Published: 08th January 2020
There is no class or mass in music: Violinist Sunita Bhuyan
The master violinist drew comparisons between music and human values, while reminding the audience that music is for everybody and it does not discriminate, at TNIE's ThinkEdu Conclave 2020
Eyes closed and exuding simplistic grace, Sunita Bhuyan smiled as she gently touched her bow to the tuned strings of her violin, and what ensued was pure musical bliss for a packed house. From the get-go, the violin maestro was immersed in her performance, even as she exchanged pleasantries with eminent personalities and greeted the audience as she opened The New Indian Express' two-day ThinkEdu Conclave 2020 with her session titled 'Making Music, Changing Minds’ on January 8 in Chennai.
"Music, one of the greatest forms of entertainment, impacts the mind and body greatly. When you listen to music, the mind sends signals to the body, which in turn releases endorphins. This is the fundamental science behind disciplines like Music Therapy that is employed in clinics, rehabilitation centres, pre-natal and post-natal facilities, etc,” she said, emphasising on the fact that in addition to having therapeutic properties, the creation of music imparts lessons in creativity.
Sunita pointed out that sur (musical notes) and taal (tempo) are the main elements of music and they operate through seven notes. “All the music in the world is created using the seven notes - sa re ga ma pa dha ni. These seven notes are the basis of music — with them you can create thousands of compositions, which may sound different from each other, but they have the same constituents. If you give the seven notes to a classical guru, they will create ragas, if you give them to a Bollywood music director, they will create blockbuster songs...such is the versatility of these notes. Similarly, like these notes, human values — across the business, political, social and spiritual fields — are the same around the world,” she added, hinting at the universal nature of music.
To explain her point better, the musician took to playing a soulful violin piece from the movie Parineeta, singing along, all the while engaging with the audience, asking, 'Can you guess which song this piece breaks into?'. The audience were in rapt attention — with smiles on their faces for every song they recognised — as they were blown away by the ingenuity of Sunita's ever-engaging pieces.
Sunita asserted that there is no class or mass in music. "Music can change minds because of the simple fact that anybody can take to it. What we see are the visuals, what we hear are the words, but what lies beneath the music that we hear are the seven notes. Similarly, what we see on the outside is the success of people, but what lies beneath are the values that drive them. Music teaches us the important lesson that whatever we do in life, the foundation is what matters the most," she said.
At the end of her rapturous session, which also included the highlight 'Bharatdarshan' performance — different renditions from different regions across India — she thanked her accompanying musicians, Ameya Naik (on the keyboard) and Bhushan Parchure (on the tabla). She had one piece of advice for young students present at the event, “No matter where we study, which school or institution we go to, it really does not matter. It is how well we know our basics and concepts. I have only learnt Hindustani, not Bollywood, but because the foundation of music is so strong, it helps me relate to all kinds of music around the world.”