Six burning Questions for Debashish Bhattacharya
Updated: Jan 6, 2019
At age three my mom and dad gave me a Hawaiian steel string slide guitar. It was an immense pleasure from the beginning to have the guitar on my lap. I played little mini concerts as a child and at the age of four I played for the first time on our national broadcaster, All India Radio.
2. DID YOU KNOW STRAIGHT AWAY THAT THIS WOULD BE YOUR LIFE?
I did not know about the rest of my life but I remember clearly how bright the energy was of the first sound of the string of the guitar as I plucked it. I became so deeply involved with that little instrument.
3. WHAT IS YOUR CONNECTION TO HAWAIIAN CULTURE?
There is so much similarity between the music I heard in my childhood and Hawaiian traditional music. When you hear Hawaiian and old Indian raga music, you understand that music is not only sound.
4. YOUR MUSIC IS BOTH INNOVATIVE AND TRADITIONAL. HOW DO YOU WALK THAT LINE?
To follow the tradition of Indian raga music I had no other option than to make something new and different, so my slide guitar could accommodate more soundscapes of Indian origin.
5. WHAT IS THE UNIVERSAL SCHOOL OF MUSIC?
My school is very interesting. Drummers, vocalists, saxophone players, jazz pianists, a bagpiper from Ireland and many other musicians come to our school in Kolkata. We started in 2004 so this is our 10th year.
6. WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO ACHIEVE NEXT IN YOUR CAREER?
First of all I want to play a little better every day. I want all my questions related to music to be answered. I want to create a group of younger musicians who can play Indian classical slide guitar. I also want to do loads of recording and to collaborate with different artists, and to write some music for the Philharmonic Orchestra. Those are the things I want to achieve in the next 10 years before I retire.
Arts Centre Melbourne, July 16, artscentremelbourne.com.au