Beyond Music – Maestros in Conversation

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Author: Geeta Sahai and Shrinkhla
Sahai (Interviewers)
Publisher: Niyogi Books, New Delhi
(Pp 324, ISBN 978-93-83098-98-9, Rs 595)

Passion is a very strong feeling about a person or thing. An intense emotion, a compelling enthusiasm or desire for something! Claude Levi-Strauss famously described music as “the supreme mystery of human knowledge. All other branches of knowledge stumble into it; it holds the key to their progress.”

Music can be appreciated in number of different ways and on a number of different levels. For some people, music is essentially a sensual, physical experience – the urge to move the body and to dance to certain pieces of music can often prove irresistible.

For other people, though, enjoyment and pleasure is gained purely through the act of listening to music. Such pleasure may be derived, for instance, from listening to a favourite opera singer, a favourite rock band, or from the agreeable sound a particular combination of instruments makes. Appreciating music at this level does not require any musical expertise on the part of the listener, and certainly does not demand close familiarity with the technical elements of music.

Beyond Music – Maestros in Conversation by Geeta Sahai and Shrinkhla Sahai investigates the relationship between passion and the attainment of an elite level of performance by renowned expert musicians. The book is not just about music, it is an exciting journey into the minds of musicians, bringing alive the fragrance of their musical thinking. The volume contains ‘twenty five interviews which are mirror to the inner trials and tribulations of an artiste. With the focus being on the life and challenges of the musical world, the lucid language and various musical perspectives make the book thought provoking and interesting read….’

Beyond Music – Maestros in Conversation delves into candid opinions on issues, revealing thoughts on music-making and emotional sagas of some of the most accomplished, revered classical musicians— Dr Prabha Atre, Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, Dr N Rajam, Vidushi Shanno Khurana, Pandit Jasraj, Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma, Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia, to name a few. This book is not just about music; it is an exciting journey into the minds of the musicians, bringing alive the fragrance of their musical thinking. A must read for all Hindustani classical music connoisseurs.

During the interviews, the authors of Beyond Music reveal, “we always sought to go beyond the stage persona of the musicians and delve into his/her thoughts and experiences….” This has given the posterity to peep into the travails and triumphs of the celebrated musicians.

Beyond Music Maestros in Conversation explores candid opinions on issues, revealing thoughts on music making and emotional sagas of some of the most accomplished, illustrious classical musicians. The book is a who’s who of Indian classical musicians.

– GS Jolly

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