Sadharani - A site dedicated to Indian Classical Music, Veena and Dhrupad. Sadharani - A site dedicated to Indian Classical Music, Veena and Dhrupad.
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Biography

MY MUSICAL JOURNEY

 

Balachander was born into a family of academicians and music lovers. The early training in Indian Classical Music of the South, along with exposure to traditional folk music, temple chants and North Indian Classical Music gave a broad perspective on Indian culture. Academically, he completed his Post Graduation in Physics from St. Xaviers’ College, Mumbai and a Diploma in Computer Science from NCST, Mumbai.

He started his formal training in Music in Sarod under Pandit Pradeep Barot – a brilliant sarod player and student of the legendary Annapoorna Devi – in 1986. Inspired by the music and interaction with the legendary Rudra Veena player the late Ustad Zia Mohiuddin Dagar, Balachander undertook rigorous training in Dhrupad under the renowned Dhrupad vocalist the late Ustad Zia Fariduddin Dagar from 1990 until his demise in 2013.

Along with the musical training, Balachander continued his professional career as a Senior Corporate Executive holding positions as CIO / COO. In 2002, he quit the Corporate career to undertake advanced training in Dhrupad, and pursue Music full time.

Keenly interested in the acoustics of musical instruments, in 2002, Balachander undertook a research project based on acoustic principles to modify and redesign Saraswati Veena to suit the style of Dhrupad. This research project was awarded a Junior Research Fellowship by the Ministry of Culture, Govt of India for the period 2004 – 06.

After the successful completion of the project, Balachander has been a performing Dhrupad musician on the modified Veena (named “Chandra Veena” by Ustad Zia Fariduddin Dagar and Ustad Bahauddin Dagar). Chandra Veena is capable of responding to the finest nuances of Dhrupad as practiced by his Gurus.

He is working on further improving the sound of his instrument in the subsequent models. He also has a very keen interest in the Musicology of Music from across the world.

Additionally, Balachander undertook the project of making the Sursringar – a rare and ancient instrument. The Sursringar historically evolved from the Seniya Rabab, in an attempt to make it an instrument capable of bringing out the nuances and majesty of the Dhrupad style, a position occupied solely by the Rudra Veena until then.

Balachander seamlessly combines the North Indian and the South Indian style in his sublime rendition of Dhrupad on the Chandra Veena. His music is very meditative and highly introspective.

A versatile multi-instrumentalist with training in Sarod, Sursringar and Veena, along with performance, he also teaches Vocal and Instrumental Music in the traditional Dhrupad style.

A note on Sadharani

Ancient Indian treatises on music like Sangeet Ratnakar mention five styles of rendition – Shuddha, Bhinna, Gouda, Vegaswara (South Indian Music) and Sadharani. Of these, Sadharani is a combination of features of the other four styles. The style of Dhrupad as performed and practiced by my Gurus bears a close resemblance to the Sadharani system.

A few snapshots of the instrument are given under “Photo Gallery“.

A couple of live audio recordings are also available under “Audio/Video“.

Link to youtube video

Hope you enjoy it….

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