Abhishek Borkar is a prodigy sarodist from a musical dynasty, captivating audiences with a fusion of Indian classical and Western music.
Hailing from a family of virtuosos, Borkar picked up the sarod and showcased his musical prowess at just ten years old to thunderous applause. Since then, he's bagged a string of awards and accolades, from national talent scholarships to coveted music competition wins.
With a sound that melds the sitar, sarangi, and Hindustani vocal styles, Borkar’s melodies are an ethereal, otherworldly experience. A true master of his craft, he weaves intricate rhythms and melodies with the finesse of a seasoned conductor. Interestingly, he is also an accomplished guitarist, and teaches students on both his instruments.
His father, Pandit Shekhar Borkar, is a renowned maestro of the instrument and critically acclaimed for having invented the surtarang ('wave of notes') – a combination of sarod and veena. He trained his sons Abhishek and Praashekh in his own ‘tarankaar baaz’ playing style, which mixes the Maihar gharana of Ustad Allauddin Khan with ideas from across khayal vocal music, notably including intricate ornamentation of taans (melodic lines). Today, Borkar’s heartfelt renditions draw inspiration from the legends of the genre, including Ustad Allauddin Khan and Ustad Ali Akbar Khan, and of course his father.
Carrying on his father’s brainchild of surtarang is not easy, and the impact of the art form on audiences is profound. The intricate layakari, or rhythmic patterns, coupled with the melodic intricacies of Hindustani classical music, weave together to create a sonic landscape that transports listeners to a different realm. The sur or melody of the music touches the soul, inspiring contemplation and introspection, while the taal or rhythm provides a visceral, physical experience.
Listeners often describe being moved to tears by the sheer beauty of the music, as they lose themselves in the dizzying composition. The notes wash over them, penetrating their very being and rejuvenating their spirit. Surtarang is more than just music, it is an experience that transcends cultural and linguistic barriers, uniting people from all walks of life in a shared appreciation of the beauty of sound.
Yet, Borkar's music is not just for aficionados. His fusion of Indian classical with Western instrumentation makes it accessible to a wider audience. His innovative compositions with a classical twist are a testament to his boundless creativity and passion for the art form.
As a composer and performer, Borkar has already carved out a niche in the world of Indian classical music. With his sights set on further honing his craft, he's on track to become a trailblazer in the field, carrying on his father's legacy and taking Indian classical music to new heights.
Lose yourself in the haunting, soulful sounds of the sarod and discover why this young prodigy is quickly becoming a rising star for raga music of India.
"The limitations of the sarod can be surpassed because music comes from the heart, and the heart never ceases to sing"
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