fine footsteps...Kamal Sabri with father Ustad Sabri
He scoffs at classical musicians who indulge in showmanship
on the stage to win over new admirers. And vows to stay honest
to his father's teachings. Welcome to the world of Kamal Sabri
where the past sits easy with the present…
'People should value my work, not just admire the jacket
of the album. I want to take time to launch my album. Work
is more important than mere profile.'
"Sarangi has never been a popular instrument. It is very neglected
instrument. Very few people regard it as a solo instrument."
"However, gradually, I would like to change all that. My
performances abroad have enthused me, thrilled me into believing
that it may be difficult, but it is possible."
"When you are a classical musician or singer, you are not
supposed to be jumping around on the stage simply because
sur is crucial to classical music. This music is the truth,
it is pious, derived as it is from the Shastras. After all,
it is Shastra sangeet."
"When a singer decides to take up a popular form of expression,
people come to see him or her, not listen to him or her."
"Music is my virasat. Half the respect I command is derived
from my lineage. But I know, ultimately, it is my performance,
which will matter. But I cannot let my ancestors down."
"I don't agree with people who say that audiences for classical
music are diminishing. People understand Indian classical
music even in Holland!"
Impressed? Welcome then to the world of a Political Science
graduate from Delhi University! No, they don't teach you how
play the tabla or to strike the right notes even as they concentrate
on Marx and Weber.
But it helps to be the seventh generation classical musician
from your family. It helps to be the son of Ustad Sabri Khan
as well. As does some 'taleem' in the Sainia Gharana of Rampur-Moradabad.
It helps to be Kamal Sabri, voted
the Young Maestro by the Indo-Sri Lankan Cultural Council
sometime back. And if life were a series of self-help exercises,
he would probably clinch all the issues in his favour.
After all, the 25-year-old handsome
musician, has cared to step beyond the rarefied environs of
lineage, though he acknowledges its role in a candid manner.
"I did Political Sciences Honours from DAV College mainly
to learn something beyond music as well." Then on second thoughts,
he adds, "But, don't worry, my politics is also musical!"
Planning to have four concerts
in Delhi and Kolkata, Sabri is soon going to be part of fusion
music with his counterparts from Finland lending their rhythm
to his sarangi.
Sabri...aiming at newer horizons.
Incidentally, he has just returned from a concert tour of
Europe where he gave 10 solo concerts.
He represented India in 'The
Art of the Bow' show in Geneva last year and made history
by becoming the youngest performer in the millenium concert--24
Hours of Raga in France.
"You can bring tradition into
fusion. But you cannot bring fusion into tradition," is now
defends the charges that he may be guilty of diluting classical
"I started my 'riyaaz' from the
age of five years. My first performance came up when I was
13. My father taught me how to play, how to live life. I cannot
be dishonest to his teachings."
If lineage be any guarantee of
melody, play on. After all, a music album is just round the