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Interview with Lakshmi Shankar Back
1. What inspired you to become a musician?
My love for music; I guess from the age of 3 I used to sit and listen to my brother playing the violin. My mother had a beautiful voice and used to teach me simple songs. But some how I never got to learn music seriously since my mother was keen on teaching me dance.
2. What training have you undertaken and what sacrifices have you made?
I had rigorous training under gurus, the first one being Ustad Abdul Rehman Khan of Patiala Gharana. Later I took a Bachelor of Music degree under the guidance of Prof. B. R. Deodhar. Pt. Ravi Shankar, Lakshman Prasad Jaipurwalle and Pt. Mahadev Mishra were my other Gurus. I do not think I made much sacrifice except the time I spent in practice.
3. Other than being a musician what other occupation would you have pursued?
Actually my first career began as a dancer. I learned Bharata Natyam under one of the best Gurus in Chennai, later learnt Kathakali, Manipuri, and the original style of dance based on the Indian classics in the Uday Shankar India Culture Centre at Almora near the Himalayas. I took part in several Ballets, a Tamil Film in which I directed my dances and sang my own songs. It was after this that I took up singing seriously and had rigorous training.
4. What motivates you to perform for audiences around the world?
My ardent love and devotion for singing inspired me to perform all over the world for all kinds of audiences.
5. As a lover of music yourself, what do you listen to and which artists inspire you the most?
I do listen to all kinds of music which appeals to my heart – from Carnatic music, North Indian Light and Classical, Folk music, Rabindra Sangeet, Western, and so on. I have always been inspired by M. S. Subbalakshmi, Pt. Ravi Shankar, Ameer Khan and Bade Ghulam Ali Khan.
6. You have obviously travelled extensively around the world, which is your favourite destination and which is your favourite concert venue?
I have enjoyed signing all over the world but France I believe has the best audience in the Western World. In India, Maharashtra, Bengal, and South India have great listeners.
7. Having travelled you must have experienced other cuisines, which is you favourite?
Any vegetarian meal appeals to me. Among Indian, I enjoy Gujarati, Marwari, and South Indian.
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2016-06-30: Vidushi Veena Sahasrabuddhe Passes Away

VIDUSHI VEENA SAHASRABUDDHE PASSES AWAY

14 Sep 1948 - 29 June 2016



It is with a profound sense of sadness we inform our listeners and friends of the untimely passing of the great Hindustani Classical vocalist, Vidushi Veena Sahasrabuddhe in Pune, India tonight. Several years back at the prime of her career she was struck down with Parkinson's Disease which steadily took its toll on her. A wonderful singer, very learned in her art form and a great teacher has been taken away from us.

She came from a prominent musical family, brought up in Madhya Pradesh albeit of Maharashtrian origin. Her father, Shankar Shripad Bodas was a disciple of the legendary vocalist Pandit Vishnu Digambar Paluskar. Veenaji began her early musical education under her father and then under her brother Kashinath Shankar Bodas. She also learned Kathak dancing in her childhood. Among her many honours, the more prominent was the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 2013.

We all at Navras Records were very privileged to have been associated with her personally and through her concert performances for us and her recordings on our Catalogue. Our condolences to her immediate family and to all her fans. May God grant her soul eternal peace!

We append below an appreciation of her by Martin Clayton, extracted from the sleeve notes of one of her Navras albums, "Sawani". We also present an excerpt of a rare vocal Ragamala from that album.

In Indian Classical Music, a Raagmala is far more frequently performed in Instrumental Music and rather rarely in Vocal Music. Here is a rare such performance - an excerpt of a Raagmala based on Raga Rageshri by one of the foremost vocalists Veena Sahasrabuddhe, from a Navras Records album titled "SAWANI" (NRCD 0167).

http://youtu.be/ZddFyMOyzhQ

VEENA SAHSRABUDDHE

Veena Sahasrabuddhe was born in Kanpur in 1948, the daughter of Pandit Shankar Shripad Bodas, who was a disciple of Pandit Vishnu Digambar Paluskar. Her training began with Kathak dance at a young age, something that has helped in the development of her rhythmic sense. She then began to learn singing from her father, continued studying with her elder brother, Pandit Kashinath Shankar Bodas, and has subsequently learnt from a number of eminent musicians including Pandit Vasant Thakar, Pandit Balwantrai Bhatt, and Pandit Gajananbua Joshi.

Veena's background and training identify her as a product of the Gwalior gharana of khyal singing, although in truth she has not been afraid to develop her own individual style, blending elements from a variety of sources. The listener is struck not only by her total command of vocal technique, but also by her musical imagination and sensitivity. An artist who thinks deeply about her music, her presentations are always as meticulously planned as they are inspired. In this she selects from a wide repertoire, including khyals in a variety of taals and tempi (many of which she composes herself), exciting taranas, and traditional bhajans in modern arrangements. It is hardly surprising that since her first major concert in 1984, she has established herself firmly as one of the country's most popular classical musicians. As well as a performer and composer, she is also a fine teacher, and is currently Adjunct Professor at the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay.

Martin Clayton (2004)


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