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‘The profound philosophy of folk art is priceless’

‘The profound philosophy of folk art is priceless’
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Eminent Tabla virtuoso Tanmoy Bose, who has mesmerised everyone across the world with his massive contributions in music, had recently visited the national Capital to perform and pay tribute to his guru, Pandit Shankar Ghosh at the Legends of India Annual Sangeet Mahotsav. The festival also marked the first Shankar Ghosh Memorial Concert. 

Bose shares his journey of becoming a tabla maestro, and talks about who he draws his inspiration from, his association with Pt Shankar Ghosh and the purpose of the event with Millennium Post.

You have worked with maestros like Pt Ravi Shankar, Ustad Amjad Ali Khan and Anoushka Shankar to name a few. How was your experience working with them?
I feel absolutely blessed to have performed with Pandit Ravi Shankar. He’s truly a legend. Working with young masters like Anoushka Shankar, Amaan Ali Khan, Ayaan Ali Khan, Rashid Khan, among others, has been a wonderful experience for me as well. In my life long musical journey, I’d learnt so much from them as the saying goes tehzeeb-e-mausiki (refinement of music).

First you collaborated with Raviji and then with his daughter Anoushka. How did you like this change working with artists of two different generations? 
With Raviji, it has always been a learning experience, yet a glorious one. With Anoushka, it is all about experimenting diverse musical genres and going beyond sur, taal and lay on stage. They both are great stage icons from two different generations. So working with both father and daughter actually gave me a good feeling. I enjoyed every moment with them on stage.

Who has been your inspiration?
My parents have always been my greatest inspiration. They are the ones who encouraged me to pursue a career in music. Needless to say, it was guruji, Pandit Shankar Ghosh, for whom I am a tabla artist today. He has been my philosopher and motivator since childhood. He would mesmerise me every time I saw him on-stage and off-stage displaying his unmatched charisma.  

Apart from Indian classical music, you have showcased your talent in other genres namely - folk, jazz and even rock qawwali. Which genre attracted you the most and why?
Besides classical music, it’s the folk art and music that attracts me the most because of its simplicity. Moreover, the profound philosophy of folk art is priceless. The genre is intense and heartfelt too. It is just like classical music – the deeper you get into it, you realise that there is so much more to explore. And I’m the first one to have started the folk movement as you see it today.

What do you have to say about your World Music Project, ‘Taaltantra’?
Taaltantra refers to shadhana or worship through rhythm. ‘Taaltantra’ is my platform where I delve in experimentations and keep changing the musical language of taaltantra. I do not see it as a conventional band. It all started in the late 90’s. My motto was to bring into prominence some sounds that we are familiar with through some less-known instruments from around the globe. I was also highly impressed by the musicianship of and lyrics composed by the bauls and fakirs who are directly involved with this project.

You were Pandit Shankar Ghosh’s ardent disciple. And you have performed to pay tribute to your master recently. How does it feel? 
Bickram and I decided to start the foundation to keep alive the genius of our guruji. We also want him to be remembered ever after. I am known in the world of music as his shagird and I feel honoured to take his legacy forward as it is my duty too. Then Dipayan and Bickram conceptualised the first Shankar Ghosh memorial concert. ‘Legends of India’ deserve a mention as it played the pivoted role in organising the soiree in New Delhi. I feel blessed as I could pay tribute to the master through my music. 

How has been your association with your guru Shankarji?
My association with him has always been that of a student as he was my guru. My involvement with Shankarji was a great opportunity for me to learn a lot of new things from him. He had a towering, yet a charming personality.
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