In the two-day Music Inc. Conference held in Mumbai recently, Angarag ‘Papon’ Mahanta, taking part in a panel discussion on ‘The Lost Genres of Indian Musical Landscapes’, observed that traditional songs were not performed at functions too often.
He also spoke at length about Assam’s Borgeet and traditional musical instruments like the ‘khol’.
He even enthralled the audience by singing ‘borgeet’ and playing the ‘khol’.
Papon further explained about the complicated and intricate beat system of the khol and informed that it is over 500 years old.
“The world is yet to discover it,” Papon further said.
It may be mentioned here that the panellist of the discussion also included noted singer Shubha Mudgal, Durga Jasraj of event organisers Art and Artistes, and Abhinav Agarwal of the Anahad Foundation, which promotes Indian folk music and the session was moderated by Atul Churamani, founder of Turnkey Publishing.
“In classical music, there is a lack of awareness, a fear of the unfamiliar, a mindset that it will not be appreciated by a large section,” said Mudgal while addressing the session.
She further said that there needed to be organised data collection of all professional musicians and that craftsmen should be given due credit.
Atul Churamani, adding to it, said, “We know Fender (the guitar makers) but we don’t know the tanpura manufacturer.”
Durga Jasraj talked about the importance of creating awareness about Indian musical instruments, and spreading music education in schools, without making the syllabus too heavy.
Abhinav Agarwal pointed out that only a small percentage of folk music was actually heard through recorded material, and that even the quality of these recordings was poor.