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Like father, like son

SHAILAJA TRIPATHI
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MUSIC Classical musician Ayaan Ali Khan sheds light on how his famous father and sarod maestro Ustad Amjad Ali Khan has impacted his life

Sarod maestro Amajad Ali Khan and younger son and sarod player Ayaan Ali Khan. — photo: Rajeev Bhatt
Sarod maestro Amajad Ali Khan and younger son and sarod player Ayaan Ali Khan. — photo: Rajeev Bhatt

“What Abba always told us was good music will follow only if you are a good human being first. That’s something we have never forgotten. Etiquette, respecting women and elders were drilled into us by him right from the beginning.

“The emphasis was never on technical dynamics. For instance, if you are not in harmony with your accompanist you can’t create good music. That harmony is possible only if you have that connect and respect for each other. When minds meet, good music follows,” says Ayaan Ali Khan, sarod player and the younger son of sarod maestro Ustad Amjad Ali Khan.

The seventh generation of musicians from the Senia-Bangash gharana with his father and elder brother Amaan Ali Khan features in an upcoming television commercial of the Do Right campaign, launched by Tata Capital Limited, which aims to spread awareness about teaching right ethics to youngsters between the ages of 8 and 12 years.

The campaign’s signature song, “Karein wohi jo ho sahi” is written by Gulzar and has been composed by Shankar Mahadevan, Ehsaan Noorani and Loy Mendonsa. The Khan musicians have created an instrumental version of the song for the ad.

Stepping into their father’s shoes and carrying forward the legacy of sarod, Amaan and Ayaan Ali Khan seem like a perfect choice for the ad. And the young musician feels that he owes much of his success to the value system inculcated by his parents.

“You can’t overlook your parents’ experiences and their journey. One can learn a lot from it.”

Talking about the ad, Ayaan says, “It is about how beautifully the birds fly when you give them freedom and support. Very interestingly the pitch is very high for sarod. We usually play it in C but here we played it in D.”

Now a father of 10-month-old twin sons Zohan and Abir, Ayaan says, like for him and his elder brother, their miniature sarods have come. “They react to music but now it’s too early to inculcate anything into them as they are too small. I just want to spend more time with them before they start calling me uncle.”

SHAILAJA TRIPATHI

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