‘I’m lucky that my instrument is a sitar’
Fusion sitarist Asad Khan on his debut performance with Berlin-based violinists Marie-Luise and Christoph Dingler
After growing up with Michael Jackson's music, performing one of the legend's greatest songs, 'Man in the mirror' at the Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony in 2010, is something fusion sitarist Asad Khan was unlikely to forget. "It was surreal; here I was singing a song by Michael Jackson, sharing stage space with pianist Herbie Hancock and A R Rahman on vocals. I was very proud to be part of the tradition of ending the peace prize ceremony with 'Man in the Mirror'," says Khan, who has performed with Barry Manilow, Colbie Caillat, the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the Norwegian Radio Orchestra, in the past, at festivals all over the world in UK, USA, Australia, UAE and other countries.
This was not the first time Khan had collaborated with A R Rahman, however. The 30-year-old sitarist has worked with the renowned composer on projects such as 'Slumdog Millionaire', 'Jodha-Akbar', 'Raavan', the Commonwealth Games theme song and many others. In fact, Khan's sitar has been much raved and applauded in 'Slumdog Millionaire''s signature tracks, 'Mausam' and 'Escape'.
On October 1, Khan will perform a fusion concert at Mazda Hall with violinists Marie-Luise and Christoph Dingler from Berlin. The concert is to be a marriage of two contrasting styles – the constantly improvising and unpredictable Indian classical style and the complex, disciplined Western classical style. "We have never performed together before but we have discussed our performance and I was very excited to learn that they already know so much about Indian music. The fact that there are two violins and not just one, will make the concert even more unpredictable and complex and we will alternate between following rules and tradition and improvising a little bit," says Khan.