Aching for Gouri…

Rajshekhar Mansur: `Striking an identity of one’s own within a gharana is like giving a new course to a river.’ — Photo: V. Sreenivasa Murthy

What happens when one has a great musician for a father and teacher? One, no doubt, walks in the footsteps of the grand tradition, but also learns to go beyond. Rajshekhar Mansur, son of the maestro Mallikarjun Mansur, tells DEEPA GANESH that gharana is dead matter if one does not improve on it.

WHAT DOES it mean to negotiate with a complex tradition and a person who embodies the tradition? The tradition in question is the intricate Jaipur gayaki, marked both by complexity and restraint. And the embodiment of such an evolved style is the legendary Mallikarjun Mansur, whose austere music was characterised by a supreme imagination and a deep understanding of the grammatical structure of this grand tradition, the foundation of which was laid by Ustad Alladiya Khan. In The Footsteps and Beyond, an album by Rajshekhar Mansur, to be released on September 7, coinciding with his 60th birthday, could be seen as an outcome of this difficult but fruitful negotiation.

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