The ‘Flute Symphony’, is a novel concept put forward by Vivek Sonarin the year 2007 and has been living up to its promise of an incredible experience for connoisseurs of music.
The symphony, akin to a hundred-piece orchestra consists of a group of artists on flute in the centre, accompanied by other artists on instruments like keyboard, saxophone, guitar, drums and other delightful variations. Every year the symphony has featured a special Indian classical raga based composition. Each piece has been notably different from the earlier one, classic yet new, refreshing yet nostalgic. Some of them are compositions based on Raga Yaman, Raga BhinnaShadja, Raga Kirwanee and Raga Khamaj to name a few.
In the process, setting benchmarks against you for yourself. What began as a group flute bhajan performance has transitioned beautifully into a treat for the audience.
For the first time in the history of world music; in measurable time and space, the flute symphony enshrines the instrument and that too the petite and soulful flute in the lead and defining role whereas other instruments of the string, wind and percussion family gladly play support cast.
Transcending the borders of words and language, the flute reaches out straight to the heart of the audience. And you have to be there to believe it! When notes from the mellifluous flute in accordance with the rest of the instruments,play in unison to unfold a magic called ‘Flute Symphony’. Carrying each member of the audience through an experience that is intensely personal yet for all; both at the same time.
Members of symphony are bound by a single thread; that of love for the flute. They areVivek’s disciples whom he has carefully groomed over the years.
They are truly passionate about the Flute Symphony and eagerly align their schedules around the show date each year. It’s the Call of the Basuri!
Just before the event, rehearsals begin well in advance.Preparing for the grand annual event of the Flute symphony is an experience in itself for all involved. It means reaching to a great after hours place at the municipal school in Tembhi Naka, Thane. It is here that the composition takes shape with steaming cups of chai, vada and the bonhomie. Itculminates into acollective absorption of the latest composition by Vivek. Tuning of instruments and minds. All a part of the high called Flute Symphony.
The flair necessary toimbibeany new composition is distinct from mastering the nuances of a solo performance.
Choosing and preparing the composition to trials and fit outs, practices to grand rehearsals and finally the show. It is about being there and performing and also being there for each other. Coordination is the key. Here individual performances need to be just as good as the group performance. Not an ounce less or more. The symphony is a demanding lover. Work begins in earnest after the composition is made to perfection and rests only when it finally unfolds on stage.
It is noteworthy that in the hallowed precincts of Indian classical music such an innovation has led to an incredible audience experience. The idea has not only stood the test of time in today’s fickle world with all kinds of media vying for audience attention but also remains unmatched as I write this piece.
The Flute Symphony is going places and is keen to show case itself for the world audience. Touching upon more and more cities, countries, featuring in different festivals and shows, bringing into its fold more and more lovers of music.