Ladies Study Group proudly hosted a culturally rich event, “Legacy in Rhythm” with Sarod maestro Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, Amaan Ali Bangash and Ayaan Ali Bangash in a classic jugalbandi with Ms. Sagarika Ghose to an enthralling audience.
Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, the living legend belongs to a lineage, unbroken …musical tradition of seven generations. His forefathers had modified the Sarod, which in his opinion, is closest to the human voice. On being called a genius by Ms. Sagarika Ghose, he humbly quipped, “Genius is 99% perspiration and 1% inspiration.” He further stated the huge responsibility to keep the legacy alive, he had to forsake his freedom of childhood under the strict disciplinary eye of his father cum Guru. Khan Saab had the audience in raptures when he disclosed, “My father was uncomfortable if the Malawi was not in tune while reciting the Azaan.”
Amaan Ali Bangash candidly confessed to being in a complexed relationship with his father, sometimes not knowing when to be a son or a disciple! He did feel the pressure as a child but in retrospect was only too glad to inherit this family wealth of music. He stated, “At the tender age of 12 years, it dawned upon me – It’s beautiful if I could make their dream into destiny.” Khan Saab interrupted by saying that he would play ‘Jingle Bells’ and other nursery rhymes on the Sarod to lure the children into his world of music.
Ayaan Ali Bangash thanked the LSG committee for adorning the ‘Mekhla’ sarees, which would have pleased his mother, of Assamese origin. He candidly confessed that he spent his initial years striving for approval by his father and henceforth music became a way of life! He added that to keep the tradition and the old world charm alive, it is imperative to be progressive. In his opinion, different genres of music get famous at different times. Amaan quipped, “Classical music is like sushi, and not butter chicken,” which had the audience in splits.
Khan Saab educated the audience by saying that classical music is not and cannot be written; but has to be passed down generations. It has more slides and glides than any other music. “Music is the name of quality and not quantity, “he said. He poignantly stated, “The seven notes of the musical scale in classical music are there in every form of rhythm and music. It is only language that creates barriers. Each one of us is born with rhythm comparing it to our…. heartbeats.” The audience burst into peals of laughter when Khan Saab commented, “Fusion music is very common. Some fusion is appealing and some fusion is total con-fusion.” The trio was on the same platform professing music connected them to a supreme divine power, cosmic element and it was the utmost form of prayer.
The trio swayed the audience by humming different melodies and so did our very own kolkatan, Ms. Usha Uthup. Books written by Ustad Amjad Ali Khan and by Ms. Sagarika Ghose were on sale and the authors magnanimously agreed to sign the copies. It indeed was an intellectually and culturally stimulating event!