Well-known sitarist Pt Subrata De of Bishnupur gharana has utilised the period of lockdown due to Covid-19 to creative two new ragas – Shikhashree and Jogiya Ranjini. A firm believer in the fact that music can harmonise the physical and mental state of a person, the noted artiste has carried out experiments with physically challenged children in Chennai to create certain ragas for them.
In 2000, De started Swaranjali to promote Indian classical music and upcoming artistes from across the world. Beginning tomorrow, Swaranjali along with Pracheen Kala Kendra Chandigarh and in association with Gunijankhana is organising Music Without Boundaries which will feature from artistes from countries like Lithuania, Latvia, Spain, Cuba, Mexico, Israel, Germany, the UK, Pakistan and Thailand.
In an interview with Saurabh Tankha, Pt De talks about his initiation into music, role of his father in his life and the right guru.
On the two new raags created during Covid-19
The two new raags are Raag Shikhashree (bloom of light) and Jogiya Ranjini.
Raag Shikhashree is with the combination of Raag Khamaj and Bhairavi, (without Re swar/note.) Dha and Ni flat/ komal swars. Rest all shuddha (pure) notes. Ga and Ni is Vadi and Samvadi notes. Thaat – Bhairavi. Aarohon – Sa Ga Ma Pa Dha Ni Sa. Avarohon – Sa Ni Dha Pa Ma Ga Sa. Similar raaga: Charukeshi or Vasant Mukhari. Time – 9 pm to 12 midnight.
Watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HY7t0FCcuEM&t=168s
Raag Jogiya Ranjini is a mixture of Raag Bhairav and Kafi. Aarohan – Sa Re Ma Pa Da Sa. Avarohon – Sa Ni Da Pa Ma Re Sa. Pakad – M P D, D S, S n D M P n D M r r S (Re and Ni – Komal / Flat Notes) Jaati – Aurav Sharav ( 5-6) Varjit Swar – Ga – Ni in Aarohan and Ga in Avarohan Vadi Swar – Ma and Samvadi Swar – Sa. Time – 7 am to 10 am.
Watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GnWne8WIA40&t=12s
First brush with music
Not from professional musicians but my mother and father were singers. My father, who worked with the Southern Railways, gifted me a sitar when I was seven. As I started learning, my interest grew and I started devoting more time with it. With my parents’ constant encouragement and them equipping me with more facilities, I started performing on public platforms at an early age. It was in 1985.
The right guru
It was not that tough as I was surrounded by my father and other well-known musicians who knew where I needed to improve, what I lacked and from whom should I learn to uplift my craft. All this while, I was in a constant observation of my father. My day started with riyaaz (practice) and ended with listening to music my father taught to his disciples. So it was my father who inculcated the notes of music in my blood. We began riyaaz by lighting a candle and ended when it burnt out. At seven, I learnt under Shri Amarjeet Singh of Jamshedpur. Then it was under late Suramani Bauri Bandhu Sethi of Bhubaneswar where I imbibed the essential elements of sitar. Subsequently, after 10 years of practice, I placed myself in the hands of sitar maestro Pt Manilal Nag of Calcutta of Bishnupur gharana.
Most inspirational figure in life
My father who has constantly guided me in the right direction and Pandit Nikhil Banerjee, my ideal and I have been his Ekalavya shishya. Through my ups and down, he has been my mentor and guru.