Bismillah get awards from Vilayat
Bhimsen Joshi and Ustad Bismillah Khan received the Ustad
Inayat Khan Memorial Awards on 23 March at Kolkata.
who presented the awards, instituted this year, was Ustad Vilayat
Khan, sitar legend and son of the great sitarist in whose name the
awards have been set up.
For Bhimsen Joshi, hailing from
Gadag in Karnataka and perhaps the most famous resident of Pune, it
was a happy day. ''It means more than the Bharat Ratna to me. It is
not only an honour to me but to my guru and the Kirana gharana,'' he
said at the Kala Mandir ceremony.
Khan, suffering from a leg ailment, called up Vilayat Khan
and apologised for not being able to receive the award in
awardee receives a cheque of Rs 1 lakh and a silver plaque
from the Ustad Inayat Khan Music Foundation (UIKMF), set up earlier
this year to promote Hindustani classical music. Vilayat Khan is one
of the founders of the foundation. ''I wish to confer this award
only on Indian classical musicians who have never
compromised on its purity,'' he said.
wish to honour Ustad Ali Akbar Khan and Pandit Kishen
next year,'' a news agency reported him as
The foundation plans to train
students in a gurukul. It says it will look for new
talent, and also extend financial help to ailing
A harp-inspired veena from Vishwamohan
Pandit Vishwa Mohan
Bhatt demonstrated his latest innovation in Delhi in mid-March.
It's called the vishwaveena, and is the 2001 edition of a
modified guitar that he calls the mohanveena.
inspiration for his new instrument is the Western harp. He
heard the harp at a concert in Europe two years ago, and set
his heart on creating its cascading resonance on an instrument
capable of playing Indian music.
musician played the 35-string magenta-coloured instrument in
Delhi, where his guru Pandit Ravi Shankar lives these
''If my mohan veena could blend the sound of the
Hawaiian guitar with the sounds of the sitar, sarod and the veena,
the vishwaveena adds to it the sound of one more instrument,
the surmandal,'' Bhatt claims. The surmandal is a harp used by
Hindustani vocalists, and less frequently by instrumentalists, to
create an ambience. When strummed, it produces multiple octaves of a
Bhatt played "koel music" in a
composition in raga Basant, associated with spring. That
was a minor part of the concert.
Bhatt said it had only
been a fortnight since he had tried the
1994, Bhatt shot to fame after he
collaborated with Los Angeles-based guitarist Ry Cooder for the
album A Meeting By The River, and won a Grammy. He
says his interaction with foreign instrumentalists sparked off a
desire to innovate.
The mohanveena and the
vishwaveena vary in timbre. Last time, he entrusted the
instrument-making to a Kolkata group, and this time it was
Rikhi Ram in Delhi, who he says had the "patience and skill" to
create what he wanted.
Found by MTV
touted its singing contest for nearly half a year, and if you're
wondering who won finally, this bit of news is for you. Sreekant and
Harshdeep have won the MTV Ga Ga contest.
took part in the finals in Mumbai. Sreekant works in the human
resources department of a private firm in Mumbai, while Harshdeep,
14, studies in a Delhi school. They posed for pictures with VJs
Cyrus and Rageshwari after the results were announced.
of the prize is a recording contract with Sony Music. Each winner
gets to do an Indipop album. They also get two weeks' training at
the Paul McCartney School of Performing Arts in the United Kingdom,
thanks to the British Council.
Chitra from Chennai and Arnab
from Calcutta also won recording contracts. MTV conducted a
four-month contract to
one more time
novel A Mother's Gift, which she is writing with her
mother Lynne, will be published in May.
pop star was paid one million dollars by Random House for a
two-book contract, and British publisher Boxtree reportedly bought up the
rights for half a million pounds. What's the novel all
about? Initial reports say it's about her spectacular
career, and how a mother's encouragement can take a girl to
celebrityhood. Just the kind
of feel-good book you'd expect from a success.
first album Hit me baby one more time came out
when she was 16, and stayed long
on the top of countdown charts across the world. Three years on, she
positions herself as a sexy, swinging teenager. Faced with stiff
competition from other teen singers like Christina Aguilera,
this could add to her positioning, and make her
look like a sensation who also thinks and writes
Writing an autobiography
at her age may look ridiculous to the literary world,
but fans bought 150,000 copies of her Heart to
Britney, with a worldwide audience of teenyboppers, is a natural
choice for brands like Pepsi, which has signed her up
for an undisclosed amount. She is soon to act in her first feature
film, where she plays a high school student who
enters a music contest with her friends.
A Boxtree spokeswoman was
reported as saying, "The manuscript is finished and will come out
here and in America in May. I think it will be sweet. It's the kind
of novel that mothers will buy for their teenage
Spears, whose last
album Oops!... I did it again
sold eight million copies, ranks alongside golfer Tiger Woods
and tennis star Venus Williams in promoting international brands.
reportedly is earning 100 million dollars over five years to
promote Nike sports apparel, and Williams has signed a five-year
contract with Reebok for a reported 40 million dollars.
Sukhbir may do a song on the defence
It is Defencegate everywhere, and the world of
music isn't spared either. Sukhbir of Nachle fame came on Star News on 14
March, the day after the defence bribery scandal broke, and was prompted
by the hosts to say he would do a song on the events of the
last two days.
Sukhbir's latest song is a single called
Girls girls girls, and
predictably, he raved about Indian girls. Footage from the music video
showed Indian girls winning events like Miss World, and the bhangra-rapper
said he had done the number in English because he wanted
the world to know about the beauty of Indian girls! He also sang
a couple of his old songs.
Tehelka's expose of the
murky route to the Indian defence bureaucracy is shaking
the central government, and could lead to political
developments of the most unexpected kind. Bangaru
Laxman, president of the ruling BJP, has already
This is said to be the first time ever in the
history of the Indian army that so many senior officers have
been suspended together. Inquiries and court martials will follow,
and one report, quoting senior officers, said punishment
could mean dismissal from service, and possible death
sentences. Operation West End, planned and executed by a two-member
team of Tehalka reporters, offered bribes to many people in the
defence establishment, and used a spy camera to record what they had
Visit the tehelka website to read more about Operation West
Grants for art projects
The India Foundation for the Arts is looking for projects it
IFA, based in Bangalore, offers grants for a broad
spectrum of arts projects, covering music, dance, theatre, painting,
sculpture, cinema and literature.
Scholars and practising
artists can apply for support "to strengthen or interrogate their
art". Projects can include research leading to a novel, film or
stage production. The project should not take more than two years.
IFA grants up to Rs 5 lakh for each project.
The last date
for receipt of applications is April 30, 2001. IFA announces grant
recepients on or before November 30, 2001.
music-related projects IFA has funded is a study of the evolution
and structure of ragas in the Hindustani tradition. "The resulting
book enables the development of new compositions in different ragas,
and encourages a revaluation of distortions that have crept into
their formation and execution," says the IFA's brochure.
Another project compiles the songs of workers from eastern
India. It studies music emerging from plantations, mines and
factories, and looks at the possibility of treating "this aspect of
folk culture as an independent form".
For more details write
to: The Executive Director, India Foundation for the Arts,
Tharangini, 12th Cross, Rajmahal Vilas Extension, Bangalore 560 080.
Tel/fax: 080 331 0584/ 331 0583.
Foundation for the Arts