BOSTON– Shadaj Inc., a Lexington, MA-based non-profit organization whose mission is to cultivate, nurture and promote Indian Classical Music in New England, held a first of its kind live online, ticketed Indian Classical music concert with Indian vocalist Padmshree Pandit Venkatesh Kumar.
It “was a path breaker and a grand success on many counts,” Shadaj said in a statement. “This is the first of its kind live online, ticketed Indian Classical concert with such high production quality.”
Shadaj said that experienced artists and audiences found it hard to believe that concert of such caliber was streamed live without any post processing or editing.
“This concert is widely hailed as a global benchmark for online classical concerts, in terms of quality of music, technical production values, commercial aspects and above all the audience experience,” the statement said.
COVID-19 has put a stop on all music activities across the world. In these challenging times, when many musicians are struggling financially and are participating in free Facebook live sessions that are often very poor quality or recorded videos, the audiences and organizers are not rising to the challenge either, Shadaj said.
“Audiences sadly behave as if they are entitled to the free music on Facebook and Youtube and supporting arts is not their responsibility. Paying the artists for their performances and ticketing the audiences is necessary to preserve the value and dignity of the art form,” the statement said. “Also, the essence of our classical music is in its spontaneity and liveliness. Recorded or archived music does not provide that dimension.”
The Shadaj concert with Pandit Venkatesh Kumar (vocal), Narendra Nayak (Harmonium) and Keshav Joshi (Tabla) took the audience on a journey of morning and afternoon raags – Miya Ki Todi, Komal Rishabh Asavari, Vrindawani Sarang and Bhairavi in a full length concert.
“What more can I say about Venkatesh Ji? Such divine music. Needless to say that who ever attended was hypnotized by purity of his “Sidhaa Sur,” said Rajesh Godbole, founder of Shadaj.
The concert was attended by paying audiences in hundreds, tuned in from all over US, Canada, Europe and India, many accomplished senior musicians among them, said Mr. Godbole.
“In these challenging times, it is heartening to see collaboration between Shadaj, its partner organizations, audiences and artists produce such an eco system and support the arts by hosting ticketed concerts as an alternative to free online sessions,” Mr. Godbole added.