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Shankar's dream to materialise soon

Pandit Ravi Shankar's pet project, the Ravi Shankar Centre which is coming up in Delhi, may not remain a distant dream.
PTI | By Arnab Banerjee
PUBLISHED ON NOV 24, 2004 04:57 PM IST

Making Waves
Pandit Ravi Shankar Centre

Pandit Ravi Shankar's pet project the Ravi Shankar Centre which is coming up in Delhi, may not remain a distant dream. The sitar maestro is leaving no stone unturned in raising funds to complete the construction at the earliest.  The Modi Foundation honored him with a cash prize of Rs 2.51 lacs on Novemebr 17 on the occasion of the Dayawati Modi Foundation For Art Culture And Education's  11th  Annual Day at the Sathya Sai Baba Auditorium in New Delhi.

Ravi Shankar was chosen for his vast contribution to the world of 'Indian and World Music'. Panditji, who is credited with the first Vadya Vrinda chamber orchestra of Indian music , has written two concertos for sitar and orchestra, violin-sitar compositions for Yehudi Menuhin and himself, besides several other collaborations, including the George Harrison production of two record albums, 'Shankar Family and Friends'and 'Festival of India.'

His eager fans are looking forward to the opening of the cultural center which would not only have the best training n all aspects of music but would also ensure Panditji's frequent visits to Delhi.

Across The Border
Ghulam Ali urges for a ban on remixes

Some of the Pakistani artists, who have been performing in India for years, cannot do without India. While some of the best-known  singers are as much revered  in their homeland as much as our desi  music icons are, the same cannot be said about their earnings. Indian performers earn a decent sum by  performing live abroad to an enthusiastic Asian community, but the same is not true for their counterparts across the border.

Sadly, even the Kings of ghazals like Ghulam Ali and Mehndi Hasan don't get opportunities to cater to the demands of their fans. This dismal state of affairs irks Ghulam Ali. "I have had  so much love and affection from my fans in India that it seems like home to me but there are too many formalities to go through." Ali is happy about the thawing of Indo-Pak relations but gets his goat though is the increasing "sleaze in the name of art in music videos."

"I want the remixes banned. They have not only spoilt our rich cultural heritage but are a terrible effect on the minds of the youngsters," he gloats.  The boom in the remix industry has had repercussions in his country too, where the videos may not be as "vulgar" but as far as "butchering the creativity of immortal melodies is concerned, they are as bad," he grumbles. He expressed surprise that no serious move has yet been taken by the music industry to stop the "obscenity in music videos and even some of the lyrics." I would like to do my utmost to help this menace at the earliest," he assured.

Album Launch
Rituparno Ghosh's Raincoat album launched

He is the only hope that Bengal believes in, but Rituparno Ghosh is a living example of perfectionism, combining his creative genius with dexterity and sensitivity. His forthcoming film, Raincoat, starring Aishwarya Rai and Ajay Devgan  has generated considerable interest among his fans. Media has been carrying excellent preview reports of the film's music.  Classical vocalist Shubha Mudgal has rendering 4 tracks for the album. After listening to the songs, an age-old myth that classical musicians cannot be effectively used in films is dispelled. Given the right blend of poetry and  mesmerising compositions, any combination of two legends can be sheer magic, which is what the songs are.

"I cannot sing for a Kareena and don't want to do those  typically filmi numbers either but if it's challenging and creatively satisfying, then why not?" is Mudgal's  response to some speculation by some of her ardent fans. And the way the album has been making news and gradually rising the popularity charts too, isn't it good news for all those who crib that it's been only a downslide as  far as film music goes?

Artist Profile
Alliance Francaise de Delhi

Alliance Francaise de Delhi, the Embassy of France in India, the AFAA and the Neemrana Music Foundation have joine dhands together to bring to New Delhi David Grimal of Paris. The violinist, who started to play at the age of five, won the First prize in violin and chamber music at the Paris Conservatory in 1993. After his postgraduate studies with Regis Pasquier, he also enriched his musicality by studying with Phillip Hirschhorn, Shlomo and Isaac Stern. He has also won the European Community Prize -1996, the European Radio Union Prize-1996 and received the "Credit National Fellowship Award. Westren classical music lovers in Delhi can now look forward to a rare treat, which he Embassy of France
says was "long overdue." 

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