Grammy Award winner Kitaro serenades Delhi with his Beautiful Music.
New Delhi, March 21, the capital city New Delhi was greeted with a fusion of traditional Japanese music, pop-inflected Western idioms and electronic wizardry as Grammy and Golden Globe winner Kitaro brought his Love and Peace World Tour 2009 to India.
One of the world’s leading new-age musicians and composers, Kitaro: who has already won the hearts of millions world over with his mesmerizing instrumental music, played 17 instruments, including the Sitar, Tambura, Sarangi and Tabla. He won a Golden Globe for his music in Oliver Stone’s 1993 film ‘Heaven on Earth’ and bagged a Grammy for his new-age music album ‘Thinking of You’ in 2000.
The US-based musician of Japanese origin last visited Delhi nearly 17 years ago. He came here from Bhutan, performed at two live concerts and then toured other places in the country.
Kitaro performed at the Ashoka Hotel on 21st and 22nd March. The concert was open with a 30-minute performance by sitar-funk artist Niladri Kumar and his group followed by the performance by the maestro Kitaro himself.
After the concert, correspondent from Soul Curry spoke to Kitaro about his musical journey and the aim of his Love and Peace tour and what brings him to India who himself was quoted saying: “It was certainly a different experience when I attended his Live Concert. There was an aroma of reverence for Kitaro, and unlike other concerts, the crowd silently greeted his performance that lasted for almost two hours leaving behind the memories of Love, Peace and of course Good Music.
SOUL CURRY: What inspires you to do such good yet very different kind of Music?
KITARO: I get inspired by the sounds of nature and three different schools of far eastern theosophy – Buddhism, Shintoism and Zen. ‘Religion and spirituality are at the heart of my music. The rhythm comes from the heart. That’s the most important thing. I really do not know. I am just playing. It’s a gift. This is a magic. Music is a magic.
SC: Where did you get your training in Music?
K: I never had any formal training in music. ‘When I was in high school, my classmates introduced me to music. We formed Western style rhythm and blues band Albatross, playing American black music and rock ‘n’ roll. I began with the guitar and then switched to keyboards. I was inspired by the R&B music of Otis Redding and a 70s psychedelic band Vanilla Fudge. ‘My first reaction was, ‘It is so good!’. I then taught myself to play the guitar.’
You’re quoted as saying, “I never had education in music; I just learned to trust my ears and my feelings.” You’ve also stated, ‘Whose song is this? ‘I write my songs, but they are not my songs.” Where does music come from?
It’s all about nature and mother earth for me. I learned playing the guitar and now perform more with keyboards, so that allows me to think about music from two varying sides of creation. We must respect the earth. That’s the inspiration for me, always.
SC: What according to you is the relationship between Music and God?
K: I feel that I am just a tool of God. The message that I get is that I am just like a bird of God “so keep playing. Just keep playing good music”. My music comes from a power beyond – from heaven to be exact – and that it flows through my body and out of his fingers when I compose. I don’t read or write music and never practice – and it is therefore at times hard for some to fathom how those beautiful out-of-this-world sounds come from.
SC: Is all music essentially spiritual?
K: For me, absolutely.
SC: What is the aim of your love and peace tour?
K: This world needs to have Love and Peace right now. Today, we have so many wars going on. Love and Peace is the final destination. And if people can listen to music, they would not need to fight. I pray that there will be less war in the world and that peace will eventually prevail on this earth.
SC: Your Japanese nickname translates to “a much happy man”. Are you truly a happy man and are you content with your life?
K: I am so lucky and peaceful, so busy… so happy! I hope that answers your question in short.
SC: If you couldn’t play music any longer what do you think you would spend your time doing?
K: Photography is my second love; definitely photography.
SC: How has your tour to India been so far?
K: It’s amazing and I would like to come back. I came here 17 years back. But today I am all the more happy coming back and perform. I would certainly like to come back again.