The 140th edition of Harivallabh Sammelan entered its second day with a soul-soothing Indo-German jugalbandi between ‘satvik veena’ player Salil Bhatt and Matthiew Muller, a German guitarist of international repute.
Matthiew performed in the sammelan for the first time.
Bhatt, who first performed in the concert in 1998, said, “Harivallabh Sammelan is close to my heart. Performing here gives me immense pleasure.”
Son of Grammy award winner Pt Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, Bhatt said he has performed in Canada, Germany, Iceland, America, Australia, Saudi Arabia etc, but one thing that makes Harivallabh Sammelan different from the rest is that he has never seen any place where people come with blankets, pillows and quilts to listen to musicians.
Matthiew has studied Indian classical and jazz guitar in Los Angeles. His interest in the Indian classical music led him to study Carnatic music, a South Indian music genre.
Matthiew and Bhatt met at a concert where the former got impressed with the kind of music Bhatt produced with veena and decided to make a pair with him.
“When I visited India for the first time I bought cassettes on Pt Vishwa Mohan Bhatt and was moved by his music. I didn’t know then that I will ever perform jugalbandi with the veena legend’s son. There’s a lot of scope for improvisation in Indian music,” Matthiew said.
About the sammelan, he said, “Who does not know about this (sammelan)? Since I am a learner and fan of Indian classical music, I believe that performing here will complete my journey.”
Bhatt, who is known for invention of ‘satvik veena’, a hybrid instrument of sitar, guitar and veena, said, “I would imagine Lord Shiva playing veena. It is my tribute to Shiva.”
Bhatt performed Basant Mukhari and Kheervani ragas at the sammelan. “Every instrument has evolved from veena — be it guitar, violin or sitar,” he said.