The pandemic gave young people time to explore different instruments
Guitar, violin, tabla, sitar, keys – young musicians sharpened their skills during confinement
Exploring different instruments helped them cope with pandemic stress
From ukulele to jaltaranga to various types of guitar, young people in the city have rediscovered their passion for musical instruments during the pandemic. From learning new instruments to virtual jamming, here’s how four budding instrumentalists got the most out of locking.
Shubhayan Dey juggles 24 instruments
Shubhayan Dey, a sophomore economics student at Kolkata Presidency University, breathes music. Beginning with the violin at the age of four and the tabla at the age of 10, this 19-year-old explored a variety of instruments such as guitar, piano, sitar, mandolin, drums, bongo, viola and ukulele.
After participating in various school and university festivals, Shubhayan, a disciple of the Pandit Kumar Bose of Benaras gharana, is now focusing on understanding music and instruments.
âI consider myself a beginner and I have a huge universe to explore. The best thing about locking is that it gave me a lot of free time to play, practice, listen and think about music. Online music lessons were a tough hurdle, but my teachers helped me overcome them smoothly, âsaid Shubhayan, who is learning violin from violinists Deb Shankar Roy and Jyoti Shankar Roy, better known as Violin Brothers.
Shubhayan’s inspirations are violinist Itzhak Perlman, Yehudi Menuhin, Niccolo Paganini, The Violin Brothers; tabla maestros like Zakir Hussain, Swapan Chaudhuri, Kumar Bose and Sabir Khan.
Shubhayan continues to mix genres such as jazz, 60s and 70s pop music, blues and Indian retro. His favorite is Indian classical music.
âLearning Indian and Western classical has helped me see the compositions as a whole — harmonies, melodies, rhythms and mixtures. While some instruments have taught me the beauty of melody, others have taught me. learned the intricacies of rhythm and some taught me the discipline, âsaid the young multi-instrumentalist.
During the lockdown, Shubhayan composed songs he has yet to record, did the background music for a Natyokarer Mrityu play from Udbhab, and is currently working on a few tracks for a short film The River, The Road. and Hoodwinked Toad directed by Ankit Santra, a 2020 graduate of St. Xavier’s College in Mass Communication and Videography.
Rupak Bhattacharya created his instrument
His self-taught jaltaranga grabbed the headlines after playing the TTIS Challenge 2020 for an unconventional orchestra — Rupak Bhattacharya, a freshman geography student at Amity University, Kolkata, enjoys playing with tunes and chords . Initially, he was guided by his mother Sarmila, who taught him Rabindrasangeet. His formal learning began when he was in class VI.
âIn unconventional music people usually focus on the beat but I wanted to add a little melody to it. Although I am not a science student, I used physics concepts like the air column and the volume mechanism to develop my jaltaranga. Different water levels produce different notes and so a tune can be played easily, âsaid the 18-year-old who plays 10 instruments like melodica, guitar, cajon, ukulele, mandolin, banjo and l. ‘harmonium.
Rupak mastered two new instruments — banjo and mandolin — during the pandemic. The confinement allowed him to spend four hours a day on music. He plays keyboards and melodica for Matan, a folk group based in Kolkata.
âThe keyboard is my favorite instrument and I play it professionally. I learned different forms of music and instruments during the pandemic. I’m currently self-taught thanks to different online sources, âsaid Rupak, whose dream is to become a successful musician. He worked with folk music artist Arpita Chakraborty for his new original song Genda phool.
Abhirup Ghosh cultivates different genres of music with 13 instruments
A third year Bachelor of Commerce student at Bhawanipur Education Society College, Abhirup Ghosh has loved music since birth. His parents Anuradha and Abhijit Ghosh are music teachers at BSS School and Mahadevi Birla World Academy respectively. He is currently learning drums from his teacher, Premjit Dutta.
âTabla, dhol and cajon have been my companions since my childhood. With them, I found new models in my musical tastes and everything helped me to express my emotions. Since music crosses borders or cultural barriers, it’s always meant to connect, whether it’s mixing tabla with drums or cajon with khanjira, âsaid the 22-year-old.
Abhirup spent confinement developing his skills focusing on genres like fusion rock and progressive rock. He creates his compositions and saves them to check his improvement. His dream job includes music with unconventional instruments like buckets, glass, shakers, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, keyboard, and vocals which he plans to release on YouTube soon. He performed the background music for the tabla Dhol of the Tal-Betal Puppet Theater directed by Subhasis Sen.
âDuring the pandemic, I attended several online music workshops, performed in many virtual jamming sessions. I devoted a maximum of time to perfecting myself. Whenever I have free time between my studies, I train, âsaid Abhirup, whose idols are percussionists Darshan Joshi and Sambit Chatterjee.
Nimiksha Manoj explores electric and acoustic guitar
Passionate guitarist Nimiksha Manoj has been playing electric and acoustic guitar for 13 years. âI loved guitars from a young age. My inclination is towards western classical music. I am learning from Saptarshi Bhattacharya. At first I was inspired by the Slash musicians a lot and later over time Joe Satriani, Jimi Hendrix, David Gilmour and Steve Vai inspired me and influenced my style. I plan to explore Indian classical music, âsaid Nimiksha, who graduated from BSS School in 2021 and is currently preparing for NEET.
Containment was not easy for the 18-year-old involved in her school group. She used this time to improve herself. âI mostly chose classical solos to improve my technique. I also started to practice improvisations slowly because it’s something I’m not very good at and playing covers doesn’t get you very far. It has to be original after a certain point, âNimiksha said.
She has a fondness for stringed instruments, both Indian and Western, and can’t wait to try as many as possible. âThe guitar has always helped me deal with various situations and channel most of my emotions. Playing the guitar has become a daily habit for me. I would like to learn the classical guitar which I started working on very recently as well as the percussive-acoustic playing style, âsaid the young guitarist.
Last updated on December 19, 2021