Making a case for music without barriers, santoor player Pandit Shivkumar Sharma on Wednesday said, “We have compartmentalised it, but all music in the world comprises the same seven notes or swaras.”
Launching the second edition of Baajaa Gaajaa, a music convention initiated by artistes Shubha Mudgal and Aneesh Pradhan at Pune, Sharma extolled the talent of young Indian musicians. “They could beat the world hollow,” he said.
The music expo and festival was launched in 2009 for people “who feel a deep sense of passion and conviction for Indian music and want to celebrate its dissimilarities,” said Mudgal, a celebrated classical vocalist, at the inaugural ceremony of the three-day convention.
Seriousness preceded the festivities as Mudgal moderated a panel discussion on the possibilities for non-mainstream Indian music to reach a wider audience through mainstream channels. She said the main challenge confronting classical, folk, tribal and indie music was the paucity of means for the discovery of these diverse genres.
Sabina Sanghvi, station head Radio One, Pune, gave reasons why radio could not facilitate access to this music. “Royalty and licences are constraints. The only way to recover the expenditure is to play music that appeals to the masses. It all boils down to commercial success,” she said.
Vijay Nair, founder of Only Much Louder (OML), an independent music company said, “We haven’t bothered trying to push our bands on radio because with bands like The Raghu Dixit Project and Swarathma, whose tracks are on radio, we realised it doesn’t amount to much traction. Our audience has figured that online is where to find music and we at OML focus on that.”
The radio channel representatives stressed that the only way this “niche” music could get on air was through weekend and appointment slots.
While there was no definite conclusion, Mudgal did elicit a possible promise of promoting non-Bollywood music on specific slots on the radio.