Everything is Everywhere a `collaboration`: Amjad

Kolkata: Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, who has collaborated with his two sons --Amaan, Ayaan and American artist Carrie Newcomer on his new album, says it is a unique blend of folk music and sarod.

The album is releasing in India in October.

"Everything is Everywhere, is a project of the three of us and the American folk artiste. We hope to make it a listening experience," Khan told PTI in an interview.

"This is unique for folk/country music being collaborated with the sarod in a whole album which is set to be launched by October or a little earlier," Khan said.

Asked whether this could be called a fusion between two genres of music, the Padma Bibhushan recipient replied, "The word fusion has become so cheap. So instead of fusion, I call it collaboration. It`s like giving respect to each other`s traditions."

The recording had taken place a few months ago in the Indiana province in the US.

Khan referred to the first sarod concerto `Samagam`, meaning a confluence of different strands of cultures, which had been recorded at a church in Edinburgh where the acoustics were very good.

"My recent collaboration was with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. It was a very touching symphony. They invited me to compose their symphony," he said explaining how music could connect the world.

"There are two strands of music in this world. One is based on pure sound and it is the purest form of music, which connects you with God," Khan said.

An admirer of Rabindranath Tagore, he said he was looking forward to working with young, talented singers of Bengal for future collaboration in Tagore music and regretted the demise of Tagore exponent Suchitra Mitra who was a friend of over two decades.

Asked why he was looking for young artists, he said, "It will be an encouragement to them. I have conveyed this message to recording companies."

On the bard of Bengal, he said, "Most Tagore songs are based on classical ragas, but he took liberty in adding more notes. It becomes more beautiful. Only a genius can take such liberty."

Khan explained how he chose `Kon Khela je...`, `Ami Tarei Khuje Berai...` Tagore numbers for the 10-day Kolkata concert with sons Amaan and Ayaan.

On bonding with his two sons with whom he performed at a classical concert here, the Bangabibhushan awardee said, "I hope my children see me young.

"It is that I am like friends to them," he said on the two Khan juniors who had penned the book `Abba: God`s greatest gift to us` in 2002.

Khan, the sixth generation sarod player in his family, referred to the age difference with his father Ustad Hafiz Ali Khan, a musician of the royal family of Gwalior who received musical tuition from descendants or followers of Mian Tansen "As the youngest child I saw my father old enough.

Though chronologically we are of the same generation my eldest brother was much older than me. My children see me young. We are performing together," Khan remarked.

Khan, who believes in surrendering oneself to God, Guru and music, recalled his debut in 1958 in Kolkata, "a city where the audience really understands the nuances of classical notes."

The sarod maestro appealed to the government to give recognition to classical musicians when they were at their peak instead of at a later stage.

"Filmstars, sportspersons get awards in their young age, but in the classical field the government usually waits till they attain the age of 70," he said.

Khan also advocated giving recognition to the mothers of those who excelled in various fields. "Why can`t Sachin (Tendulkar)`s mother not be considered for Padma award?" Khan wondered.

"Mother is the first guru of the child. Why can`t the homemaker mom get the recognition she deserves?" he asked.


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