About Us : Motivation
‘Kshitij jase disate, tashi mhanavi gaani,’ says Grace, contemporary Marathi poet and litterateur: ‘May our songs be true to what we see on the horizon’: a line of poetry that inspired eight Hindustani musicians to gather on an evening in Sept 2001, and make music all night under a single banner, before a select audience of fellow-musicians and music-lovers. This event, at Anand Thakore’s private residence in Mumbai, was the first in a long series of ‘mehfils’ organized by Kshitij in public auditoriums and in the homes of private patrons devoted to the cause of live Hindustani music.

‘Kshitij’ in Sanskrit, literally means ‘horizon’, and we believe that to sing or play Hindustani music is in essence, to perceive; an attempt to stay true to one’s perceptions of svar, laya, raga, taal and bandish.. The act of performance, for us, boils down to a sharing of such perceptions with fellow-musicians and music-students, seasoned musicological scholars and hardened epicures as well as a large body of sensitive people who gravitate instinctively towards Hindustani music, yet long for the exposure required to grasp its finer nuances and subtleties.

Kshitij is motivated primarily by the need for such sharing; The urgency for a group like Kshitij arises from the fact that the cultural and social structures that earlier made such sharing possible on a regular basis, are themselves in a state of chaos and decrepitude, bordering on extinction. The ethos of the Hindustani musician finds itself repeatedly coming to terms, in modern times, with the intensifying pressures of internationalism, globalization and the widespread commercialism that characterizes contemporary urban life. Efforts on the part of the Indian govt. and various NGO-s to provide patronage of the Kind our music once received from the maharajas, remain inadequate .In the absence of institutional support the survival of our music often lies at the mercy of the open-market. Much of the richness of the Hindustani tradition has already been sacrificed at the altar of consumerism; which means that a richly varied, introspective, and spontaneous art-form is being gradually converted into a widely marketable and standardized product, drained of its vital creative energies; our music has had to learn, for good or ill, to inhabit a world that did not engender it.

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