The tradition of Indian classical performing arts specially music is a subtle organic inheritance. This highly processed art needs a high level of awareness, insight and dedication. The learning and practice of classical music quietly subverts the mind towards the spiritual essence of the practitioner. Thus it becomes a process of transformation, an inner experience and a miracle of self discovery that awakens the artiste to his inner self.
The training of a musician in the Indian inheritance becomes a powerful transforming agent, effective not only in acquisition of art but in catalyzing the total change of the inner substance of human being. The hidden agenda of this art is spiritual. The practice of this art with the kind of obsessed dedication it demands, has a curious transforming effect on the sadhak. Years of sur sadhana gives a strange indescribable quality to the voice, a presence of a quiet authority and power which leaves lasting impression. It is not the music alone that moves the listeners but the essence of the person who embodies the art.
The music of Pt. Jasraj proves this point every time one listens to him. His relentless pursuit, his passionate creative spirit and his single minded devotion to music has made him what he is today, the bright sun of Indian music, the glorious ‘Sangeet Martand’. “Music is the breath of my life” he says. ‘I breathe it in and out. The breathing in process takes place on a subconscious level. My ears are permanently alert to good music. I absorb it unconsciously and it manifests getting metamorphosed into an unrecognizable element of my singing. As long as this breathing process goes on, I hope and pray that I shall continue to sing in total surrender to His will, seeking His audience as my ultimate goal’.
Born in to a family that has given four generations of outstanding musicians, his initial tutelage started under his father Pt. Motiram and later he was groomed by his elder brother Pt. Maniram in the traditional gaayaki of Mewati Gharana.. Endowed with a rich, soulful and sonorous voice, with its prodigious reach in mandra with all the resonance and grain, he traverses three and a half octave effortlessly. The intense spiritual element of his music and its emotional appeal makes him unique.
One of the finest classical vocalist of modern times, this doyen of Mewati Gharana, has full command over sur and laya. Perfect diction, choice of compositions and their lyrical beauty, extreme tunefulness and interplay of notes with the words to evoke the desired moods and feelings are the most attractive features of his singing that have mesmerized the rasikas for decades on end. The pure classical approach of his music is redolent with his sensitivity.
Although he has innumerable cassette and CDs to his credits but the present collection of Doordarshan archival recordings, of his precious telecasts, give the music lovers an over view of the musical landscape of the legendary singer.
Best of Doordarshan by: Manjari Sinha
Hindi Translation: Kali Prasad, Irfan
Introduced By: Durga Jasraj
Photo: Avinash Pasricha
Project Director: Navin Kumar
Devised & Designed By: Kamalini Dutt
Associates: Ved M Rao & Kali Prasad
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