Classical fusion and more

Abhijeet Pohankar feels “Piya Bawari was blessed by god”.Now, he’ll be performing with his father Pandit Ajay Pohankar at a concert called ‘Deeper Zone’ at Ishanya Mall on June 7. Read on to know more about the concert and Abhijeet’s musical journey…

Everytime we try to put down fusion music as a passing phase, Piya Bawari changes your views. Abhijeet Pohankar takes the credit for it. There is no doubt that this keyboardist and talented fusion artist created ripples when he came out with the album, along with his father Ajay Pohankar. Well, it is delightful to know that the father-son duo will be performing in Pune at the theme-based art show called Soul Sante organised by Ishanya Foundation. The art show will be inaugurated by Yoga Guru BKS Iyengar who will also be felicitated. Then the Pohankars will give a spiritual musical performance.
Abhijeet is pretty gung-ho about performing with his father, despite doing that for that last 15 years and in over 500 concerts in total. He calls this a special concert because it is on their first album. “Deeper Zone is closer to my heart. The function is about the felicitation of BKS Iyengar for his contribution. The tunes of this album were inspired from yoga and meditation. Since the crowd attending will be similar, they can connect with it. I am a little choosy about the music I present. I handpick the compositions,” he reveals.
This would be the 270th concert of the Pohankars in Pune and the 6th this year. “It is one of my favourite places as you meet amazing connoisseurs and get their love,” Abhijeet reveals. He admits that being the son of a legend is a difficult thing in a different way. “I am doing something different and am not a clone of my father. It would have been easier if I had followed the system of following one’s father’s profession. It would have been easier to come on stage that way.” He preferred doing his own thing and music. So in that sense, things are not easy, as he does not have the same facility as other children of musician parents.
When asked about his favourite song, he says, “Any good music is different. It should come easily and be easy to listen to. If the music has both of it, then one should do it. I enjoy live music or concerts as you meet fans and there is interaction between them. If you make a mistake, you cannot rectify it. I try to make things interesting and genre free. I make an effort to keep people entertained and not bring the quality down. Classical music can be so varied and one can make sure that people are entertained.”
Abhijeet has trained under santoor maestro Pt Shivkumar Sharma. He clearly states that he always was into keyboards for a while. “I played santoor style on keyboards. Then I got into fusion music but kept the classical base intact. I want to keep one thing intact which is Indian classical music. I would listen to all kinds of music.” He gleefully speaks about meeting Yanni in Chennai where the Greek musician was felicitated. Abhijeet has been in touch with the musician and always plans to mix Indian classical music with international tunes. He loves to take things as it comes.
Piya Bawari is still heard, appreciated and loved. Abhijeet calls the album’s making as a natural event. “At the time of release, it was way ahead of its time. It is still remembered for its sheer melody and my father’s voice. It was a compact and new sound – timeless. People still listen to it and I always get feedback for it. Some things are destined. Piya Bawari was blessed by god.”
Presently, Abhijeet is in the process of composing a song for a Bollywood film but that’s all, regarding his foray in the tinsel world. “I am clear that I cannot do the current trend of music. Many a times, it is noisy and the lyrics do not mean a thing. Presently, my next album Anubhuti will be launched around 10-15th of this month. The album will be launched in all parts of India. It is in Marathi. I love my mother tongue and wanted to do something in it. But the album is more about melody than language.” We always love to hear something different from Abhijeet Pohankar.
Catch Pandit Ajay and Abhijeet Pohankar live in the ensemble called Deeper Zone at Ishanya Amphitheatre, Yerawada at 7pm on June 7. Donation pass for Rs 500 per person are available at BK Iyengar Institute and Ishanya Mall. It is a part of a theme based month-long art exhibition – Soul Sante –by Ishanya Foundation, at Tilting Art Gallery. It will be inaugurated by yoga guru Padma Vibhushan BKS Iyengar at 5pm.