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Creating some great harmony

DNJAI13668 | 2/19/2010 | Author : Sana Yaseen | WC :312

Vidyadhar Oke was in the city to perform with son Aditya. He talked to After Hrs about his art and his invention—the 22-note harmonium

To become an accomplished artist, one should be born in a musical family, laughs the third-generation harmonium player Vidyadhar Oke, who was in the city to perform with his son Aditya Oke at Inderlok Sabhagar on Thursday. He explains, “Music always comes from within, and if one has it in their blood, obviously it is a big help.” Vidyadhar himself cannot remember when his first rendezvous with the instrument took place. He soon became a disciple of harmonium maestro, Late Pandit Govindrao Patwardhan.
Vidyadhar did more than make his teacher proud; he invented the world’s first 22 shruti harmonium, on which he first performed in December 2006. “Shruti means basic musical notes. So far, artists had achieved only around 13 notes on the harmonium, but I have found out the mathematical method that our ancestors used for the division of shrutis to get 12 notes of the octave” he adds.
“In 1972, I gave my first performance on Bombay TV. Soon after, I performed with biggies of the music world like Asha Bhonsle, Vasantrao Deshpande and Sudhir Phadke,” he recalls. Though he has also performed in the US and Europe, the concerts with his son Aditya are dearest to him. “Since it’s the same blood, the coordination come naturally,” smiles the proud father.
Aditya is undoubtedly as musically inclined as his father. Since he has inherited his father’s versatility and ability to multi-task, he is also a qualified gemologist, a sound engineer and of course, a harmonium player. He has also composed music for Marathi films and he played the harmonium in Haule haule, a song in the film Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi.
Is he happy with the way classical music is mixed with western beats in Bollywood films? “The tastes of the audience keep changing. In another 10 years, we might have complete classical songs in Hindi films,” comments Aditya.

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