It’s the work of forty years in one album. It’s overwhelming,” says Pt. Shivkumar Sharma. The santoor maestro released the complete anthology of his works with 18 CDs and works that have encompassed his entire life.
“This compilation sees my growth as an artiste from a novice to an expert. A lot of the tracks on my album Call of the Valley were never archived and were lost. So when the record label Sa Re Ga Ma told me they wanted to compile my work, I was more than happy,” says Pt Sharma.
The Padma Vibhushan recipient, at 71, still feels he’s got a lot of music left in him.
Creating new music
“Every day is a new challenge to create music and I am constantly performing. In fact, I love the stage and I love recitals. There is nothing second to them,” says Pt Sharma, who has given the world Antardhwani raga and added his style of playing to classical music – the plucking and sliding techniques. His students and contemporaries include the likes of Pt Hariprasad Chaurasia, Zakir Husain and most recently, his son Rahul Sharma.
“Rahul was 13 when he expressed his talent and I knew he’d be a musician some day. I only guided him and it’s such a pleasure to play with him on stage. He is my best student,” says Pt Sharma, who has taken to teaching the santoor across the world and is proud of how the instrument is thriving the world over.
“My students worldwide are taking to the santoor. Everywhere there are more people who want to learn the instrument because it is a very difficult and detailed instrument to play. It has 100 strings and makes sounds that most other six or seven stringed instruments cannot. The santoor is definitely in the global syntax,” says Pt Sharma.
Bollywood can wait
The award-winning composer has also had his handiwork in Bollywood, when he composed music for Yash Chopra’s Faasle, Chandni, Lamhe and Darr. “Since then, nothing has intrigued me as such or motivated me to compose for the Hindi film industry. If something worthwhile comes up, I will,” he adds.