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Remembering the sitar maestro – Pt. Ravi Shankar

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On the demise anniversary of Pt. Ravi Shankar, tabla artiste Arup Chattopadhyay opens up on his affiliation with the maestro and the artwork of accompaniment

Despite his shut affiliation with Sitar maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar, tabla artiste Arup Chattopadhyay chooses to be self-effacing.

His type whereas enjoying the tabla is understood for its candy tonality, glorious readability of bols and its unobtrusive nature. His sense of rhythm and melody , creativity and his huge expertise come by throughout his solo concert events and grooming his disciples.

Though the pandemic worn out quite a few stage concert events organised to mark the Panditji’s start centenary celebrations by which Arup was to carry out, he has been participating in the on-line occasions that occurred throughout and after the lockdown interval.

Unfazed by these ups and downs he admits, “This unprecedented situation has given me a great opportunity to introspect about my art at peace. After becoming a busy musician in my early twenties, there has been hardly any respite.”

As the son of Pankaj Chattopadhyay, a famend tabla maestro from the well-known steady of Ustad Karamatulla Khan, Pandit Kanai Dutta and Pandit Shankar Ghosh, the younger Arup really perambulated with the tukras and parans of Farukhabad Gharana since his start in 1961. Arup would attend his father’s concert events, hearken to his educating classes and witness the unrelenting spells of riyaaz. By the age of 5, he was able to current what he learnt. After his intense coaching for greater than a decade, Arup was despatched for superior coaching underneath his father’s guru Shankar Ghosh. Since the Gharana was ingrained in him since childhood it was straightforward for Arup to study the nuances with ease.

It was an opportunity encounter with Deepak Chowdhury, a senior disciple of Pandit Ravi Shankar, that laid the basis for Arup’s sturdy affiliation with the sitar maestro. He recounts his first music session with Pandit Ravi Shankar.

“ It was Deepak da who took me to Panditji . I had gone there only to offer my pranams, but Panditji was in a mood to do riyaaz and impart training to Deepak da. He was looking for a tabla and asked me if I had brought one. When I said no, he

added, ‘If your palms are not sweaty already, go to the anteroom and request Kumar (Bose) to lend you a pair of his tabla and play with us!’” That was our first session with Panditji. I used to be stunned to listen to him sing extraordinarily nicely whereas educating,”

He requested Arup to affix in once more the subsequent day. “Upon arrival I saw a gathering of eminent musicians like Pandit VG Jog, Indranil Bhattacharya, Kumar Bose. Pandit ji introduced me to everyone and mentioned my tabla session with him the previous day. It was a lessonthat inspires me to encourage young ones,” added Arup.

Soon after this , Arup got down to London underneath a contract with the Institute of Indian Culture of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. After a yr of educating and concert events in the UK, Arup’s first Indian live performance passed off in 1986. Several educating assignments together with concert events took him to the U.S.

Once throughout such a tour, Pandit Ravi Shankar invited him to Los Angeles to accompany him on the tabla and together with Bickram Ghosh. From then on Arup had carried out with him in lots of concert events and that affiliation lasted nearly for 9 years. .

“Panditji was a living institution. By being with him one could learn a lot. I did . .”

Arup believes that mastery on tonality occurs with unrelenting follow. “The method differs from artiste to artiste. Some choose to play a complete passage or composition full with tihai. His methodology is to shine one explicit facet of enjoying, that too in numerous tempos. An ideal grip on tempo facilitates readability each in padhant and its execution or nikaas, underlines Arup.

The author is a music critic and musicologist.

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