Although the monsoons don’t seem to be anywhere near their end this year, two noted exponents of Indian classical music will come together tonight to bid farewell to the season in a concert titled Malhar Rang.
Acclaimed mandolin player, U Srinivas, from the Carnatic music tradition, who has played with the likes of John McLaughlin in Remember Shakti, and Hindustani classical maestro, vocalist Ustad Rashid Khan, who has been awarded the Padma Shri for his contribution to music, will perform at the concert tonight, albeit separately.
Shashi Vyas, director of Pancham Nishad, which is presenting the event, explains, “Indian classical music has a strong relationship with the seasons. There are ragas and musical compositions that fit the different moods, and the concert will showcase them.”
Adds Srinivas, “There are many ragas meant for the monsoon season in Indian classical music. The greatness of it is that although Ustad Rashid Khan and I are from different branches of Indian classical music, we can both individually present similar ragas in diverse ways.”
Although Khan was unavailable for comment, Srinivas revealed that he will be playing the Amrutvarshini and Varunapriya ragas at the concert and has also composed a piece especially for the concert. Even though the artistes will perform together, the mandolin player is looking forward to sharing the stage with the vocalist.
“Ustad Rashid Khan can literally sing absolutely every raga possible. Watching him sing is an unbelievable experience. We played together many years ago and I remember learning so much from him,” he says.
Srinivas, who is currently working on two albums - a classical and a world music one - says that he loves performing in Mumbai because the audience “always supports the artiste and the art”.