The world may be going gaga over a monster lady’s Grammy sweep, but closer home the celebrations have been quite low key. Bringing the Grammy to Mumbai this year is Sarangi exponent and Juhu resident, Pt Dhruba Ghosh. “People ask me why I haven’t been going gung-ho with the media, but I’m just a low-key person,” says Ghosh.
He won a Grammy for the Best New Age Album, a category that wasn’t aired on the televised event on Monday. “I didn’t expect it at all. I got a text message from a friend that morning, who read it online,” says Ghosh. Collaborating with saxophonist Paul Winter’s Consort, the musician duo won the award for their album Miho— Journey To The Mountains. “It’s funny because when Paul approached me, I wasn’t even aware of him or his music. He spoke humbly and asked me to Google his works, and mentioned in passing that he had won five Grammys previously,” recalls Ghosh. Then, last March, over four days at the Miho Museum near Kyoto in Japan, the musicians recorded the album. “The idea was to bring out the beauty of nature. It’s a free flow of emotions. The lush-green setting of the museum, which is inspired by the philosophy of Shumei, helped key in the right notes,” says Ghosh, who composed two songs for the album.
Ironically, Japan, infamous for its whale killings, was the ideal setting for what Ghosh calls the Whale Raga. “Paul asked me to hear recordings of Humpback whales and I though they were singing in perfect pitch and tried to recreate the sounds on the sarangi,” he adds.
The album remains unreleased in India, but Ghosh hopes that after his Grammy success, his music will find more takers in the country. For now, the sarangi exponent, who heads the Music and Dance Conservatory at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, is busy organising a three-day music festival at the college, that starts tomorrow.