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Pt. Rajshekhar Mansur found newness inside musical custom

A tribute to Pt. Rajshekhar Mansur, an exponent of Jaipur-Atrauli gharana, who handed away just lately

A tribute to Pt. Rajshekhar Mansur, an exponent of Jaipur-Atrauli gharana, who handed away just lately

It could not have been straightforward to be Pt. Mallikarjun Mansur’s son. I keep in mind asking Pt. Rajshekhar Mansur this, forward of a celebration in Bengaluru, when he turned 60. He selected to not say a lot, nevertheless it was not tough to determine that it was a fancy, however fruitful negotiation. Pt. Rajshekhar, an exponent of Jaipur-Atrauli gharana, who carried the legacy of his legendary father, handed away early this week.

Formal coaching in music started late in his life as a result of Pt. Mallikarjun Mansur didn’t need his kids to comply with the trail he had taken. The lifetime of an artiste is in spite of everything not straightforward. Music, nevertheless, always reverberated in the home, and Rajshekhar used to say, there was “no escape”. Music was part of his life proper from childhood. “I woke as much as and went to sleep listening to my father do  riyaaz. The sounds stayed with me and made a deep impression on me.”

Pt. Rajshekhar Mansur
| Photograph Credit score: SREENIVASA MURTHY V

At 16, started his formal coaching and it was rigorous. However he left to do a level in literature and linguistics on the College of Wales, and returned to work as professor on the College of Dharwad. It additionally marked the start of his life as a live performance musician, accompanying his father for almost 30 years.

Rajshekhar Mansur believed that  riyaaz is as necessary as enthusiastic about music. All through his life, he mirrored on a spread of topics regarding music and sometimes wrote about them. “There might be no vacation for  riyaaz. Until the vocal cords don’t co-operate, or one is unwell, a musician can not afford to take a break,” he wrote. “ Riyaaz, like respiration, is a steady course of. It isn’t a senseless train. What you may have learnt must be polished to shine like 24-carat gold.

His chief concern was pushing the boundaries of established custom. With out such makes an attempt, the raga is not going to reveal itself. He harped on on the lookout for one thing new, however by no means misplaced perspective of the outdated. “What do you assume previous masters had been doing of their on a regular basis  riyaaz. They had been discovering newer areas in ragas.”

The truth is, in his translation of his father’s memoir,  Rasa Yatra, he added just a few pages in direction of the tip, which carried his observations. These notes are extraordinarily fascinating — at instances poignant — since they don’t seem to be merely a report of the a number of live shows by which he accompanied his father, they’re a doc of his inner musical journey.

Pattern this one: Gaud Malhar, Hubli: “Our well-known Gaud Malhar bandish: ‘Mana na kariye’ within the decrease a part of the sapthak has the phrase: MGMR, RPGPMM, RGM, GRG, RP, RGM, P, G MMG, G, RS… these are additionally the attribute phrases of the opposite well-known Gwalior bandish, ‘Kaahe ho hum se pritam.’ The 2 bandishes have totally different, however distinct areas for his or her  badhat. ‘Mana na kariye’ develops within the second a part of the sapthak, whereas ‘Kahe ho’ progresses within the first a part of the sapthak. However on this specific event, my father indulged in doing badhat within the ‘Kahe ho’ vogue and stunned us all. It sounded lovely to me. However my father hardly did it ever once more! After I requested him why he didn’t do it, his reply was fairly revealing of the respect he had for the gharanas. ‘Son, the masters of their nice knowledge have propounded the 2 bandishes in another way. If one grasp thought he may present the vistar of Gaud Malhar within the second half of the sapthak, one other grasp noticed the vistar within the first half of the sapthak. It appears to me that each had been proper of their respective positions, and we should always not intrude with their totally different visions.’ I personally have tried mixing the 2 vistars however realised that there was no actual affinity between the 2, and therefore I’ve come to stay to what my father mentioned about bandish structuring.”

Pt. Rajshekhar Mansur walked in his father’s footsteps, but maintained his originality. “I’ll undergo each ordeal to maintain my father’s legacy going,” he usually mentioned. For him, music was a accountability, however greater than {that a} private pleasure.

The Bengaluru-based creator writes on artwork and tradition.

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