Staying true to their classical roots
Lakshay and Aayush, the young musicians, always try to maintain the true essence of the Indian classical music in their performances.
Having grown up together and learning music, playing jugalbandi comes naturally to Lakshay Mohan and Aayush Mohan. One on sitar, the other on sarod, these young brothers are well–known amongst the music fraternity and art connoisseurs.
Hailing from the Maihar Gharana, Lakshay and Aayush have been acknowledged as one of the greatest cultural motivators and icons for the younger generation for preserving and propagating Indian Classical Music.
Eminent guru such as Pandit Uma Shankar Mishra, Padmabhushan Sharan Rani, Pandit Balwant Rai Verma and Pandit Tejendra Narayan Majumdar have given them a solid foundation.
The duo became the first Indians to perform at the Grammy Museum, Los Angeles in 2015.
They have performed across the globe at prestigious festivals and venues some of which are the Grammy Museum, Los Angeles ; Learn Quest Music Conference, Boston ; David and Dorthea Garfield Theatre, San Diego ; Abbey Theatre, Dublin ; Sawai Gandharva Festival, Pune ; Gunidas Sangeet Sammelan ; Mumbai ; Saptak Festival, Ahmedabad ; Taj Mahotsav, Agra.
Lakshay and Aayush are known to connect to all kinds of listeners while preserving and incorporating old musical compositions and techniques in their playing. "We always maintain the discipline and true essence of classical music in our performance. So a purist or a connoisseur would never find anything 'un-classical' in it but at the same time the presentation is planned keeping in mind the balanced role of all aspects so that it can appeal to the musical sensibilities of a new listener also," said Lakshay.
In an era, when most youngsters are turning away from classical music, it becomes a task to retain the interest of listeners. And although Indian classical music will never become as popular as western music, Lakshay and Aayush believe that the future is not bad.
"The number of youngsters taking up classical music was always less because it involves lots of determination, inborn talent and perseverance to master this art. But again the number of listeners will always be limited due to the nature of this music and hence there is no need for large number of performers. Classical music will always have its own audience and it has survived against all odds. till now."
Only a few among millions have the ear for classical music and since the listeners are so scarce, it takes a toll on the people who have taken Indian classical music as a profession.
"Taking something as a profession means you must be able to earn enough money through it to support yourself and your family. Not many people can earn money if the demand for classical is so less. There are so many other quick ways to get entertained that only a small section has the patience to develop taste for classical," said Aayush.
A jugulabandi is much more than just playing together on same or different instruments. It takes a lot of practice to be in sync and one must understand the other's harmony to improvise and present aesthetically appealing music.
Over the years, people's taste in music has evolved and they don't want to go for a jugalbandi, instead, concerts or band performances appeal to them more. So, does that mean Indian classical also needs to evolve according to people's taste in music?
"It is quite natural for all art forms to evolve with time and classical music has always been changing gradually over years. But evolving does not mean that it loses its identity and essence completely in order to cater to the audience who are unaware of its true form."
"If that happens, it would be a disaster because we would be depriving future generations of the true feel or experience of this music," explained Lakshay.