Veteran violinist N. Rajam stated, “By no means in my performing lifetime of greater than 65 years have I ever seen such a protracted time frame with out concert events.” The world of classical music, Carnatic and Hindustani, could certainly witness irreversible modifications sooner or later; this stagnant section has shaken up organisers and performers alike. As sitarist Purbayan Chatterji places it, “We’ve witnessed historical past within the making, and a brand new ecosystem is already in place.”
Classical music in any case is already beset with issues. Within the North, to enumerate just a few, there are vastly inflated artiste charges which made even the mannequin of ticketed concert events unsustainable; and, in an try to extend audiences, the difficulty of company sponsors calling the photographs on content material and choosing the excessive visibility of solely star artistes.
A typical downside in each North and South has been the scarcity of platforms for brand new expertise. This has undoubtedly modified with the pandemic, with many promising artistes getting observed on-line. Their presence will affect future pageant line-ups.
Platform for brand new abilities
Says Carnatic flautist Shashank Subramanyam, “I believe many more recent performers will come up who’re simpler to take care of and who ask decrease charges; artistes with troublesome calls for could also be dropped.” Purbayan provides, “To a big extent, nepotism will finish; recognition is right now being judged on-line, will probably be extra democratic now.”
In keeping with Mumbai-based Shashi Vyas, founding father of Pancham Nishad, “The way forward for Hindustani music relies on three elements — finance, content material and visibility. Those that desired visibility have made out there their music free of charge. The necessity for funds will decide if price constructions stay the identical whereas content material will stay untouched if artistes don’t really feel threatened and make modifications.”
“A discount in artiste charges is anticipated,” says Purbayan. “I believe the price will likely be totally different for broadcasting rights.” In keeping with Vyas, artiste charges must be lowered as a matter of mutual comfort. “In spite of everything, organisers are solely the bridge between the artiste and the viewers.” Vocalist Manjusha Patil agrees, “For a performer, an viewers is extra necessary; price is secondary.”
With the pandemic severely impacting the financial system, there’s much less cash out there with corporates and state patrons now. Because of this, just a few organisers could choose out, as ticket gross sales alone can not cowl live performance prices. Says Manjusha, “There will certainly be fewer lengthy, huge festivals. As an alternative of three-day occasions with 9-12 artistes, there could now be one-day occasions. There will likely be a shift to extra small baithaks. Performers crave for a reside viewers; it’s not solely about how many individuals you attain out to.”
However Dubai-based Dr. Sathish Kumar of Rajalakshmi Nice Arts, which organises festivals in Coimbatore, Chennai and West Asia, disagrees. “I really feel as soon as reside festivals resume and when folks really feel secure, the variety of artistes would be the similar.” For the Chennai Season, 13 organisers are coming collectively. One wonders if this collaboration will proceed.
Younger, tech-savvy artistes will be capable to profit from digital platforms. On-line reveals will most likely proceed even when bodily concert events improve. “Artistes try to carve out their very own areas on-line; every one among us has some pluses, which we try to place out,” says Carmatic vocalist Sudha Ragunathan.
Given the big variety of on-line concert events, the eye span of listeners has lowered, leading to concert events of shorter length, however Manjusha says, “The length started to be lowered in pre-Corona occasions; this would be the new norm even for reside concert events.” Purbayan factors how prior to now artistes glorified the truth that they wanted time to heat up. “You can’t afford to do that in digital concert events as listeners will transfer on.”
Nonetheless, each Dr. Radha Bhaskar of Chennai-based Mudhra Arts and Dr. Sathish assume that the length of Carnatic reside concert events is not going to change. Says Sudha, “Listening on-line, in chunks, one has a distinct consideration span. In a live performance corridor, the impact of the identical artiste’s efficiency will likely be totally different, so I don’t assume the length will likely be lowered.”
With the viewers now unfold the world over, with totally different expectations and data ranges, the content material and maybe even the format of presentation could change. Many standard younger musicians are presenting their music in a extra inclusive approach.
Bodily concert events can even be broadcast; ‘phy-igital’ festivals are already taking place such because the current Pt. Motiram Pt. Maniram Competition in Hyderabad, the Harivallabh Competition to happen in Jalandhar on December 27, and the Kalakshetra pageant from December 21.
As Purbayan says, “When the artwork itself is threatened, the norms change; new doorways open up.”
The Delhi-based writer writes on Hindustani music and musicians.