Classical music not dying, says Ustad Amjad Ali Khan
Mumbai: Sarod maestro Ustad Amjad Ali Khan says it is a fallacy to say that Indian classical music is dying and feels that even the western audience has adapted to our music.
"Over a period of time, the western audience has adapted to Indian classical music. The beautiful aspect about western audience is that after a concert they give standing ovation for 10-15 minutes," Khan said.
"Indian classical music became popular because of great musicians like Tansen, Baiju Bawra, Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan, Ustad Amir Khan, Pandit Bhimsen Joshi and Pandit Ravi Shankar. Music became popular and interesting. I don't agree when people say Indian classical music is dying," Khan told reporters.
The 65-year-old maestro, who gave his first sarod recital at the age of six, said, "The fact that Amaan and Ayaan (his two sons) of this generation are accepted by the people of India and overseas means music is not dying. There are ups and downs in every field. So you can't say that some art form is dying and some is not. Classical music is like sun and other genres of music are like rays of sun.”
"There was a challenge and taboo to play a song on the sarod as it was always highly technical and highly grammar-oriented. But from my young days, I always wanted to sing through the sarod. I am the first sarod player who started playing 'Vaishnav Jan To' on the instrument and then I made an album for children where I played 'We Shall Overcome' and 'Old MacDonald'," he said.
The sarod maestro has collaborated with Amaan, Ayaan and American artist Carrie Newcomer on his latest album 'Everything is Everywhere'.
"It is a unique blend of folk music and sarod. It is not exactly a fusion album. For Indian audience, it is different to see my father accompanied by my brother and me with English songwriter Carrie and for the western audience what is different is to see sarod in this space," Amaan said.
"It will be interesting to see what kind of response the album gets. I hope people enjoy listening to it," said Ayaan.
"I think the younger generation does connect with classical music and enjoy it. There has always been a massive attendance of youth in our concerts," he added.