Just came back from my second Pt. Hariprasad Chaurasia Concert.
Distaste for the way this concert was being organized was ringing in the back of my head through out. I feel SPICMACAY ones would give it a run for its money anyday. Here are a few things.
- The stage: Almost always, SPICMACAY stage is set simply (Aesthetically pleasing, to put it in Dr. Kiran Seth’s words). The eye in the background. Slightly raised stage with plain white covering. The flower decorated lamp, burning in the side. (This one had red covering, and too many mismatched flowers in the background).
- Emcee: The construction of the script is crisp. Traces the music background of each artist, awards won, and the like. The same is done for the people who accompany. All the instruments are treated equal to the the “main” one. The rhythm can be felt. (This one had a very badly written one, with an elaborate flowery redundant description of how great the artist is. Introduction to the accompanying artist being, The person sitting to the right/left is XYZ rather that The person playing the Tabla/Pakhawaj is).
- The audience: “Flash Photography is strictly prohibited”, All the spurts of bright lights can be really distracting. I also like the unsaid rule of not clapping during the concert. I observe that people clap during the crescendo of the artists performance and hence miss hearing most part of it.
- Others: You do not have a video of the so-called life history of the artist being promoted just before concert, which leaves you wondering, whether that was at all about the artist, or how bad a little kid feels when the mother dies.
SPICMACAY concerts have other really interesting things coming attached with them. The ease with which you can interact/ approach the artist, whether in the NITK Guest house or occasional walks to the beach, and come to know how down to earth each one really is. The chance to ask questions that you always wanted to and never got the chance. Workshops by the artists, and of course the chance to miss mess food for yummy guest house food.
SPICMACAY concerts really do surrender the dias to the artist and the artform.
On the brighter side, here, the maestro played as beautifully as ever. And I also got to listen to an old music-classmate of mine playing alongside, with yet another demonstration of the great old art of putting taal with the folded leg!!!