Classical music is not a dying art. It’s more heard and appreciated now than ever before. "What do you think world music is all about?” says sitar virtuoso Hidayat Hussain Khan. The musician recently released his second album,
, which is a “cluster of my favourite songs. It’s a memory jog for me as it contains all my notable performances,” explains Hidayat.The album contains ghazals written by Mehdi Hassan; a track,
that he performed with the Boston Philharmonic Symphonyand a modern rendition of
“In my 10-year career, these are some of the songs I have cherished memories of. I’d revisit them and rework their structure,” says Hidayat. Born to sitar legend Ustad Vilayat Khan, Hidayat was taken under Khan’s tutelage when he was four years old. Starting off as a vocalist, Hidayat only took up the sitar when he was 16. “I rebelled. I didn’t want to be a musician. I remember partying hard one New Year’s Eve and feeling quite jaded. I was bored. That’s when I picked up the sitar. At that point, I knew I was born to be a musician. In families like ours, your destiny is pre-written,” recalls Hidayat.
But his interests expand beyond classical music recitals. The musician has previously composed for Meera Nair’s 1999 movie
and more recently, the background score for the Discovery Channel’s show on tigers titled
Tracking A Legend
. Now Hidayat is looking forward to composing for a mainstream Bollywood film: “I can’t disclose details, but I’m considering a high-budget Hindi film. The screen has adapted to a wide variety of cinema and created space for all sorts of music. What was alternative is now mainstream.”