Online music concerts are a new way forward

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Following in the footsteps of theatre artiste taking their plays to the online platform, classical musicians and singers too are opting for holding concerts online. Using OTT platforms, chat rooms, and even holding these concerts via webinars have become the new norm.

Hindustani Classical singer Pandit Shaunak Abhisheki is about to enter a make shift studio which has been set up in a hired hall, where 15 people are working on managing the music, and the video recording of a new song. This song is specially being recorded for a concert to be held for Ashadi Ekadashi by his father Pandit Jitendra Abhisheki’s trust, Tarangini Trust, which will be on Wednesday July 1. “This is a ticketed concert where a few of us have got together to perform Bhakti geet. I am not used to it but right now there are no other options if you want to retain the interest of the audience in Hindustani Classical music, then it is through this platform,” said Abhisheki, before he stepped into the closed doors of the studio space.

Another well known singer with a huge fan following on social media, Anand Bhate too will be performing for an online concert Abhangvani, which will be held on June 30 online. “Online concerts are the way forward for atleast few months, until the Government gives the nod to open the theatres and halls. But there too, people will have to maintain strict social distancing, which means only half the hall will be full. Besides audience might think twice of attending such concerts, which can also be a factor to consider,” said Bhate. He also said that there are some really good online models being created for holding music concerts. “It all started with informal singing sessions on social media but now the organisers are pushing for ticketed concerts on apps, chat rooms, with live sessions  or pre-recorded concerts like that created by SwaraZankar hub started by Rajas Upadhya, a violinist, which is one of the good initiatives which has the many singers joining in,” said Bhate.

SwaraZankar – Our country’s largest chain of Indian Music festivals hosts over 50 Musical concerts, festivals in more than 35 cities across India. Till date, we have had the privilege of reaching out to more than 5,00,000 music lovers across the country in prominent cities such as Bangalore, Dharwad, Baroda, Delhi, Chandigarh, Kolkata, Jamshedpur, Indore, Bhopal. Our predominant presence has been in Maharashtra in cities like Pune, Mumbai, Aurangabad, Nashik, Kolhapur, Nagpur, Sangli, Satara, Solapur, Latur, Nanded, Baramati, Amravati, Akola and Ahmednagar.

Every year violinist Rajas Upadhya held several cultural initiatives such as SwaraZankar Festival, SwaraMalhar series, Ghazal concerts and since last year we began with Bhaktirang concert series. “Today, the situation is different, we are all going through a different phase of life where we are coping up with the new normal post pandemic era. In these difficult times, we are seeing in the complete shift of life with a lot of changes in priorities. To cope up with that we at SwaraZankar have come up with an online platform where we will keep on hosting various music and art related initiatives in the coming 6 months to ensure that we stay safe and connected to music in our safe environment. Thereby, we present to you www.swarazankarhub.com India’s new web based platform for showcasing Music and culture.

Singer Savanie Ravindra, a light classical singer said, “ Due to the outbreak of corona, no event has taken place in the last two or three months. Even so, technology has kept many artists connected with their fans through social media during this lockdown. But fans have not had a chance to watch the entire program. Even if we still can’t do the show in the auditorium, we can get the artists together and give an online concert. So, on the occasion of Ashadi Ekadashi, I decided to do this online live in concert. Many devotees from Maharashtra have not been able to participate in Wari this year. Maharashtra has not been able to experience the ocean of devotion that flows to Pandharpur every year. As artists, we also miss this. Therefore, this is an attempt to reach out to Lord Vithal virtually and entertain its followers.”

Speaking to organisers of such concerts in the city, Sunil Mahajan of Samvad Pune said, “Usually we hold live concerts to celebrate Ashadi Ekdashi as well as the the beginning of monsoon with monsoon special events, but this year due to COVID-19, most of the events and music concerts are being held online. But it does not have the same effect as of a live concert but until Coronavirus subsides, we have to find new avenues to keep people entertained and music has always been a part of this city’s culture.”

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