Music requires blessings: Ayaan Ali Bangash

Music requires blessings: Ayaan Ali Bangash

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Mumbai: Sarod players Amaan and Ayaan Ali Bangash ahead of their concert, at Gateway of India in Mumbai on Jan 7, 2018.(Photo: IANS)
By IANSlife Features
New Delhi, Sep 16 (IANSlife) With sarod legend Ustaad Amjad Ali Khan as their father, Ayaan and Amaan Ali Bangash realised early they had big shoes to fill in. But the brothers have lived up to their family name. And now Ayaan has his own little talents to groom. IANSlife spoke to the younger Bangash brother on the challenges of being a musician, a father and a guru.
Playing at concerts the world over, do you feel the Indian audience has a connect with you?
Ayaan: It's extremely important and special when you are loved in the country you have grown up in and belong to. That validation is very important for any artiste. The West also has an amazing audience. The US and Europe are both special, but different. Every place has its own warmth, magic and colour, so it's hard to compare.
You are collaborating with many international artistes. Do you think you have a role to play in spreading the sound of India far and wide?
Ayaan: I do think so, but more than the sound of India, it's the sound of music. The best part is even when we are performing with so many western classical musicians, even though we may have rehearsed, different things happen on stage - by getting to know the strengths of different artistes, their vibrations, eye contact, the very connect. It's most important to connect with the person that you are playing with and good or appealing music follows. Musicians can communicate with just notes. Music is a universal language.
What do you think about collaborations
Ayaan: Most of our collaborations, including ‘Strings for Peace' or ‘Soul Strings', talk about peace. It is the need of these troubled times. And we genuinely want to convey it because as musicians we are able to speak in a language that transcends borders.
You have two sons. What if one of them said they don't want to make music?
Ayaan: They are really young, both of them just seven. And they have a hectic schedule. Times are different, it's not like when we were growing up. There are so many more distractions, the tablets haven't helped. So I do take time out to try and mentor them in a language they understand. They are both very good listeners and have been attending concerts since the time they were born. So they are very good during concerts. They are quiet and sit through. This is the greatest wealth we have a family and I'd love to share that with them. And I would like to believe it's a way of their life, but there's no pressure. They are free to do what they want to. You have to do your best, but leave the rest to the power above.
What advice would you give to aspiring musicians?
Ayaan: Everyone nowadays is so hardworking. And everyone's playing so well, but destiny and karma make a big difference. I always tell young musicians, don't forget the blessing quotient in this field. It might sound old-school and philosophical, but any art, especially music, requires blessings. Because you have some people who may be technically brilliant, but they have no fragrance or soul in their tunes and don't connect with the audience. And you may have someone whose technique is not the best, but they have a soul connection with their audience. How do you explain that? There is some blessing and karma that connects people in the creative field. So take blessings from your parents and guru, and remember that respect is more important than perfection.
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