About Us : Motivation
This is not to say that Kshitij is a group opposed to sociological change. We are not proponents of a barren atavism, and believe that there is much more to be done than bemoan the passing of an antiquated world. If Hindustani music and its concomitant culture, find themselves in conflict with internationalism, globalization and commercialism, it is also true that the growth and survival of our music depends greatly on how it adjusts itself to these forces; We believe the conflict itself can be a motivating one; that the capacity to embrace a given sociological situation can itself be creatively liberating; and that the cultural ambience of Hindustani music must adapt to a changing environment for its own survival, evolution and repeated rejuvenation. What we hope to counter, however, is the sort of blind adaptation that is detrimental to the essential spirit of our musical tradition; those forms of co-opting in contemporary culture that stifle the soul of Hindustani music, that make it hard for our music to breathe.

One of the time-honored traditions that is inseparable from Hindustani musical aesthetics is that of the mehfil.The word ‘mehfil’ has two important traditional connotations: It suggests the act of ‘performance’ and that of ‘gathering’, of people- perfomers, connoisseurs, scholars and enthusiasts - coming together at a given time and place for a common purpose.

Whereas performances continue, on a large scale through music-festivals, radio and television, the latter aspect of the mehfil seems to be increasingly endangered by the structure of contemporary urban life, particularly in massive cities like Mumbai. Regular and rigorous interaction between musicians, music-lovers, connoisseurs and music-students has become increasingly rare in recent times. There is less sharing of Hindustani music, today, even amongst artists themselves, at an informal level, than there used to be, and we believe that if nothing is done about this, our tradition has everything to lose.

Hindustani music, with its stress on improvisation, spontaneity and individualism, remains one of the most process-oriented art-forms in the world today. Although it functions within the strictly formal parameters of raag, taal and bandish, it remains an art-form that preserves the intensest sensitivity to the moment and it very soon reflects the state of mind of an artist at a particular time. It is, in other words, an ever-evolving ongoing flow, which cannot be bound or fixed in one place, which is unique every time one enters it and which cannot, in its true essence, be reproduced or reduced to the level of a mere product.

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Kshitij Music Motto
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