Press Reviews

CHANDIGARH TRIBUNE

MONDAY, JUNE 7, 1999
`TV has no time for classical music'
Tribune News Service - Chandigarh

June 6 - "The electronic media has taken to projecting the western culture in a big way and the youth are falling prey to it while becoming increasingly alienated from their own culture and heritage," Satish Vyas, santoor maestro and the son of the renowed vocalist Pandit C.R.Vyas, said here today.

The electronic media has no time to devote to classical music. Even if a slot is allocated, it is usually at some unearthly hour when the whole world is sleeping and performers are deprived of an audience. Further, programmes of classical music are last on the list of various channels, which leaves classical music groping in the dark while performers are left out in the cold, an agitated Satish Vyas opines.

"Money is the name of the game," is the reply Satish Vyas gives to the general lack of interest in promoting this form of music. He explains that sponsors are indifferent to the existence of artists in most performing arts because returns are not large in this case and such performances cater to a select audience, making them less lucrative for investment.

He rues that most of the television footage in concentrated on propagating the western culture while Indian culture has taken a backseat. Speaking on how an interest in classical music can be generated among the youth, Vyas said that a Shubha Mudgal-strategy of coming out with fusion music without compromising on quality will have to be worked out to ensure that the youth take notice of a culture that is slowly vanishing.

"The youth of today will make tomorrow's India and that is why it is important to bridge this gap between them and their culture. It is bound to face into oblivion if things continue the way they are," comments the maestro.

The magic of the 100 strings, the Statatantri Veena, popularly called the santoor, struck a chord within Satish Vyas when he was 12 years of age and thus began his affairs with classical music. "After attending a performance of Pt.Shiv Kumar Sharma, I was transfixed by the sound of the santoor and made up my mind to become a santoor player," he says.

From his own example, Vyas has concluded that if somehow, the youth can be brought to a couple of concerts of classical music, they are bound to fall for its melody and rhythm.

Appreciating the role being played by SPIC MACAY in promoting classical music and bringing it to the youth, he says that his organisation alone, cannot carry the burden for long. "The solution lies in most of the performers in this genre of music, coming together, organising some big concerts, giving soulful renditions and stirring the hearts of audiences, since sponsors are elusive. Though the thought of having mass adulation is a preposterous idea, we will be satisfied and there will be incentive to perform if we get inputs from a handful of connoisseurs of music," he says.

I, Krishna Dhar, was born in Calcutta. I received intensive and ardous training in classical, light classical and light music from various Gurus - e.g. Nalini Das Gupta, Jivan Upadhyaya, Ganendra Chakraborty, Sukhendu Goswami, Amiya Ranjan Bandopadhyay and Pandit Chinmay Lahiri.

I secured `A' Grade in Classical and Light Classical from A.I.R. Calcutta and have been participating in Radio since 1979. I have performed in Music Sammelan of Calcutta and other parts of Bengal. So far as my academic qualification is concerned I received Post-Graduate degree in Philosophy from Jadarpur University and Master of Music (Vocal Classical) from Rabindra Bharati University, Kheyal and `Sangeet Praveen' from Prayag Sangeet Samity, Allahabad. Being merit ______ I performed in Prayag Sangeet Samity.