Shadaj made history on Saturday Aug 8th! Sangeet Natak Academy Awardee, Padmshree Pandit Venkatesh Kumar's online concert LIVE on Shadaj YouTube channel "Shadaj Baithak" was a path breaker and a grand success on many counts. This is the first of its kind LIVE online, ticketed Indian Classical concert with such high production quality. Experienced artists and audiences found it hard to belive that concert of such caliber was streamed live without any post processing or editing. This concert is widely hailed as a global benchmark for online classical concerts, in terms of quality of music, technical production values, commercial aspects and above all the audience experience.
COVID-19 has put a stop on all music activities across the world. In these challenging times, when many musicians are struggling financially and are participating in free facebook live sessions that are often very poor quality or recorded videos; the audiences and organizers are not rising to the challenge either. Audiences sadly behave as if they are entitled to the free music on facebook and youtube and supporting arts is not their responsibility. Paying the artists for their performances and ticketing the audiences is necessary to preserve the value and dignity of the art form. Also, the essence of our classical music is in its spontaneity and liveliness. Recorded or archived music does not provide that dimension.
In this concert, conceptualized and produced by Shadaj, Padmshree Pandit Venkatesh Kumar (vocal), Narendra Nayak (Harmonium) and Keshav Joshi (Tabla) took us on a journey of morning and afternoon raags - Miya Ki Todi, Komal Rishabh Asavari, Vrindawani Sarang and Bhairavi in a full length concert. What more can I say about Venkatesh Ji? Such divine music. Needless to say that who ever attended was hypnotized by purity of his "Sidhaa Sur".
The concert was attended by paying audiences in hundreds, tuned in from all over US, Canada, Europe and India; many accomplished senior musicians among them. In these challenging times, it is heartening to see collaboration between Shadaj, its partner organisations, audiences and artists produce such an eco system and support the arts by hosting ticketed concerts as an alternative to free online sessions.
Some of the audience reactions
Aarti Ankalikar -> "Ammmmmazing. Is this recorded and edited? Superb."
Sangeet Natak Awardee Flute maestro Shashank -> "Absolutely Brilliant. Amazing!!!!! In some ways it is much better an experience compared to a live performance!"
Suraja Roychowdhary -> Shadaj has created a reputation for bringing outstanding artists to the Boston area in these past few years. They have also worked hard to integrate and engage with the larger arts scene outside of the Indian community. Shadaj took this one step forward and organized a live concert with Pt Venkatesh Kumar that was broadcasted LIVE over Youtube. The audio and video quality were superb. Shadaj has certainly created a high benchmark!
-> "Rajesh, you and Shadaj team have now set a global standard in concert organization.
Shadaj team has outdone themselves and delivered excellence with respect to production and overall quality of a concert goer’s experience. Thank you
🏼 concert extraordinaire
Shuchita Rao -> Pandit Venkatesh Kumar, who in my opinion is a living legend of the current generation. The concert was a magnificent combination of mature musical artistry, superb sound output and sophisticated camera work.
Take a bow, Shadaj! You have raised the bar of a Virtual Baithak! Phenomenal concert!
Pandit Venkatesh Kumar is out of this world! Thank you, Shadaj!
Btw, please charge us $35 atleast for concerts of this quality. This is outstanding. Top-class music by Panditji and accompanying artists and stellar sound quality and camera angles.
You deserve Padma Shree Sir for managing this concert with minute details that resulted in a AAA Concert.
Few snippets of Pandit Venkatesh Kumar's LIVE online concert on Shadaj YouTube channel "Shadaj Baithak".