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News |  16 Nov 2016 19:12 |  By RnMTeam

Proud of my purist classical roots, but the fusion effort made me popular: Pt. Vishwa Mohan Bhatt

MUMBAI: Grammy award winning mohan-veena virtuoso Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, once again, will surround himself with established and young musicians representing sounds and genres that cannot be strictly considered pure classical. For his upcoming performance at the NCPA in Mumbai today, titled ‘Confluence’, the 76-year-old musician hopes to continue to build on his image of a “power-house” performer.

Explaining on the personal contribution plus the essence of Confluence, Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt said,” The crowd will differ today compared to the previous shows where I performed at NCPA. Ranjit (Barot), the brilliant drummer that he is, will be singing too. I will be focusing on the melodies and, hence, setting the soundscape. Confluence will last longer than two hours, and that is what challenges us as musicians.”

With a Grammy award for ‘A Meeting by the River’ in 1993, and a music career that spans across at least four decades, Pandit Bhatt considers a few essentials to associate with a project. “I check the caliber of the other musicians, the standard of the project and the show, and in this case, having someone as learned and educated as Ranjit Barot helped the case.”

A traditional, purist classical musician, Pt. Bhatt never restricted the musical appetite to the genre or form of music, and the west and the youth’s growing affinity towards fusion demanded a lot of musicians to evolve. And Pt. Bhatt always embraced change through his music. “Generally, purists stick to the importance of heritage and the music. If you would observe 90 per cent of the music I play is classical, the rest 10 per cent is fusion. Ironically, the 10 per cent fusion made me popular,” explained the veteran.

Pt. Bhatt belongs to the league of musicians representing a style of music that, fortunately for its longevity, benefited through Indian government programs and support – a factor widely executed in the west across all genres. Upon asked whether the support from the government will extend beyond classical music, the musician replied, “The government will support a cause or an art that represents the culture and the history of the country. It’s pleasing to see the continued support, one would not see such amount of support to Bollywood or other genres too.”

Confluence, featuring Ranjit Barot (on drums and vocals), Mohini Dey (bass), Gulraj Singh (Keyboard and vocals) and Pt. Vishwa Mohan Bhatt (on slide guitar) will go live in the NCPA at 7 p.m. on 16 November.