IAGB Spotlight – Shadaj
The moment of pure music is magic. And no one can really tell how that magic happens! One can certainly make an effort to bring together the essential ingredients – a good artist, an appreciative audience, and right ambience. Shadaj, a non-profit organization dedicated to cultivate, nurture and promote Indian Classical music, attempts to ensure an invigorating Mehfil by putting together all those factors. They also try to increase the chances of success by sprinkling the magic dust of an extra intangible essential, i.e. taking care of an artist’s frame of mind around the day of the performance.
Shadaj is a group of like-minded people, led by Rajesh Godbole, who aspire to preserve the rich Indian classical music heritage through high quality music concerts in the authentic form. Preserving traditions is not served well when we follow empty rituals; it is a lot of effort to stay true to the core of any art form and still be relevant. Shadaj has been striving to strike this fine balance since 2015 through diverse activities.
Along with organizing ‘Baithak’ style concerts, they also believe in cultivating a community of good active listeners. In a concert setting where the performance is based on improvisation, the aesthetic sensibilities of the audience highly feed into an artist’s motivation to perform better. To that end, most Shadaj concerts are preceded by a music appreciation session where the audience gets exposure to the intricacies of music in an interactive session with the artist. These sessions provide a platform for open dialogue and discussions which help build a community of music connoisseurs, active listeners, and students of music.
However those are not the only situations where music grows. Shadaj aspires to create an ecosystem where genuine love and understanding of music spreads to communities and people from diverse cultural backgrounds. Shadaj’s open mic sessions serve as a platform for the local talent comprising amateur musicians and advanced students of music to showcase their creative side. Perhaps it also helps those who perceive Indian classical music as an intimidating adventure, to experience music and get attached to the world of music in an informal community setting.
The organization saw heartening evidence of a growing support base even during the pandemic times. As true music lovers, they resorted to organizing concerts online and audiences from across the world responded positively to those ticketed events! When most of the world was shut down, Shadaj could offer concerts with full artists’ fees. Not only that, they received membership and donations from the public who wanted to support this honest endeavor. Slowly and surely the community is growing and even the artists’ world has started recognizing Shadaj as the prime connection point to a living body of learned audience.
We wish all the best to Shadaj in their future ventures!