A note on my three blogs

A note on my blogs

(1) vio; in love with india - this one is the main blog about my Indian adventures, which started in 2005. I don't write much on this blog these days because I prefer to write privately in the confidential blog. But check out the categories and the index to figure out your way. I have kept some older posts not about India but which I still find interesting or relevant in Old words. Also check out my new, fun category Only in India in which I post photos of funny, unique, Indian situations...

(2) sounds of india - this is my blog of sounds, because India wouldn't be as incredible if it was not so vibrant and just so full of incredible sounds!

(3) vio; confidential - this an extension of my main blog in which I post entries I do not want to reveal to the entire webspace for privacy or sensitivity reasons. You must receive an invitation from me and then accept the invitation to be able to read it. You may email me if you are interested in receiving an invitation.


Thursday, 10 May 2012

Concerts in Varanasi, music in Khajuraho & Indian viola in France

I haven't posted for a long time, and a lot happened since February. Most importantly a very interesting adventure with Mata Ganga Orchestra, about which I have been too lazy (and overwhelmed) to post on this blog, but there is material elsewhere so it's OK... I also played my "first solo" in a temple on the night of Shivaratri, which was, although I feel a bit embarrassed about my "performance", a blessed opportunity. All the musicians were students and it happened in a small temple at the other side of the city, thus with a very small audience, so the surroundings were a lot less intimidating than I had imagined thankfully. Finally, at the end of March I played a short concert in BHU with three Indian students. The setting was intimidating this time: we played in the university auditorium in front of all the teachers; we were involved in the (very Indian) prize-giving malarkey, and we played before great musicians. Our "performance" was only a very short 15-minute one, which was relieving and frustrating at the same time. I dealt with a lot of emotions, which was... a very good thing!

The latest, most amazing news is that music is also possible in Khajuraho. I hadn't known all those years, but I guess that's because I wasn't emotionally and musically ready. In fact there is a tabla player in Khajuraho - a very respected pandit actually - who teaches tabla, harmonium and singing to children/young people in a big school every evening. I finally went to meet him; accompanied the children in class once and played with him. He was happy to meet me and wants me to attend the classes when I'm in Khajuraho. I feel I will get a lot from this experience... We will see where that takes me, but I am thrilled to have found out that music is also possible in Khajuraho...

I came back to France about three weeks ago now. Time flies and I can't believe I'm here already. Time for my body to rest - although I was very healthy this year in India - time to see my family. Last year I was a bit worried about coming back, about what to do for all that time etc. but this time I am more peaceful and focused. I am lucky I still don't need to work to go back to India until next year, and I don't feel so bad (different, a freak, a lazy shit etc.) about being non-lucrative in Europe yet again. Perhaps because I feel more confident and trustful about what my heart is telling me, even more certain that I'm doing the right thing doing what I do. I have always been certain, but every time I come back to Europe society pressure is stronger, obviously - a lot stronger than in India... Not quite so this year, luckily...

This year I want to move around less and stay focused on my violin practice. It's always been more difficult to keep up practising Indian violin in Europe, as the western environment is less auspicious to Indian music than the Indian atmosphere (quite obviously!), but this year I want to keep the practice up seriously. Never lose the violin from sight. I think this is because I am finally less shy about affirming that that's what I want to do in my life, and that I finally feel that I can, indeed, do it. And by the way, this book is stunning and it's been helping me a great deal, so many, many warm thanks to you Dr. Deepak Chopra! ♥

So far I have been sustaining my practice quite successfully. I have also tried it on my viola, which has been fun! I didn't take in out of its case last year but this year I feel like trying out "Indian viola". It's the same as violin but bigger so there's slightly more space between the notes on the strings, and the strings are fatter so I have to press more on them - sliding is a little more tricky. But I'll keep at it for a while and see how I like it. I tune it a lot lower than the violin - going from D# down to A#, and wow, it feels a lot fatter and deeper. It's a nice change although somewhat discomforting, too...

Focus on keeping up my Indian direction even in Europe. No more western-tuned violin for me.

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