How does one define innovation in music? How can a performer draw contemporary audiences while staying entrenched in his/her classical heritage? What characterises originality in a live performance? What makes audiences return to classical music? Is it the number of new pieces churned out in a year or a new album?
Sanjeev Abhyankar, a protégé of Pandit Jasraj, is well known for ‘Jasrangi’, a musical specialty of his making. Besides this, though, his ability to connect with his audiences is the result of his spontaneous on-stage innovation. The freshness of his music comes from a deep love for his craft and his understanding of himself as, first and foremost, a ‘performer’. Abhyankar believes he has a duty towards his audience that keeps him focused on entertainment but with a difference.
Unassuming, charming and extremely passionate, Abhyankar will break into song at any opportunity, even in the middle of a conversation. “Innovation is about exploiting even 5-7 notes to the best of your ability. A musical composition can sound different each time it is performed on stage, just by finding a range between those few notes. This is what I take joy in. This is what brings people back to my kind of music,” he says. His style is soulful, dipping into tradition and bhakti — he has always been popular for the Abhangs that punctuate his concerts — and staying true to the Mewati gharana.
Abhyankar will treat his fans to two concerts in Bangalore and will be accompanied by Vyasmurti Katti on the harmonium and Viswanath Nakod on the tabla. Organised by Bhoomija, which curates musical programmes in Bangalore, these concerts follow the concept of the performance travelling to the audiences.
Bottomline: Unearthing eclectic treasures in music.
Sanjeev Abhyankar in Concert
Where: Jagriti Theatre, Whitefield Road and MLR Convention Centre, Brigade Millennium Campus, JP Nagar, Bangalore
When: January 25 @ 8.00 p.m. and January 26 @ 7.00 p.m.
More details: Call 080-4124 2879 or 080-40182222