Who I am
Sure, I am a flautist. But that’s only the beginning. I am also an international performer, enthusiastic musician, and a man with a big musical vision. I want to live in a world where flute playing is unapologetically bold, anything but conformist, always soulful and tells us something fresh. I perform at regularly scheduled events through giving back to my community. I aim to unlock something in the listener that will be there long after the music has ended.
Why I perform
There is this moment in a performance where the energy of the audience and myself, the performer, become one. It is as if we are inhaling and exhaling together. Transcending to another space beyond the venue. When this shift happens I know immediately. Suddenly no one moves, the air is thick, and there is complete synchronicity between the audience and myself. I am simply the medium from which the music flows; the holder of this sacred space for the audience. And that is why I perform: because of this one, divine moment.
How the flute found me
I grew up in a musical atmosphere and my father, Pandit Gopal Das, one of the pioneers of Indian classical music on the clarinet, was my first guru. It was an unconscious and organic initiation. I was around five, my father’s guru, Pandit Bholanath Prasanna, who was also Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia’s teacher, made me sit on his lap and gave me a flute. That’s when I knew I wanted to hold a flute too. I feel now, in retrospect, that moment was a significant message of what was to come.
How I reached here
I performed first when I was 8, at Prayag Sangeet Samiti’s conference in Allahabad and had more than 2000 performances in 18 years. I am the recepient of a national scholarship offered by the Indian Government which allowed me to get a master’s degree from Banaras Hindu University with distinction. Incredible musicians always appeared in my path when I was ready to receive their wisdom: I have studied with Acharya Pandit Anupam Rai and Pandit Udhai Mazumdar (a renowned tabla exponent and music composer of Benaras-Maihar Gharana).
An ICCR empanelled artist, “A” grade artist by All India Radio & Doordarshan, I have been honoured with multiple awards in music competitions such as Sangeet Natak Academy, Sangeet Samiti, Sahara International Music Competition, All India Radio Competition.
My strength lies in the ability to imbibe the essence of classical music’s rich heritage while being able to then interpret it in various collaborations. I enjoy playing all kinds of music – classical, jazz, world music, Bollywood music. Balancing the twin worlds of traditional thought and contemporary perspective, my strong classical roots allow me to not only acknowledge its deep presence in the melodies gone by and those yet to come, but it also allow me to appreciate the tenets of world music.