Thursday, April 23, 2009

Rahul Sharma: Santoor Player unwinds for an interview

Rahul Sharma Santoor Player
“What’s life without a challenge? If I had to live off my father’s fame and money, I’d get bored in two months.” That’s Rahul Sharma — young, energetic and unconventional. The younger son of santoor maestro Pandit Shivkumar Sharma may not have kickstarted his musical career at a very early age, but the extra time has only helped him find his forte. The classical musician who’s Mumbai-based, is travelling all across the country for a series of concerts.

“Ever since I was a child, I was inclined towards music. But I realised it was important to master an instrument before diversifying into other areas,” says Rahul. All of 32, with 25 albums under his belt, including a jugalbandi with international pianist Richard Clayderman, his latest album Jannat, he says is a tribute to Kashmir, where his family hails from. Does classical music still have a future in India? “It has a niche audience, but not necessarily a small one. Indian classical music is even appreciated abroad. I’m glad I’ve managed to break the stereotypical image that a classical musician has to be old. It is important that young musicians become role models, and stick to their roots, rather than fearing competition in the form of remixes and new-age sounds,” says Rahul. While his interests also lie in composing film music; he’s assisted his father in composing the tunes for Lamhe, Darr and Chandni and has recently done the tracks for Mujhse Dosti Karogi.

Rahul believes that the two genres of film and classical music are completely different experiences. “Film music is situational; you have to view it in the context of the entire film whereas one has more freedom when doing an album. Besides, there is nothing more satisfying than giving a live performance.” Being his father’s son is no easy task, but for Rahul, it’s only another challenge to perform better. If not a santoor player, then what? “Since I’ve studied economics, I’d probably start my own music company. Whatever I do in life will always involve music; it is the spiritual element in my life. The tranquillity I feel while playing the santoor, I can never experience elsewhere,” he concludes.

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