Questionnaire Ashok Ranade
The conventional wisdom is that Indian classical music and Western classical music are worlds apart and that any attempt to come together in anyway would lessen the strength of one or the other. In our short time together have you found any points of reference or points of departure for further exploration which contradict this idea?
I believe coming together of cultural traditions amounts to forging a new identity - a laborious, tantalizing and desirable process.
This has happened before! I have been talking about the sixth, Confluence Category of Indian Music for some time now as a historical fact. Our venture adds opportunities to test the idea!
From the instruments presented by the EM have you found any instrument that is really far away from the Indian musical sensibility? Or put another way, is there an instrument that you will definitely not be usind - and why?
No! Exploration of new tonal colors is an ancient and ever-relevant phenomenon. But I will be purposeful and selective in using keyboards and a-tonal drums.
In Indian music the composer and performer are the same person. In writing music for the EM with the inevitable separation are there any striking limits and freedoms that arise?
Yes, notating musical ideas is more provoking than satisfying! However, our general lack of understanding of the limitations posed by the eye and the visual is the root cause of our discomfort! All ethnomusicological arguments are for augmented notation systems to be used as skeletal supports and nothing more!
For this project we have had "scribes" who have listened to your musical ideas and transcribed them to Western notation. Has this process brought up any surprises, pleasant and unpleasant?
Surprises were at both ends because musical ideas appeared to be more complex than we imagined!
Any comment is welcome!
Conclusion: Cross-cultural communication makes one humble and thoughtful - or at least it should do so!