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Classics best left alone, says Talat

HIS SILKY voice mesmerises. His style reflects his versatility. Noted ghazal singer Talat Aziz, whose renditions are a combination of great poetry and soulful melody, strongly feels that art and culture should be given more appreciation in India.

india Updated: Oct 31, 2006 15:34 IST

HIS SILKY voice mesmerises. His style reflects his versatility. Noted ghazal singer Talat Aziz, whose renditions are a combination of great poetry and soulful melody, strongly feels that art and culture should be given more appreciation in India.

Lamenting that everything in the contemporary era was being looked at through the prism of Bollywood he said, “I have no problems with Bollywood but painters, musicians, dancers and other artists should be given their due through the media. If you don’t, you will kill a culture.”

Aziz, who is in the City for a performance on Tuesday as part of the State’s golden jubilee celebrations, said there was a huge NRI audience that was hungry for good musical programmes. “In the past two years, I have given umpteen concerts in the USA.”

“I just lent my voice for the movie Yatra starring Rekha and Nana Patekar. The music has been composed by Khayyamji and I thoroughly enjoyed singing the ghazal in a traditional mehfil format. More so because I was working with Khayyamji after a yawning gap of almost two decades,” he told the Hindustan Times.

The resonating rhythm of Zindagi Jab Bhi Teri… sung by Talat Aziz for Muzaffar Ali’s Umrao Jaan still reverberates in our mind. What does he think about the remake of Umrao Jaan? “I think classics should be left alone. Something that becomes a classic should not be tampered with. I am very fortunate that I was part of a classic like Umrao Jaan.”

On his new albums Aziz said, “I am working on a new album, but would not like to divulge too much about it. It will be unique, something that no one has done before. It will focus on the history of ghazals, how it evolved even before the language Urdu was born.”

Maintaining that he had done a lot of experimentation, the singer said, “Fusion has to be a judicious blend without any tampering. It should be a new creation without losing the originality of each form and without intruding into the other’s domain.”

How was the contemporary ghazal audience in India? “The connoisseurs of ghazal are as active as before. They may be less vociferous but still very, very active. I wish art and culture was given appreciation in India today.”

What about the therapeutic effect of ghazals? “Ghazal is the softest and the most delicate means of expression. It speaks of both the sweetness and harshness of life.

Medically speaking, music releases endomorphins that soothe the brain.” Lastly, how has the musical journey been since 1979 when his first music album was released? “Very great.”