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desh

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Reply with quote  #1 
Hi Everyone,

Initially ,I drafted an angry response to a members insensitive comment about Ustad Vilayat Khan(UVK) in the VK and RS topic.Instead of posting my response,I decided to post the below article written by UVK's daughter Zila Khan. Enjoy!

Equals, not rivals
Source: http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/equals-not-rivals/article4192822.ece


Whichever raga he chose, Ustad Vilayat Khan would create newness within the same raga. So there was purity and versatility. That’s why his music was not just appealing to only the purists and older generation, it appealed to even those who didn't understand classical music.

Pandit Ravi Shankar would infuse; I don't like the word fusion because that takes away from the artist. There are other fusion artists who don’t do it well. But I wouldn’t call Pandit Ravi Shankar’s music fusion because he did great stuff — different ragas with each other and created variety.

It doesn't make anybody a lesser or a greater artist. It is just that they approached music differently.

Their equation as musicians

Both respected one another, but both agreed to disagree. If one artiste missed the aspect of popularity, the other missed the aspect of respectability within purity. But their contribution to the world of music was the same. We lost Ustad Vilayat Khan in 2004 and now we are dealing with the loss of another huge, huge legend.

Ustad Vilayat Khan’s music changed the style of Hindustani classical music, be it whatever instrument or vocal style, he changed the structure of a performance on stage and he changed the structure of khayal singing. Now here is another artiste, the great, great Pandit Ravi Shankar ji, who held on to his style of sitar playing with the help of his pleasing character and vision. He took India’s music to the farthest corners of the world.

Ustad Vilayat Khan would say this about him both admiringly and sympathetically, “Robu da has popularised India’s music all over the world at the cost of his music.”

Their relationship

They shared a wonderful camaraderie. They would joke and laugh like crazy. Once when Pandit ji came to perform at the Doon School in Dehradun, he rung up — I was my father’s right hand man — and said that he was here and would like to come over to our house in and see abba. So we had a fun-filled evening.

They realised and knew each other’s role in the world of music. It didn’t bother them. What bothered them was when people compared them and tried to pitch one against the other. It irked them. Then they had to explain and clarify that they had different styles. And of course, there were different camps — one was Ustad Vilayat Khan camp and there was Pandit Ravi Shankar camp, because both had their fans and loyalists. It is wrong for us to deny that.

There were organisations which would try to pitch one on top of another. So there were organisations which would have more performances of Ustad Vilayat Khan and then there were some which wanted more of Pandit Ravi Shankar. But they didn’t like this at all.
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Fil

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Reply with quote  #2 
Desh, you will find this sort of silliness in all musical traditions. You will also find it in acting, dance, sport, architecture, literature, you name it... indeed all forms of human creative endeavour.
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Hamletsghost

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Reply with quote  #3 
THANKS DESH OL' PAL O' MINE

Great article. And how very zen of you to restrain yourself so elegantly.
I think Tony hit it right. It was just a troll trying to incite trouble.

The two giants produced such beautiful, heavenly, and moving music that it is just foolish, as well as gouache to try to compare them as being one over the other. Enjoy the beauty for beauties sake.

Hope this finds you well & thanks again for the great article.

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PEACE THRU MUSIC - Larry Darrell LIVES!
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fossesitar

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Reply with quote  #4 
The only time VK spoke of PRS to me, this was in Simla, he spoke of the Kharaj Versus GP stringing style, saying that personally, he did not like the way the kharaj strings got in the way of fast rythymic playing or having to use clips for these strings, and that he much preferred the fuller drone sound of the GP sitar.

There was no evidence of personal animosity of any kind in his attitude whatsoever. I think Nicnues comments are well taken about the media and the over-simplified, overblown and excessive focus on one performer as the be-all and end-all but that is life and that is the media for sure. It boils down to luck more often than not, and just being in the right place at the right time. As for different styles:

We all have our personal preferences style-wise and performer-wise but those who dismiss a style or a performer without opening themselves to that music are only cheating themselves in the long run. The most fanatical people are the ones who are missing out the most, and this is "not my problem".

It was certainly not VK's problem since nobody could ever have been more open-minded to all music and musical styles while still being such a strong proponent of the lineage he came from. GF
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David Russell Watson

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Reply with quote  #5 
Oh, the backhandedness of Zila's compliment seems to have been missed entirely!

She said, emphasis mine, that "Ustad Vilayat Khan would say this about him both admiringly and sympathetically, “Robu da has popularised India’s music all over the world at the cost of his music.”

It recalls the similar cattiness of her sister Begum Yaman when she spoke against Rais Khan.

Both sisters are just aggrandizing the family brand

David
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Fil

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Reply with quote  #6 
"Katharine Hepburn delivered a striking performance that ran the gamut of emotions, from A to B.": Dorothy Parker. The best put down of all time.
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