In conversation with Kamal Sabri Khan, a Sarangi player from Delhi
Q What is the place of Sarangi in Global music ??
To me Sarangi is one of the most versatile instruments in today’s Global music.
Q What changes have you observed ??
Today the Sarangi is not restricted to Classical Indian or Indian music only. This would come as a reassuring fact that Sarangi has transcended traditional barriers and has lead many orchestra’s in contemporary music winning great accolades.
Q What have been your recent achievements ??
I have just composed music for an Italian-American documentary film ‘The Big Question’. Apart from that I have also played in the forthcoming films called ‘Bollywood Boulevard’ and also composed a piece for this film. Virgin EMI has also released a solo Sarangi recording of mine, and this year I have also recorded with famous band One Giant Leap.
Q What are your future projects ??
In July I am giving a recital in Alwar for the State convention of Spic Macay. On the 13th July I am performing in Kerala and I think it is the first time in history of Indian classical music that I will also play Thyagarajas compositions on the Sarangi. In August I am playing in the ‘Young maestro’s series of India’ in Delhi and am composing a piece for the 15th August i.e., Independence Day. In September I have been invited by the Norwegian government to play for the Centennial celebrations of Norway.
Q Please throw some light on the workshops held by you and the response ??
We have been teaching Sarangi across the globe. My father Ustad Sabri Khan teaches at home and many students come over to learn Sarangi, Vocal and other different instruments like the Tabla etc. My father has many shishyas (students) worldwide playing the Sarangi. I am also performing regularly and holding lec-dems too. Norway has started workshops in their schools and colleges where I impart knowledge about the instrument and how to play it to the Norwegian children. I am pleased to say that I have found them very keen to know about the Sarangi.
Q In the present musical scenario what avenues does a Sarangi player have to earn a living ??
Today, I think unlimited avenues have opened up for Sarangi players as people have become more appreciative of good music. Secondly, Sarangi is an instrument that blends with any kind of music. As in my above observation, earlier Sarangi was restricted only to Classical and Indian music but today one has the whole wide world to entertain as a Sarangi player. One just has to venture out in an open mind to experiment and be adventurous in ones musical attitude.