Striking the right notes

Kavita believes that Indian instrumental music doesn’t have a language and therefore easily connects with audience across the globe

Ace singer and Padmashri awardee Kavita Krishnamurthy says that reason behind the lasting impact of 90s songs is the beautiful compositions and impactful lyrics. Millennium Post interacted with Kavita ahead of the 'Lakshminarayana Global Music Festival', which is organised in the memory of Professor V Lakshminarayana, the father, mentor and guru of legendary violinist Dr L Subramaniam. Here are few excerpts from the interview where Kavita (who is also one of the organisers of the fest) talks about her performance alongside her husband Dr L Subramaniam, selecting artists for the fest every year and more.

What kind of performances are lined up for this year's festival?

This year we have members of the 'Castile and Leon' symphony orchestra from Spain. They will play their own music but we're also looking forward to collaborating with them. Besides, I'm singing few songs with them while my husband is doing a symphonic piece with the orchestra.

Artsist who perform in the festival are from different parts of the world. What's the experience like?

I really look forward to my festival every year because rare talents from across the world perform here. There's always an excitement about what's going to happen next year. What we enjoy the most is learning new things and interacting with these musicians who always have something new to teach us. This festival acknowledges the language of music and proves that distance, country, caste, creed is not a barrier anymore.

To what extent has Indian instrumental music influenced people overseas?

Since Indian instrumental music doesn't have a language, it's easier to communicate with audience from the west.

Once, I was in Spain to attend my husband's concert. The audience hardly had any knowledge of Indian classical music but the way they were listening to the violenviolin, it appreared as if they were meditating. So, I feel the instrumental goes a long way in promoting Indian classical music all around the world.

In today's time when most people want to spend their time in watching or listening something on their phone, what do you think is the reason behind these instrumental shows gaining strong foothold?

There is a great love for music amongst people. No matter how many times you listen to music on phone, there is a love and enthusiasm for going to concerts and to really watch musicians live on stage. Sometimes even a small mistake that happens on stage can be a very enjoyable thing for the audience. I don't think this love for attending concerts will ever end.

You have sung various songs clubbed with either Indian instrumental music or western instrumental piece. What are the differences you find in a song as a singer?

In the films I've also done typically Indian kind of songs with Dholak and the Tabla beats in the background and that's a different voice inflection. And I've also done songs like 'Hawa Hawai' and 'Tu Chiz Badi Hai Mast Mast', in which the rhythm percussion is very much stronger. So when I sing with the Western symphony orchestra, I have to memorize my parts and know exactly where to come in, watch the conductor's hand and sing with the musicians, so that I don't go out of sync with them.

Being wife of a Carnatic musician and violin virtuoso L Subramaniam, have you ever tried your hands on playing violin or any other instrument?

Being his wife has been a very interesting journey for me because I would not only call him Carnatic, but a musician who is known for his mastery in western music. Also, he's the only Indian who has written a lot of orchestral music, which has been published and played by different symphony orchestras. I have seen him writing these notes night after night and it fascinates me to see how he does that. He's made me sing a Telana also, which is a typical Carnatic piece.

90s songs create a lasting impression on audience's mind. What do you think is the reason?

I think the Bollywood songs of the past, including the nineties, were composed well. But at the same time our lyricists played a great role in writing fantastic words for those songs. People like Javed Akhtar Sahab, Majnu Sultanpuri Sahab, Anand Bhakshi Sahab have done a phenomenal job. In the song 'Aaj Mai Upar Aasmaan Neeche, Aaj Mai Aage Jamana Hai Pichhe', look at the poetic way in which Majnu Saheb has written this song.

Today's music industry is running on modern instruments. How different 90s music industry was?

I would say in the 90s, a little bit of electronic music and keyboard programming had come in. Earlier, we used to have 40 violinist playing songs like 'Hawa Hawai'. But slowly, the keyboard programming came and replaced the actual instruments like Tabla, flute and keyboard.

(The LGMF 2020 tour will be held in New Delhi on January 4 (today) at Sirifort Auditorium followed by Hyderabad on January 6 and Pune on January 8)

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