It was in the year, 2006 that I saw Hariharan a.ka. Hari-ji's live ghazal performance for the first time at Christ College, Bangalore. Now, after eight years, I got to see him live again in Milwaukee at the Alverno College four months ago. Initially, I thought I would write a typical concert review including the details of the set list and the audience's response. But, I thought it would be much better if I write about how I felt about the concert then and now. So, here are the results of my introspection.
THEN - I sat at the balcony, far away from Hari-ji, as I was just into my first job and couldn't afford the premium tickets. It was also, the first time I had gone to a concert all alone. So, that excitement coupled with the joy of seeing my idol live had given me immense joy.
NOW - I was able to afford a seat that was just four rows away from Hari-ji. However, I didn't feel the same euphoria I had eight years ago.
THEN - I went to the concert to just sit in awe with no objective in mind. I thought less and felt more back then.
NOW - This time when I went to the concert, I had a clear agenda in mind - what can I learn from him as a live performer and as a vocalist in terms of presentation, body language and stage presence. I think more and feel less now.
From a learning perspective, I believe I am going in the right direction. However, from a blind music lover's perspective, I'm not able to listen to any good music without judging or observing anything.
But, one thing that remained constant, THEN & NOW, is Hari-ji's melliflous voice, his aura and his effortless and ad-hoc musical improvisations. Here's one of my favorite ghazals Hari-ji rendered live. The song is Aadhi raat from the album, Kaash.
Readers, have you observed any changes in you as a listener of music now and a few years ago? Do you know why that change happened? Share your thoughts either in the comments section below or via the contact form.