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Mastering A Language

Wednesday, October 10, 2018
By Amarendra Dhaneshwar

Music is considered to be an international language. It is truism to say that music does not have any boundaries. Yet, the music generated by a particular culture has its own special idiom of expression and the manner of articulation. It is not at all easy to learn, adopt and then master a foreign language. It takes years of dedication and long and sustained practice to be able to achieve fluency in a language which is not one's own . Takahiro Arai and Yuji Nakagava, the two young Japnese musicians have shown the astonishing ability to absorb the language of Hindustani music  and adapt to the general environment of the Hindustani culture. This was evident from their respective performances on the occasion of the International Music Day at the Dadar Matunga Cultural Centre over this week end.

Dadar Matunga Cultural Centre is one of the oldest music circles in the metropolis. It has been nurturing traditional music for well over six decades. It holds one programme every year which is dedicated to the music which is product of cultural interface. This year they decided to invite the two Japan born practitioners of Hindustani music and the duo turned in a wonderful performance.

Takahiro Arai who began as a drummer in Japan was attracted to the santoor when he first heard the maestro Shivkumar Sharma. He wanted to pursue a melodic instrument and thought that the santoor was ideal for him. Sharma generously accepted him as a disciple and he has made India his home. Yuji Nakagava was mesmerised by the sound of the sarangi and was trained by the late Dhruba Ghosh.  His mastery of the sarangi leaves a lasting impression on the listeners.  While Yuji played the raga sombre raga 'Shree' with due regard to the complexity of the note structure, his 'Charukeshi' was a lighter melody which was quite appealing. He was accompanied on the tabla by Shrutindra Katgade who is one of the finest young tabla players.

Takahiro rightly selected the raga 'Maru Bihag' which has an instant appeal. The deft placing of the note shuddh madhyam was indeed delightful. Takahiro's alaps and jod had  a sense of compactness.  Nilesh Randive, a Poona based tabla player lent superlative support ot him on the tabla. His strokes had a refreshing clarity and tonal beauty. It was a perfect combination of melody and rhythm. The deputy consul General of Japan was kind enough to grace the occasion with his presence.

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