Friday, July 16, 2010

An Evening with the Maestro

Living legend mouth organ maestro Madan Kumar was formally inducted into the Harmonica Club of Gujarat as a life member and patron on July 15, with club secretary Tapan Bhatt pinning the club's badge on his lapel.

Madan Kumar has intimate relationship with Ahmedabad. His wife hails from the city. Moreover, he has fond memory associated with the release of his first HMV record linked to Ahmedabad. He was in the town when he learned about the release of his HMV record which had his photograph on the cover. So when he went to pick up the record from a store, the shop owner immediately recognized him and gifted him his own record. It was only when he showed the record to his wife that she came to know she had married an accomplished musician.

"When I appeared for my first stage show in Pune, I was trembling with stage freight. I closed my eyes as the curtain went up and started playing, thankfully shutting my mind to the fact that I was playing before a large audience of college students. The thunderous applause, after my performance, wiped out my fear and I started giving stage performances thereafter," he recalled.

Madan Kumar has a unique style of playing mouth organ. He uses a variety of techniques to embellish his rendition - vamping, tremelo, chording, tonguing, bending. "Play by your soul," he advices his students.

Madan Kumar bestowed on the Harmonica Club of Gujarat a priceless gift in the form of giving the club the right to release his audio CDs under the banner of HCG. The club would soon release the CDs, comprising some of the special numbers by Madan Kumar at a function.