Flautist Ranendranath Majumdar, also known as Pt Ronu Majumdar is a familiar name in the Indian classical music scene. He was recently in news when he created a world record with other 5378 flautists at an ‘Art of Living’ Event. He started his career with R D Burman’s orchestra and has carved his own niche since then.
Reacho caught up with Pt Ronu Majumdar right before his performance at the Anubhuti Fest 2017, in Nagpur. Here is an excerpt from the interview:
Q: Is fusion necessary to make classical music palatable to the younger audiences?
A: It’s a different format, altogether. Like if you eat Pithla Bhakri and Burger, they both are different things. You just can’t compare pure format with the mixed ones. Fusion is a mixture of two tastes. If you mix these two tastes and blend them properly, a new taste comes out from it.
Q: Tell us something about the days when you were a part of R D Burman’s orchestra? How has he influenced your love for fusion?
A: That was the golden period of my life as I’ve learned a lot. I still think about those days and I have tears in my eyes. How has he influenced me in my career? Well, it is beyond words. R D Burman the musician was ahead of his time. Also, he gave freedom to all those who played with him, so that they explore what is inside them. My last film with him was 1942, A Love Story.
Q: You performed with over 5000 flautists during the Art of Living event. How the overall experience?
A: I would say that it was a larger than life experience. I conducted this event with other 5378 flute players and also played along. It was unique. We even created a Guinness world record during this event.
Q: Your music school in the United States, Sadhna School of Music completed 13 years, this year. How does it feel to spread Indian roots in the foreign land?
A: Basically, Indians living outside India are more inclined towards preserving Indian culture. Sadhna did very well because a lot of Indians want their children to take up Indian classical. Overall, the school is doing great!
Q: Out of curiosity, your last collaboration with Hindi Film Industry was with Vishal Bharadwaj. Tell us something about that.
A: After Pancham Da left all of us, I was withdrawn and I was not playing for the industry for a lot of years. Gulzar Sahab and Vishal are responsible for bringing me back. Macchis was like my second inning as a studio player. Eventually, we collaborated on several projects like Godmother, Hu Tu Tu and Makdee.
Q: Any future projects?
A: I’ve given my dates to Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Lil Champs as a jury member. I’ve decided to give the younger generation deserved guidance which will help them to prosper in the future. I’m excited about this new phase of my life.
Since 2014, Anubhuti has cemented its place in Nagpur with its bouquet of performances by the prestigious artists from all across India. This year Anubhuti is again set to bring some enchanting classical performances by some iconic artists of India. Internationally acclaimed Dhrupad singer Pt Uday Bhawalkar and Pt Ulhas Kashalkar, who blends the styles of Gwalior, Agra and Jaipur Gharana will be performing today at the Anubhuti fest. Know more about the event, here.
Title image: Ronumajumdar