The Enchanting age old Sarangi and the young Maestro Kamal Sabri.
Press Clippings     

Thursday, January 31, 2002

'World' music is here

Finnish artists Minna Raskinen flanked by Jukka Tolonen (left) and Kamal Sabri of India who are to perform at Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata

FUSION IS what the world calls it. But "contemporary" and "world" music is how this group of musicians like to describe it. That they play instruments that carry the tag of being "traditional" in a musical world that is fast moving towards the modern area of "ready-made" popular packages is something that does not really bother them. Striking the right notes is, after all, what these musicians do best.

It is not often that one gets to hear the melodies of the sarangi mingling with the pulsating tunes of the guitar, the rhythmic beats of drums and tabla and the captivating and soothing notes of the kantele.

Which is what probably makes, "Striking Notes", a presentation from the house of the Embassy of Finland and Indian Council for Cultural Relations different.

Unfolding at the Kamani Auditorium this Saturday, the musical presentation will see some of the world's best musicians sharing the stage. Featuring Finnish artists Minna Raskinen, Jukka Tolonen, Markku Ounaskari and India's Kamal Sabri, Ustad Shafaat A. Khan and Pandit Anindo Chatterjee, the extravaganza will have both solo and synchronised compositions and will travel to Mumbai and Kolkata later.



For Minna, Who has been playing Finland's oldest folk instrument kantele since the age of 10 adapting to the Indian tune was not really easy. "Although I did learn Carnatic music for a few months, I found it difficult to adapt to the Indian classical format. When we started working on this performance, the biggest challenge was to find a meeting point for our music," the singer reveals.

For guitarist Tolonen, the first brush with Indian classical music was only natural. The self-confessed Beatles fan simply followed George Harrison's passion for India and discovered the rich music of the country. He may not share the same enthusiasm for Indian culture as Harrison, but when it comes to blending the West with East, he knows it only too well.

As sarangi player Kamal Sabri likes to put it: "We have done our best and created the compositions with an open mind. Hopefully it will be liked".

And as Minna adds: "There will be always singers who will use their talent for purely commercial gains. But not everyone is like that. It is important for us to ensure that traditional music does not die out with death of the old masters."


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