Ranjit Barot, One Of India’s Leading Percussionists, Speaks About His Relationship With Music: “It’s About Developing A Connection With The Instruments”

I didn’t, the drum found me: Ranjit Barot (Photo Credits- Instagram)

He says that drumming requires all four organs to work together in synchrony, creating a distinctive sound that is unique to the individual. that when one is on the drums, it is all about surrendering control and becoming a physical vehicle for the person to play through.

Saying that a relationship develops with the drums, and “If you have a good enough relationship, they will treat you well, but if not, they may not talk to you”, India’s most famous percussionist One of Ranit Barot says, “When I look at my drums every day before I play, it encourages me to play more. You believe that each drum has a unique sonic marker that you can identify with your absorb into the brain, and that you spend your whole life chasing the sound you hear in your mind, that’s why you keep playing.

“Overall, it seems that I have a deep respect and reverence for the drum and the art of drumming. Drumming is not just about technique, but also about developing a connection and connection with the instrument I couldn’t find the drums, but they found me.

Curator of One Day FestivalMahindra Percussion Festival’, held in Bangalore on March 18. Barot, whom guitar legend John McLaughlin calls “one of the leading edges in drumming”, feels it (the festival) is an opportunity to showcase the diverse range of drumming and musicianship in India. Capabilities and beyond, including folk, tribal and contemporary styles. “By highlighting these traditions, the festival can shine a spotlight on indigenous cultures from Latin America and even Native American Indian cultures.”

Talking about bringing together Western and Indian sensibilities in his work, Ranjit Barot believes that as a composer sometimes one can feel they compete with each other. However, eventually, these cultural differences become superficial, and music transcends them all.

Emphasizing that after reaching a point where all cultural differences disappear, there is a place where there is no nationality, no color, and no face, he says, “It A place where everyone is resonating on the same frequency, and it’s just bouncing ideas off each other. It’s amazing how music can bring people together from different parts of the world, regardless of their background or culture. It is a tool that helps us transcend our human limitations and connect with each other on a deeper level. So, in the end, music trumps all music, and that is something that We can all enjoy and appreciate it despite our differences.

Optimistic about the contemporary independent music scene in the country, Ranjit Barot, who has worked extensively in the film industry, believes that independent films are to the music industry what independent films are to the film industry. “OTT platforms are getting great content, like indie musicians talking about real-life stories that resonate with audiences, especially young listeners.

There are many indie artists out there, and I’ve seen my daughter perform in front of crowds of 8,000 to 12,000 people, a testament to the growing allure of original music that isn’t inspired by glamor or flash. I’ve been playing drums for over 45 years, but I know I’m not the only one who draws such huge crowds.”

Also a film music composer and a longtime collaborator AR RahmanThe composer, who is the son of noted dancer Sitara Devi, claims that he never felt any pressure from her to pursue a career in music, in fact, she wanted him to become a doctor. “My mother’s attitude, desire and relentless nature to be the best impressed me the most. I could not find work in his name; It was my ability that made me reach where I am today. I attribute my success and hard work to my mother’s influence.”

Working with John McLaughlin was a life-changing experience for Ranjit Barot as it refined him as a musician and gave him immense confidence. Stating that it taught him how to adapt a drum set to an ensemble and how to write for Indian musicians, he says, “Indian music is inspired by ragga, and when you combine that with Western harmonies, So there is a lot of wisdom in this basically meeting the two worlds. John McLaughlin and The Fourth Dimension gave me the best education in this regard. The other two band members, Gary Husband and Etienne Embappé, also informed me equally well about all aspects of being in the rhythm section and soloing.

“It was a wholesome experience that taught me how to be complete without playing too much or carrying any extra baggage. I wouldn’t be what I am today if I wasn’t a part of that band,” he concluded.

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