Indian classical music is no doubt a tradition, but its distinct feature is that unlike the religious traditions that mostly end up making one rigid, Indian classical music teaches its followers to accept all forms of music with open arms. A true devotee of this tradition is Pandit Ajay Pohankar. His contribution in the field of fusion music and raagdari is irreplaceable.
"Music forms are like human beings and mixing them is like a marriage. In both the cases what makes the amalgamation work is the chemistry and the involvement. I am an artiste and my art teaches me to accept all the art forms with open arms," says pandit Ajay Pohankar explaining the philosophy behind his involvement in fusion music.
The father-son duo is amongst the first ones to venture into fusion music with their album Piya Bawari winning an appreciation from common man to connoisseurs. Categorising Piya Bawari as fusion, Abhijeet Pohankar says, "What we would be performing tonight is not fusion but jugalbandi. It will be an amalgamation of Indian classical music with the new age sound. While panditji will present monsoon ragas like Malhaar, I would be accompanying him on the keyboard."
The success of numerous concerts across the globe is not only a result of the chemistry that the two artistes share as father and son but also as musicians. "Our approaches towards life are different. Our lifestyle, tastes and all the differences that we have, disappear like magic when we perform together. At that time we become one soul and tend to understand exactly what the other is going to play. And then the magic created does not remain limited only to the two of us but also reaches the audience," says Abhijeet.
Supporting his statement, his father adds, "But everytime we sit to perform we have this silent fight going on between us and Abhijeet concludes with a feeling that I never listen to him."
Is that true? "Yes it is. And this always happens on stage. At that time I just try to convey my expressions through my eyes or my music. For instance, tonight at the concert, I want my father to sing a track- Ae mohobbat tere naam, a ghazal by Begum Akhtar, which is also a part of my forthcoming album — Urban Ragaa. But it all depends upon his mood and all I can do is pray that he sings that track," smiles Abhijeet.
Performance is jamming in for Abhijeet but for Pandit Ajay , "It is an anubhooti (enlightenment) that comes through the discovery of sur and melody." What remains a common thread is the result of both the approaches — the magic of their music that leaves the audience-spellbound!
(The duo will be performing in the city tonight at Yashwantrao Chavan auditorium, for Barkha Ritu, a musical concert organised by Banyan Tree Events)