Ravishankar upbeat about fusion music


Kolkata : Sitar maestro Pandit Ravishankar sees a great future ahead for fusion music.

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“Fusion music will get stronger and stronger in the days ahead. It is one thing, which I always felt, was bound to happen. It is known by several names the world over like World Music, New Age Music, etc. The future belongs to fusion music,” he told journalists at Calcutta Club here Thursday night, ahead of his concert with daughters Norah Jones and Anoushka Saturday.

The sitar virtuoso said despite achieving a lot he still harbours some unfulfilled desires. “I have a lot of ideas. I feel I have a lot to do. Whatever I have done is just not enough,” he said.

Ravishankar, who will perform in Kolkata after about half a decade, recalled his association with the city and singers like Sachin Deb Burman and Salil Chowdhury from whom he used to draw inspiration.

“I remember I used to visit a house in the late 1930s near Roxy Cinema in central Kolkata where Sachin Deb Burman and Salil Chowdhury used to rehearse. I would go there to listen to their songs and draw inspiration from them. I also loved listening to Hemanta Mukherjee,” he said.

The 87-year-old maestro said despite his old age, he still manages to practise for two hours every day. “I have become very weak after suffering from viral pneumonia. But I still manage to put in two hours of riyaz every day,” he said.

A self-confessed film buff, Ravishankar said he loves spending his time watching movies or reading books.

Asked what film he had seen recently, he said: “I enjoyed watching ‘Blue Berry Nights’ in which my elder daughter Norah Jones had acted. It was premiered at a special show in China recently.”

The sitar player said though he watches television a lot he doesn’t like talent hunt shows on television channels.

“Though I watch television, I don’t have much liking for talent hunt shows. But this is not to say all singers who compete are bad. There are some good singers as well,” he said.

Asked what she would choose if given a choice between being a Bollywood diva or a musician, Anoushka said: “Bollywood is a big thing and I guess it would be nice to become a star, but I would be content playing music.”

Regarding comparisons with her younger sibling Norah Jones, she said: “We draw inspiration from each other. Musically, we are very close.”