My guruji has recently embarked on a project to help young and less known artists reach the mass who listen to Hindustani Classical Music. Though recent acquaintances made over the internet show rays of hope, I still believe HCM is a dying art. Moreover, the handful of people who do listen to Classical Music, listen to a small number of artists only.
They are both ignorant about the fraction of the past glory that exist in rare recordings, as well as the upcoming generation who might possess some promise. Well, we cannot do much about the heritage other than digitizing the recordings and labeling them with format MPEG II/Layer3.
Those who keep up with the core circles (primarily in Calcutta) and want to make a living by doing music only, are facing a challenge. I can hardly name more than two vocalists who have shown promise in the public sense during the past decade. People aren't eager to take up music as a career very easily. I cite one case at hand. I have met quite a few people over the past decade while taking lessons from my guruji. He, and people around had hopes. A few left music, some came to the US to pursue grad studies. The less brighter still continue taking lessons. Some people who have taken the risk are on their way to oblivion due to lobbying, politics and big organizations like the SRA who have not served the purpose that they were set up for.
My guruji and a few of his friends have started this organization that would focus on bringing unknown talents on stage. I am not sure about it's future, but it shows courage. Some hope too. Here's its vision.
‘Dithi’ is an organization born primarily out of love and admiration for Indian Classical Music. ‘Dithi’ embodies a vision. Staying within the bounds of our music, ‘Dithi’ aims at celebrating its magnificence, rediscovering its depths and reveling in its intricacies.
Even today, we get to hear good music from many who have not had their share of recognition. The promise of talent and good music is all that ‘Dithi’ rests its hope upon. It must be interpreted as an attempt to reaffirm our faith in the expanse and the future of Indian Classical Music. In its own humble ways, it desires to explore the possibilities that await our music. It desires to look beyond the apparent horizon of our music.
Perhaps, in course of time, ‘Dithi’ will make us look beyond, but not without your help. ‘Dithi’ needs the material and moral support of the lovers of Indian Classical Music. It cannot take a single step forward unless your advice, inspiration and patronage spur it on. It is your presence that it calls out for. It is your hand that its vision seeks. ‘Dithi’ needs you. On behalf of ‘Dithi’, we send an appeal out to all of you. We request you to come forward – we request you to make a success out of Dithi’s imperfect beginnings.
A couple of days ago, the inaugural concert of this community was held at the Birla Academy on the Southern Avenue. Though it aims at fostering the young talent, the first concert hosted a recital by the veteran Pandit Buddhadev Dasgupta, maestro of the lineage of Ustad Murad Ali Khan, Ustad Mohammad Ameer Khan and Pandit Radhika Mohan Maitra, doyens of the Rampur Senia Gharana. I have heard that the concert was a success and witnessed the presence of a few stars like Ustad Rashid Khan.
I appeal to young and old, and the few readers I have left to be a member of this community and help forward this heritage of our country. The annual membership fee is Rs. 250, that translates to about $6. If you are eager to be a part of this process, please comment. Otherwise too, comments are welcome.
Cross posted on fflush(stdthoughts);, my personal blog.