Wahhh!! Someone from audience exclaimed. That is when the artist performing comes to know that he/she is connecting with the audience and people are enjoying his/her performance. Today I am going to talk about the role audience plays during a classical music performance.
I was in Varanasi to attend the Sankatmochan Music Festival. I was a four year old boy and I was or I am perhaps the biggest fan of Pt Jasraj. So, attending the Sankatmochan Music Festival would fulfil my dream of hearing Panditji live.
At around 2 in night Pandit Jasraj started singing. I could see a lot of foreigners sitting in the audience and listening to him. I didn’t understand why they were listening to him. What did they understand of the hindustani classical music? But, perhaps now I know what
made them listen to him. Music is not about understanding, its about how an artist connects to the heart of each individual sitting in the audience. According to me a good artist is one who can connect to the maximum number of people sitting in the audience. And hindustani classical music is solely based on ragas, Ragas are the heart and soul of hindustani classical music. Each and every ragas has its own time for singing and each and every raga has different impact on the listener.
In Indian Music concerts, I will regard the audience as the “consumers.” The quality of performance is dependent on the quality of the audience participation in this manner. It is definitely a two-way communication, where the performer and the audience share a symbiotic and mutually benefitting relationship. That is why, I regarded audience as the consumers. In Indian Music Concerts a person cannot just go and listen to the artist in any way he likes. There are certain etiquettes one is expected to show during the course of performance. For instance, clapping by audiences in the middle of the performance may be taken as disregard by the artist.
I would like to narrate one more instance where I was amazed to see how the Indian
Classical Music can involve school children with itself. I was in class 9th, when my school had organised a performance of Pt Rajendra Prassana, a well known flutist of our country under the SPIC MACAY banner. I had expected that the session would not be so interesting to the students but to my surprise, by the end of the performance each one of the student were singing along the tune of the flute. Everyone in the audience was fully engrossed in the performance. Seeing the audience involve the artists are also motivated to play or perform.
So, to conclude audience or the quality of audience is an important aspect for a concert to be successful specially in Indian Classical Music.