Music: what is the very first notion that it invokes? Is it Iggy Pop’s speech about Punk Rock or is it Michael Jackson’s moonwalk or does it remind you of Kishore Kumar’s golden voice? There is no par to which music could restrict itself, not even genres. For what is legendary and leaves a mark on millions does not follow the division of art, but the fusion of every emotion in one.
On this day of celebrating music, Nirajan Naikwadi, a Rhythm Guitarist in Pune, talks about his journey with music and how it drove him towards the formation of his band Shunya. When asked about the juncture at which he realised the potential of being an artiste, he said, “I have always been a poet before musician with an immense love for writing. Once I realised how to fuse music into my writing, I found myself at the feet of being an artiste.”
Listening to music has always depended on mood, situation and as a matter of fact, even place. To narrow it down to a genre is a difficult task for a musician as it becomes more about the equation of melody than just the category.
“A lot of times, a musician listening to songs is equivalent to studying it or exercising. There are so many tracks that are composed in such an intricate manner that they give origin to a new tune. When I listen to a beautiful song, the first thing that crosses my mind is to play it. A truly magnificent feeling to render a song on an instrument that has moved you, it’s inspiring,” describes Niranjan when asked about his source of inspiration.
Music has been around for as long as mankind and thanks to technology for preserving it through vinyls, cassettes, CDs, walkmans and now our phones. People have written about music, made libraries and made movies that keep its significance till date.
Niranjan has come across individuals to whom music has brought a whole shift in life, saying, “The way people let music seep into their lives is beautiful. I believe music is the real magic hiding in plain sight. My friend has drawn inspiration from music to his cinematography, another friend who started pursuing it as a career and left everything behind, and my bandmate is studying sound engineering, so some people really dive deep into this musical spiral.”
From the perspective of being a music enthusiast, it is observed that the role of being an artiste is humble. There are several people in the audience that relate to a performer’s personality, songs, life! But what it feels like to be an artiste has always been a mystery.
Describing his experience of forming Shunya, Niranjan shares, “Sanket and I enrolled in a music class during our childhood, which further led to deepening our curiosity towards it. After classes we would go back and play on our instruments along with adding new elements to it. We realised we could actually do this.”
Jamming on hilltops for hours was precisely how this journey started, with approximately 50 odd songs, of which Shunya has recorded 7 in the studio. Any music buff who knows the art form knows about the unseen chemistry of an artiste and their instrument. Artistes like Glen Hansard and Damien Rice perform with that one old beat-up guitar. People might argue it’s for comfort, but it is the bonding and memories associated with the instrument that makes the two well connected.
“I remember one of my friends had a habit of naming his guitars, he would always call them by their names, a real intimate scheme if you ask me. This happens because as you create new work with the instrument, it becomes an extended organ of yours, a vital one. It stands by you in your desperate times and helps you go to that special place where you are at peace. A real musician respects his instruments and is extremely possessive about them,” says Niranjan.
Music has always been a part of every household, every culture; crossing religions, it has paved its way into people’s heart. One day is just a mark; music is celebrated thoroughly in one’s life.
In the words of Niranjan, “Music is the hammer of God and it will find its way into your life that will amaze you. So just keep your arms wide open, eyes wide awake and be all ears.”