She radiates warmth and is an epitome of classical music and is a strong protagonist in every way. She needs no introductions or mentions as almost anyone who follows music in India would have heard her music. Localturnon is extremely humbled and honoured to have had the pleasure of interacting with her during her visit to the capital. Below are the excerpts from the rendezvous.
#localturnon: Shubha Ji, we all know you from your songs and music but if you were to give us a quick insight to your training of classical music and your achievements?
#Shubha Mudgal Ji: I was born into a musically-dedicated family and have been trained by scholar-musician-composer Pandit Ramashreya Jha “Ramrang” Ji. Have received guidance from Pandit Vinaya Chandra Maudgalya Ji and Pandit Vasant Thakar Ji as well. I have been fortunate to have learnt stylistic techniques from well-known maestros Pandit Jitendra Abhisheki Ji and Pandit Kumar Gandharva JI. For my training in thumri I received it from Smt. Naina Devi Ji. It is my Guru’s blessings that make me what I am. Performing in front of young and musically conscious audiences is what makes me feel music (smiling).
In addition to being a performer I have also dabbled as a composer. It is the audience’s love and recognition that I became the recipient of Padma Shri in 2000, and have been given the Gold Plaque Award for Special Achievement in Music at the 34th Chicago International Film Festival, 1998, and the Yash Bharati Samman from the Government of Uttar Pradesh in 2015. There are numerous others but these are what I hold dear to me.
#localturnon: Shubha Ji, how has your association with Classical Music grown over the years?
#Shubha Mudgal Ji : I have been closely involved with several projects related to music education in India. I have been active as a former member of the Central Advisory Board of Education constituted by the Government of India and also chaired a focus group discussing the need for introducing an arts education program in mainstream school education during the National Curriculum Framework 2005. In addition to this I am what is called a “Nana Shirgaokar” Visiting Research Professor for traditional music at Goa University.
At present I am involved with projects such as the Serendipity Arts Festival (SAF)– Infact this is my second year with SAF. There are others like the Sonic City Project in collaboration with Himanshu Bablani & Sumant Jayakrishnan, Music Baithaks that allow free interaction on subjects related to Classical, Music in general.
There is the River Raga Cruise Project (smiling) that the audiences can enjoy a sunset cruise along the River Mandovi while enjoying carefully curated classical performances.
And not to forget “Dhamaal” – Curated by Aneesh Pradhan and myself that is a celebration of drumming traditions from around India and other musical cultures. Each group of drummers brings to the collaboration the special language and technique that is associated with their instruments.
#localturnon: Shubha Ji, you mentioned this being the second year with SAF. Can you throw more light on work with SAF?
#Shubha Mudgal Ji : SAF or Serendipity Arts Festival is multi-faceted , inter-disciplinary arts engagement where people from their specialized areas work with other specialists. The idea is to educate people about various forms of subcontinent’s music and bring them closer through fun and interactive engagements. I coming from a Music background am working with sound and technology artists to create a special music installation called “Sonic City” which is an interactive sonic installation that surprises the viewer by revealing sounds from the city of Delhi.
Every week I curate and present a 10-15 minutes episode called podcast as part of the Serendipity Art podcast through tracks (music bytes) that brings out the beauty of Indian music in all its features and diversity. The beauty of this is that these tracks may not be easily accessible by the general audiences and this platform thus bridges the gap.
River Raga Project is about bringing together a bunch of artists like a vocalist, instrumentalists on assigned days on a sun-set Mandovi River cruise boat. Imagine you have all the elements of a delightful evening with you (smiling)
Dhamaal as the name suggests is about big celebration, really rocking, noisy celebration. It features and showcases various drumming and percussionist techniques of India. Put together by Aneesh Pradhan who is himself a very trained and accomplished Tabla player, it brings together as many as 67 artists on stage in an orchestrated performance that woos the audiences.
#localturnon: Shubha Ji, any message for the upcoming artists, musicians and bands from the city?
#Shubha Mudgal Ji: Yes, I would like to give a message to all musicians and bands. This year the Serendipity Arts Festival will happen in Goa from the 15th to 22nd of December and I would urge all music lovers, artists to come and join us. If you want to experience something that is close to your heart, experience the vibrancy of music in its varied forms this is the event to be at. I promise that you will be excited, challenged, provoked for sure.
#localturnon has always encouraged music and arts in whichever form being brought closer to general audiences. The Serendipity Arts Festival promises this in every which way – be it the Dhamaal drumming and beating into your hearts or the sun-set cruise accompanied by melodies along the river or the Sonic City project which presents city sounds in an avatar not heard before. Our recommendation is to book your tickets to Goa in advance. You wouldn’t want to miss this one. As they say, save the best for the last and this promises to be the one to watch out for 2017. We will be following this closely and keep posting updates as they happen. Till then, Turn on Music , Turn on Happiness and Turn on Life!
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