Striking the right chord

Amrita Prasad
Friday, 18 August 2017

Guitarist and guitar teacher Barve excels in several guitar styles, although his primary body of work is the classical guitar. Awarded with Grade 8 certificate from Trinity Guildhall, Barve has been a part of the well-received folk/ blues-fusion ensemble Sankara. He is extremely interested in improvised forms of music such as jazz and Indian classical music and that has immensely influenced his musical thought.

Kuldeep Barve, city-based guitarist and guitar teacher and founder member of the Pune Guitar Society, who has organised a performance tonight with different musicians from the city, talks about the charm of the instrument and awareness of Western classical music in the city.

So what really makes a guitar stand out among other stringed instruments? “Its popularity and acceptance stem from an optimal combination of portability and affordability. It also has a very useful range of three-and-half octaves — that too chromatically playable, and the possibility of voicing sophisticated harmony, and a wide range of tonal expressions — from delicate counterpoint to strong and percussive rhythm. This is what sets the guitar apart from other instruments,” says Kuldeep Barve of Pune Guitar Society (PGS). It is a body of artists which works towards creating a culture of serious study and innovation in Western music. 

The PGS, which aims at providing a platform for performers in both Western classical and jazz improvisation domains, and encourages musical interactions and exchange, has organised a musical evening tonight at 7 pm at Gyaan Adab Centre, Kalyani Nagar. 

Classical guitarists — Barve, Jacob Samuel, Jayant Sankrityayana, Clifton D’souza and Kabir Dabholkar — will play compositions from around the world The performance will focus primarily on solo guitar repertoire from early 19th century to late 20th century and will feature music from Italy, Spain, Cuba and Latin America.

Guitarist and guitar teacher Barve excels in several guitar styles, although his primary body of work is the classical guitar. Awarded with Grade 8 certificate from Trinity Guildhall, Barve has been a part of the well-received folk/ blues-fusion ensemble Sankara. He is extremely interested in improvised forms of music such as jazz and Indian classical music and that has immensely influenced his musical thought.

PLAYING AND TEACHING
He also composes music for short films, documentaries and art installations. Talking about striking the right balance between playing and teaching, Barve who has designed elementary and intermediate level guitar and music theory courses for reputed universities in India, says, “I do not really juggle between my roles as an artist and teacher; they go pretty well together. When you are performing in front of an audience, you are focussed on communicating with the audience. A heightened awareness of this does something to the way you practice everyday and to the way you relate to the music,” says Barve.

Although an integral part of Western classical music, the guitar has been known to be used in various genres of music and in creating fusion too. Commenting on the same, Barve says that there are many ways of understanding fusion. “The fusion between two genres of music or say between the guitar and Indian classical musical instruments should reflect the understanding of both these music/ instruments. The deeper the understanding and sensitivity, the better an artist will be able to fuse some musical ideas” he quips.

EDM VS LIVE MUSIC 
In recent times, technology and excessive use of electronics have been used to enhance or amplify the effect of music. Sharing his thoughts on this Barve says, “Electronic music has its own acoustics and live music has its own charm. When you are playing live, you are a part of this whole live experience. However, some musicians can seamlessly blend electronic sounds and acoustic instrument sounds and create some good compositions.”

To reach out to a wider audience, the PGS  uses social media tools. “Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, emails help you reach a wider audience. The shared content may inspire some to go and attend a certain concert or musical performance,” says Barve. 

However, getting an audience in the culturally-alive Pune is not so tough. Along with a strong influence of Indian classical music, the city also has an active Western music culture. “Western classical music scene has been very active in the city. Since the last 60-70 years or more, Pune has seen very dedicated audiences coming to listen and appreciate it.

However, in the last two decades or so, the audience has really opened up and you see people enthusiastic about Western classical music from every part of the city, across all ethnicities and age groups,” he says.

 

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