Acclaimed Indian violinist, L Subramaniam started learning to play the violin to fulfill his father, V Lakshminarayana's (legendary violinist) dream to upgrade the instrument from being only an accompaniment to a solo one. The award-winning musician not only managed to do that, but also popularised the Indian violin internationally. Today, after more than five decades, the 68-year-old has the same enthusiasm that he had several years ago. He says, "I'm zero without music."Starting off by playing Carnatic music, the maestro experimented with fusion at a time when it was not as popular as it is today, "Initially, when I was asked to come out with a fusion album, I refused. I thought people will think that I have diluted the essence of Indian classical music. But then, I was somehow convinced. That's when I released Fantasy Without Limits (1979), which had elements of jazz. The album became very popular, and I was encouraged to experiment more," says Subramaniam, who has composed music for an upcoming Hindi film (directed by Ananth Mahadevan), after more than 25 years.
"I have been selective about [composing for] films, not because I don't like movies, but because of lack of time. I travel 10 months a year for concerts. For a film, I need to be at one place for a couple of months, which I am not keen on. But the plot of this film fascinated me," says the musician, commending composer AR Rahman for catering to the masses, and yet maintaining the essence of Indian music.
While Subramaniam wants classical music to flourish, he believes that innovation is a must. "Classical music will never die. But what is important is to keep the interest of the audience going, and, for that, innovation is a must," he says.