Rahul Sharma does not need any introduction. He’s the son of the music legend Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma and a veteran musician himself. When he plays santoor, life sings with him.
It is he who inspired the name of my blog ‘Confluence’. Twelve years back when I was sitting in a restaurant with a friend, I first heard one of his renditions. The album name was Interface! A santoor lover was born and Rahul got yet another fan, an ardent one at that. Later, when Rahul jammed with Richard Clayderman, the album was called ‘Confluence’. The perfect word to sum up life, which is a confluence of imagination and vividness.
Recently, I met Rahul in Coorg, where he was performing with Deep Forest. Both maestros created such symphonies that cut the audience, including me, from the eccentricities of rest of the world. I told Rahul that I am an ardent fan, and my blog got its name from one of his albums.
What he told me after that is a little secret which remains between him and me. Here are some questions I asked the great santoor maestro Rahul Sharma.
1. What kind of music are you attracted towards? Your take on Indian ethnic music?
Indian music is extremely rich and deep. You’ll need a lifetime to learn various ragas as the classical music from India never ends. It will always keep growing as long as there are new talents who keep on representing it.
2. What kind of Indian music do you enjoy the most?
The Indian ethnic music is what I admire the most. My Santoor is something whose music I love dearly.
3. How do you plan to explore the music of India – by visiting different schools of music, travelling or associating with music composers like Eric, or by exploring the unheard Indian folk music?
I think that Indian music is very vast to be explored by a single person. I’ve tried my best to explore the unheard folk music on the nation, & bring it to the world stage with my various collaborations like the one with Eric in Deep India.
4. How do you plan to use the music you create with Eric? Will it be only limited to the album?
As of now we both are busy with other commitments. I’m sure Deep India won’t be the only collaboration among the two of us. But it is too early to comment on that.
5. Do you also plan to make music for the very vibrant Indian film industry?
I’ve worked in bollywood earlier for the movie Mujhse Dosti Karoge which was a good experience. There are some projects that I’m considering but can’t disclose as of now.
6. Do you also follow Bollywood music? If yes, which music composer do you appreciate?
There are some amazing music composers in the industry and it is not easy for me to pick one as my favorite everybody has their different style in which the produce music. There are great talents like those of A.R.Rahman, Pritam, and Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy who are masters at what they do.
7. What kind of music do you personally like?
I like the music of the 100 stringed Santoor which creates amazing tunes. Actually I like every music that strikes the soul.
8. What inspires you to compose and experiment with music, instruments and voices?
The love for the music & hunger to explore more keeps me inspired to compose, experimentor collaborate with a lot of artists.
9. How does a destination and music define each other?
The music & destination have a close relationship as both represent each other but I feel the music should not be constrained to a region. Like earlier Santoor was just a folk instrument from Kashmir and my father Shiv Kumar Sharma introduced it to classical music and gave it worldwide recognition.
10. Who is your favourite musician? And your favourite percussionist?
There are a lot of artists who are good at what they do but for me the best among all isMy Guru, Mentor & Father Shiv Kumar Sharma.
11. How was it working on intriguing album titled ‘Deep India’ in collaboration with Deep Forest?
In the album I wanted to reflect the India Folk Music which is so rich and diverse. I travelled to Jammu Kashmir, Punjab, Assam, Medikeri Coorg, Maharashtra and Rajasthan and introduced the folk folk talent from there to my santoor which was later remixed with Deep Forest’s electronic. They have a unique style so I made sure that my music could inspire Eric and that he can relate to.