Arnab Bhattacharya – an impeccable blend of the traditional and the modern! He carries the baton of fusion music to a level where the most intricate textures of modern music remarkably infuse into the principles of The Raaga in a subtle, yet raging tone/sound of the mighty sarod. His very own signature style sets him apart from the realm of Indian Classical Music.
This prodigious Sarod player, presently playing with Spectrum, started learning sarod at a very tender age from his father, Mr. Swapan Bhattacharya. Eventually, the respected guidance of Pandit Bhuddhadev Dasgupta aided in his perfecting the style and learning the rich repertoire of Senia Sahajahanpur Gharana. He successfully collaborated the judicious applications of technicality of Classical music and the sublime sophistication of modern music.
His in-depth acquaintance with Indian Classical Music combined with incredible finesse, elevates fusion music to a magical realm that enables you to indulge in a rich culture and offers that dab of traditional modernity.
BongRong: Greetings! Can you debrief us a little on your journey till you started playing professionally?
Arnab Bhattacharya: I’ve always wanted to be a musician. Initially it was difficult. To ensure a secured lifestyle I landed a job. But it was cumbersome to engage in music and do the job simultaneously. You just do not get the satisfaction. So I chose music and now it feels amazing when you are playing before a crowd because you are doing what you love, you gave your passion a voice.
BongRong: How did your family respond?
Arnab Bhattacharya: I’ve been very fortunate in this regard. Initially they were pretty shocked. But on recognising my never wavering passion, they wholeheartedly supported my decision; my father, my mother, my wife.
BongRong: In the current music scenario, most people have a penchant for instruments like the guitar or the keyboard. So why did you choose the sarod or even Classical? How did the change from earlier Classical to the present western come about?
Arnab Bhattacharya: My father had gifted me a sarod when I was little and I started playing it. As kids, we mostly listened to Indian Classical on the radio. Western instruments were not in vogue till the late 80’s. Even then there were only a handful of guitarists; that too concentrated in selected areas like Someplace Else, Tantra or Trincas. Exposure to western instruments was slow. Also, Indian Classical Music is anchored in strict technicality and principles as opposed to Western music. Expenditure on a guitar was comparatively less. So that was the trend. Then came the bands and the various genres. Different generations were exposed to different genres at different points of time. And Indian Classical Music is, has always been the backbone of most of the renowned fusion based bands.
BongRong: What do you expect from the workshop that you are about to deliver?
Arnab Bhattacharya: The people who are exceedingly confused/ diverted pertaining to the choice of genre or anything else need to be absolutely focused. A good recordist doesn’t guarantee a good performer. Secondly, music is not business. If you are a musician driven by sheer passion and with an appetite/interest in music itself and not just the musician, the business aspect will generate automatically.
BongRong: Thank you Arnabda for talking to us and we will see you on 23rd at Yamaha Music Square.
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