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‘Indian Classical Music Concert ‘Shanti’ in the Times of New Normal’

1st Press Conference on Indian Classical Music held in the city under the new normal routine

· 2nd episode of ‘Shanti’ online classical music concert to stream on 29th August

'​​​Arati Music Foundation’, helmed by Sitar Maestro Pandit Kushal Das, organised a press conference today to talk about their online Indian Classical Concert series named "SHANTI". ‘Arati Music Foundation’ has been propagating Indian Classical Music for the last 4 years promoting the best of the younger generation and also showcasing the Legendary maestros.

Since the onset of Covid-19 pandemic and due to the norms of reduced public gathering, it has been difficult to conduct the musical concerts live which were an otherwise popular phenomenon in Kolkata. To overcome this, Pandit Kushal Das and his Music Foundation came up with a one of its kind online Indian Classical Concert series titled ‘SHANTI’. The concert aims to spread the message of peace, harmony and unity all across the world amidst the global pandemic of Covid-19.

The concert series whose first episode took place last month on 25th July, featuring Living Legend of tabla Pandit Anindo Chatterjee followed by one of the finest vocalists of the present generation - Shri Omkar Dadarkar’s mesmerising khayal recitation. The 2nd episode that is scheduled to take place on 29th August, will witness Ustad Rashid Khan with Pandit Subhankar Banerjee on the tabla and Shri Hiranmoy Mitra & Sarwar Hussain on the Harmonium & Sarangi respectively. There will also be a performance by Young Sarode virtuoso Shri Debanjan Bhattacharjee along with Shri Sandip Ghosh on the tabla.

This initiative is the first ever experience to witness the best of Indian Classical Music in a new dimension viewed across the globe in 4 different Time Zones helping to create a global cultural harmony.

The press conference saw the presence of eminent music personalities like Maestro Kushal Das, Pandit Tejendra Narayan Majumder, Pandit Subhankar Banerjee, Pandit Tanmoy Bose, Vidushi Kaushiki Chakraborty, Pandit Anindo Chatterjee and The Violin Brothers. Among the younger generation of artists Shri Kalyanjit Das and Shri Debanjan Bhattacharya were present.

The programme began with a commemoration to Padma Vibhusan Late Pandit Jasraj followed by a discussion on the future of Indian Classical Music during and after pandemic.

The celebrated artists were noticed to be in a much-relaxed mood as they met each other after 5 months in a socially distanced gathering. As the artists only removed their masks for photo ops, the senior musicians joked that they were all sanitised head to toe including their accessories!

Pandit Kushal Das who has started this initiative went on to say: “This pandemic has put several professions amidst great difficulty and Indian Classical music is one such profession that is going through a tough time owing to an indefinite pause in the mass events and hall concerts. Therefore, Arati Music Foundation, which was formed in loving memory of my mother Smt Arati Das, has decided to bring about an online Indian Classical Concert series that will be professionally conducted and viewed from the safety of our homes. We have got a fantastic response so far from audience across the world and hope to get some more”

Pandit Anindo Chatterjee who had performed in the previous episode of the online series said: “After I recorded the concert, I loved how professional it looked because of the studio ambience in which we shot. However, I was missed hearing the applause and praises during the performance”

Pandit Tejendra Narayan, Pandit Tanmoy Bose and Vidushi Kaushiki Chakraborty, who will be performing in upcoming episodes of this concert series, applauded this initiative by Pt. Kushal Das and his family. While Tejendra Narayan said: “Like we are investing on OTT platform subscriptions for entertainment, I would urge the audience to similarly invest in online ticketed concerts to support the music fraternity”, Tanmoy Bose voiced: “Although Entertainment does not come under essential service by govt. bodies across the globe, it was entertainment including music that people resorted to during the dark days of the pandemic. While some established musicians could survive the lockdown, several small-scale artists who earned from training and tuition suffered profusely.” Kaushiki Chakraborty pointed out how her entire fraternity was in grave economic danger and said: ”Some musicians in our community have had to sell their instruments in order to survive. Most have lost their earning capacity. Therefore, it is imperative to have paid online concerts where the audience will invest in a combined ambience of a professional performance.”

The much-awaited 2nd episode of Shanti online Concert can be viewed from 29th August onwards through the Viewcy.com portal by music lovers across the globe.

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