Bhopal: ‘AI Can Ruin Or Transform Music, Depends On How It Is Used,’ Says Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt

Bhopal: ‘AI Can Ruin Or Transform Music, Depends On How It Is Used,’ Says Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt

Padma Bhushan and Grammy Award winner musician says fusion won’t hurt classical music, provided it is done by creative, capable artists

SmitaUpdated: Thursday, June 27, 2024, 02:50 PM IST
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Padma Bhushan and Grammy Award winner Mohan Veena player Pt. Vishwa Mohan Bhatt presenting jugalbandi along with his son Satvik Veena player Salil Bhatt in a concert ' Pranati' at Ravindra Bhawan in the city on Wednesday evening. | FP Photo

Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): Pt. Vishwa Mohan Bhatt is one of the leading luminaries of Indian classical music. Winner of the Grammys, Padma Bhushan and scores of other prestigious awards, Pt. Bhatt from Jaipur is the inventor of rare Indian musical instrument Mohan Veena. He is one of the trustees of Bharat Bhavan, Bhopal.

He was in the city on Wednesday to perform along with his son, Salil Bhatt, at the ongoing concert ‘Pranati’ at Ravindra Bhavan.

In an interview with the Free Press, the 73-year-old music maestro talked about the present and the future of classical music and how AI can both ruin and transform music, besides other issues.

Excerpts:

Did you ever imagine that Mohan Veena would become so popular?

I believe in Karmanye Vadhikaraste (Do your work and leave rest to God). I work with discipline and integrity and leave the outcome to the Almighty. You have received several awards.

How important are they for you?

They do give you a boost. It feels like one has achieved a milestone. But at the same time, I never chase awards. Whatever comes, I accepted it as God's blessings.

How is performing abroad different from performing in India?

We can learn discipline and punctuality from foreign audience. They take seats 15 minutes before the performance begins. And yes, they don’t touch their mobile phones even once.

How do you see classical fusion music?

It depends on the artiste. If you have creative brilliance to fuse Indian classical music with the music of other countries and produce something new, there is nothing wrong in it. It is like making a bouquet with flowers of different colours. And it won’t harm classical music in any way. But for that you need to have a deep understanding of music from other parts of the world. The purity of classical music should not be diluted.

Artifical Intelligence is intruding into music. Your take?

AI can ruin or transform music. All depends on how it is used. It is dangerous. (Ye vikas nahi vinash hai, adds Salil Bhatt). Music is something natural. You learn it after years of hard work.

How can a machine make music?

AR Rehman resurrected the voices of two late singers using AI. What Rehman did was mind-blowing, awesome. He used AI, he didn’t misuse it. See, we all have to use technology. After all, isn’t an amplifier, too, a technology? But let us use tech in a positive way.

What would you like to say about Bhopal and Madhya Pradesh?

As a performing artiste, I can say Bhopal has one of the best audiences. It has great prestige in the world of art. Bharat Bhavan is a fantastic place. And I can say without any hesitation that no other government is patronising art and culture as much as Madhya Pradesh is.

You are a trustee of Bharat Bhavan. Does it need improvement?

Scope for improvement is always there.

How do youths relate to music?

Today’s youth is intelligent and well-informed. Thanks to internet, they can listen to any music from anywhere in the world. They can compare and contrast.

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