Saturday, October 29, 2011

One Night @ The Students' Activity Centre

The hands moved swiftly and with some kind of a surgical precision. Yet they were effortless. The privilege to see them move that way was extraordinary. The experience to ‘hear’ them move was out of the world! The audience were giving thunderous applause in numerous occasions. It was a magical night of santoor concert by Pandit Shivkumar Sharma on the 19th of October, 2011 organized by SPIC MACAY (Society for Promotion of Indian Classical Music and Culture Amongst Youth).The Venue was SAC (Students’ Activity Centre) in IIT Madras.

 Pandit Shivkumar Sharma was playing Vachaspati rag in Hindustani style which essentially originated in carnatic form. The music from the santoor and the tabla from Pandit Ram Kumar Mishra was pure bliss. Next Pahadi rag followed accompanied by dadra and teen taal.The change of notes were so very subtle and it made the overwhelming trance of music spread to every nook and corner of the hall. Many admirers sat on the ground just to be close to the santoor maestro who is regarded as one of the most prolific performers of Indian Classical music in modern times. Actually, Pandit Shivkumar Sharma is the one who brought santoor in the Indian classical music sphere. Previously the instrument was widely viewed as folly in conservative quarters. But he persisted, experimented, and popularized his instrument. And In 1967, he teamed up with flautist Hariprasad Chaurasia and Brij Bhushan Kabra to produce a concept album, Call of the Valley (1967) which turned out to be one of the greatest hits in Indian classical music.

Pandit Shivkumar Sharma is the recipient of many national and international awards including the Sangeet Natak Akademi  Award in 1986, the Padma Shri in 1991, and the Padma Vibhushan in 2001.
Contributed by:
Mauryanath Das, DoMS Interface
Class of 2013

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