Veteran musician Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt is on a mission to save classical music, which he says is witnessing a dwindling audience with people preferring shorter "more entertaining" renditions.
The Grammy-award winning musician who plays the Veena teamed up with son Salil Bhatt for a jugalbandi here late last evening. The event organised by Chandigarh-based Pracheen Kala Kendra was advertised as an attempt to "foster the essence of classical music and to promote the cultural heritage of India."
"The general public is more interested in a short version of music which is entertaining. There are few people who understand or truly appreciate classical renditions," the senior musician told PTI in an interview.
Pandit Vishwa Mohan says a lover of classical music would devote time and energy to understand a piece to enjoy it.
"I am not saying that other style or category of music is bad. One has to be mature enough to understand classical music. Hence it is not for masses it is for classes," says the musician.
At the concert he launched his 18th album, "East Meets West ecstatic fusion of Indian classical, jazz and western percussions in collaboration with Canadian jazz artist Glen Charles.
"I am launching the album in India first as it is the seat of Indian classical music and it is our cultural heritage. If I have time and scope then I will launch it abroad," says the veteran musician who is well known for his collaborations with Western artists like Taj Mahal, Bela Fleck and Jerry Douglas.
Meanwhile, son Salil Bhatt who has followed his father's steps also launched his own music album titled "Satkriti".
"This album is the musical creation of Lord Shiva. He has been known as the destroyer, but it is known in history that he was also the first to create music in the Universe with the tantric and the damru rhythm. So, this album is an ode to him," says the junior musician.
The father-son duo has come together after a long time for the special concert dedicated to the late Madan Lal Koser, known to be a leading performer of the tandav dance and under whose leadership Pracheen Kala Kendra reached its heights.
The musician duo feel that classical artists, who carry the heritage of Indian music, are not given enough importance.
"There are channels for Bollywood music, western music, news, entertainment, movies and so many more and even one for animals. But have you ever seen a channel which is completely devoted to classical music. Good music in today's society is very important so that human beings remain human," says Salil Bhatt.