One of the most soothing musical instrument has to be the Flute. It finds its mentions in the relics across the world. According to Hindu mythology, the god Krishna is the master of the instrument. It is one of the few instruments that are used in both the Hindustani classical, as the Bansuri, as well as the Carnatic music, as the Venu.
The present generation has also been receptive to the flute. Many aspiring musicians are learning and performing the instrument. One such musician from ‘The Gen Next of Indian Classical Music’ is flautist Shashank Acharya.
Shashank started learning the flute under the supervision of Dr Induben Modha in Jamnagar, as a teenager. It was in the year 2007 that he joined the Vrindavan Gurukul in Mumbai, that he started learning from the flute maestro, Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia. His grandfather and father, who admired Indian Classical music, encouraged him to pursue the art. Being a student, he performed only in family events and baithaks. It was only when he developed the sense of being able to sustain through longer sessions of practices, he began to perform as a solo artist. This boasted his ability and confidence.
Shashank has been performing consistently across the world. Be it concerts or baithaks, the growth in technology has been beneficial to the artistes as well as the connoisseurs. Music performance and recording has been a part of this betterment. Classical music is a Vedic art and it is as older as any art form present in the world. So, the endurance of taking the tradition of music ahead is firmly rooted in the teachings ever since. Only the accessories like style of performing, presentation or execution might vary from artiste to artiste but the basic phenomenon should and have always remained the same.
“The learning never ends in Music. Performing along with other brilliant artists was an immense learning experience but the student life must always go on” says Shashank
(Pic: Shashank Acharya)
Impact of technology
Expressing his opinion on technology and its impact of this ancient form of music, Shashank says
“It’s quite wonderful how the electronic equipments have been contributing to the music. The whole industry is working in tandem with the musicians to make the process at its best. We as artistes are great admirers of technology”
The popularity of any kind of music depends not only on how it is being served to the people but also to what extent it is being transmitted-on from person to person and society to society.
“The tradition, of Indian Classical music, itself is very strong. Also the media today is greatly capable of carrying the tradition forward and reach out to more people” opines Shashank.
The art of Classical Music is so profound and timeless that every generation has their own icons to look up to. Who influenced Shashank to take up the flute?
“Listening to Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia had a great influence on me and learning from Panditji himself was a dream coming true for me” gleams Shashank.
A lot of youngster are taking up Indian classical music. The number of students may be varying but at the professional level the classical music was and always will always be the mainstream in this country. How do you get more young students to practice and learn this art form?
“It is every parent’s responsibility to make their children at least aware of the cultural history of this country, be it music or any other art forms. I am very positive about the capability and keenness of our youngsters, if we put an exact impression of this great art on them, they will adopt and adorn it in their own way” feels Shashank.
Having performed with many renowned classical artists like; Ustad Taufiq Qureshi, Vidushi Ashwini Bhide Deshpande, Pt. Ajay Pohankar, Pt. Birju Maharaj, Dr. Mallika Sarabhai, Smt. Kaushiki Chakraborty, Shashank who won the first spot at the “Rangrezza” music festival held by KM Music Conservatory (AR Rahman’s college) at Chennai in the year 2014, still gets nostalgic about his performance in front of Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia.
“It was an opportunity for me to impress him so that he could let me be his disciple. I believe that day was the most significant for me as a practitioner of the instrument ‘flute’” smiles the youngster.