“If “is a journey of an individual towards LOVE. In “CALLING GANESHA” he breathes a prayer of gratitude and thankfulness to Lord Ganesha, the God of fulfillment for what he has given him. He steps out into the macrocosm for his search for the ‘sense sublime’, the flowering of which he sees in LOVE.
‘IF YOU EVER LOVED’ reveals this quest. He envisages love as a bridging of souls. He tries to see its manifestation even beyond the animate to the inanimate. This quest for eternal love takes its meandering course. His mind opens up to the BEAUTY all around him. As he steps out to find beauty and truth, manifestations of LOVE – the LIFE FORCE – he interacts with others.
‘YA MAN’ and ‘LUKHNOW give glimpses of the beauties of life that lay hidden to his eyes so far. This process of exploring continues – he discovers marvels after marvels, each of which are various nuances of LOVE. He finds it, both in the exalted and the commonplace.
He cherishes these varied insights into life in ‘HASEEN’ AND THEY OFTEN REVEAL THEMSELVES TO HIM IN FLASHES BEFORE HIS INWARD EYE. HE AT TIMES FEELS COMFORTED TO HAVE THESE INKLINGS TO life, which to him is an embodiment of LOVE.
This quest brings him face to face with the CORE, the ‘TRADITION’ and he realizes that all the marvels he has discovered are an off-spring of this TRADITION, he experiences its richness in ‘SALUTE TO TRADITION’. He sees himself in the light of this immensity and conceives himself to be a microcosmic part of this macrocosm.
He is bewildered and his search continues. He has seen much. He is full to the brim. But a spontaneous outpouring of LIFE, that is LOVE, is what he awaits for, KHWAB’ unfurls this wait. He moves on. In sporadic flashes of insight he bursts this bubble of enigma and he experiences the light of TRUTH, BEAUTY and PERFECTION. This is what LOVE means to him. He has attained the sense sublime, the enlightenment of LOVE. LIFE itself becomes a manifestation of LOVE and he can now live life fully, though the quest continues, for love is eternal. This is the canvas of “If”
Niladri Kumar has been hailed as one of the most serious young exponents of Sitar representing the fifth generation of Sitarists. His forefathers were prominent Sitarists of Dhaka. Nurtured and molded under the able guidance of his father, Pandit Kartick Kumar of the Senia Gharana, he started learning the Sitar at the tender age of four. He gave his first public performance at Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry at the age of six. He has accompanied and played “Jugalbandis” with his father apart from his solo concerts since then and delighted the audiences with his amazing skill.
He has embarked on a career that promises to be illustrious and innovative. Years of training have exposed him to and enriched his music with the artistic aspects and nuances of diverse gharana styles. His distinctive style is strongly rooted in classical musical traditions, which appeals to the orthodox as well as progressive music lovers.
Niladri, has an uncanny knack of striking an instant rapport with audiences. He has sincerely attempted to infuse interest and respect for Indian Classical Music in the younger generation. Charismatic performer that he is, he can easily mesmerize audiences with his innovative skills and dexterity of his swift and agile fingers tugging at the strings of the Sitar.
His intensive training is evident from his performances that have been honed to perfection. He displays deep insight and understanding of ragas by blending the purity of the ragas with imaginative experiments. He is an orthodox amongst the traditional and most progressive among the creative. He is indeed a talented artist promising to extend the musical horizons.
Among several accolades and awards, he has been awarded the titles ‘SHANMUKHA SHREE’ by the prestigious Shanmukhananda Sangeet Shabha “SUR RATNA” by Bhatkhande Lalit Kala Academy, “SURMANI” by SUR SINGAR SAMSAD, “JADUBHATTA PURASKAR” from Bengal and the “SANSKRITI AWARD” for excellence in music from the Sanskriti Pratishthan.
I would like to thank my fellow musicians without whose support this album would still be a dream our sound engineer Aslam Khan and his assistant Rizwan Poonawalla for all their efforts and my heartfelt thanks to them for everything.
And lastly, the producer of the album, Hemant Mattani for inspiring me over a period of time for this album to happen. I enjoyed every wee bit doing the album “IF”
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