followons reminded me of Jon Lord). The performance started off at 2:30pm, adding an afternoon flavour to the choice of raags, which, thanks to some audience feedback, stayed far away from stuff usually performed and already heard (in previous concerts this year): an informal warmup in Chhaayaa Nat, Madhuva.ntii, Kalaavatii, Baageshrii, Megh, a bhajan each by Kabiir and Raamadaas Samarth, and finally an Eknaath gavLaN, before ending with Bhairavii.

A post-concert dinner allowed me to chat with PSA, and it was as casual as a typical kaTTaa conversation. I asked him about his work with Vishal and got a lot back: How his image as an established "prodigy" in Hindustani classical music prevented a lot of work coming his way (simply because most people would ask "kyaa ye gaa_e.Nge?"). How Vishal approached him for the brief alaap in Maachis, and how the more elaborate contribution on Godmother garnered him the National Award (which incidentally had more merit than the other awards being dished out to popular mainstream cinema simply because he was close to being a nobody in the film playback circuit). He even talked about his work with Vishal on a commercial for mineral water (I was lost here; being away from India means zero information about the latest in TV ads!). And then we got to Maqbool. Yes, he has a song on the album (as do Daler Mehndi -- who last collaborated with Vishal on Chupke Se and Sadhana Sargam). He was very very satisfied with his work, and there's hope for another National Award. The film and its soundtrack are on my list, but I have to wait till next month for anything more to come out.

While on the subject of Maqbool, JR unearths an interesting angle from the connection-monger's POV.

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