My first interaction with Pt. Shivkumar Sharma took place at Sawai Gandharva festival, the largest Indian Classical Music Festival in world. He had played Raga Durga there. At that time, I could not understand his performance; it was beyond my understanding at that time. Later, as I grew up and meditation became a part of life, I got pulled towards Pt. Shivkumar Sharma and his music.
Since then, his music has helped me immensely on the inner journey.
Born on 13 Jan 1938, Shivkumar Sharma was trained under the guidance of his father, Pt. Uma Dutt Sharma who was musician in the court of ruler of Jammu and Kashmir. He was initially trained in vocals and as a Tabla player. Later, one day, his father told him that he would be playing Santoor, a folk instrument from the region of Jammu and Kashmir used majorly in Sufi music.
As a result of his tremendous efforts to improve the instrument and the way it is played, Santoor got accepted in the world of music. As Zakir Hussain had rightly said in an interview, it generally takes one or two centuries for an instrument to enter a new kind of music, establish itself, entering the other forms of music and also, establish a league of young musicians who will take it as a career. Shivkumar Sharma did this entire thing in his lifetime.
As he himself rightly says, he is just a medium and not the doer.
Leave a Reply