Playing the violin with one simple stride has a lot of work and concentration behind it for this musical maverick. With an honorary doctorate in music from IVUP, Dr. Aneesh Vidyashankar narrates the story of how he chose violins over vaults!
How did you come up with this idea?
Since a very young age, I have been playing the violin. And I continued to play even when I had tons of plans, sections, elevations to draft for submissions the very next day!
Once I graduated from architecture (after tirelessly working through the nights!), the yearning to make a difference in the music world got me to pursue this as a profession. As a registered architect, I do take up projects on and off but have been playing full time for a while now and it’s been a great journey.
Architecture as a course has enhanced the way I could mold my career. It gave me that creative bend that no other engineering course could.
Tell us about the five things that inspired you most.
While a lot of artists around motivate me daily, my biggest inspiration to this day is my first Guru, who continues to teach me, my father. Being a finance guy, he plays the violin as well and has inculcated in me a quest to learn more from a very young age, which I am forever grateful for. It’s this very curiosity that has made me explore unchartered territories in the world of harmonies.
Honestly, it’s the deliverance expected from my audience, clients, and fans! They keep coming back for more. And it’s the fact that I see myself as a performer as well. As a performer, I have a lot on my plate, from entertaining the crowd to playing at the same time. That’s where the magic of the wireless walking violinist comes to life. A lot of preparation goes into this and it’s totally worth it!
Hence, every performance is memorable for me, having performed in 27 countries so far. One of the few that sticks out is when I was performing in Vizag where I experienced 40,000 people listening and meditating to my music. It was surreal, to have 40,000 souls hum to the same tune as I was.
Tell us about what kept you going.
What are the hardships you faced and how did you overcome them?
Getting to where I am today has been a tumultuous ride. To only find happiness through my tunes has not been so melodious entirely. Especially when I was in college, with the never-ending workload, I would play and practice for an hour or so. I’ve had to give up an exam to concentrate on a concert or vice versa. It’s difficult to choose at that moment but I’d rather do one thing at a time and do it well. One of my vivas had gone terribly because I had a concert around the corner. Although I failed, things did work out in the end, there has always been a way. (For example, make up examinations!)
But these instances only made me discipline myself and manage my time efficiently. Which proved fruitful during my thesis semester. I had to balance a performance inside the Tirupathi temple (how can anyone say no to an opportunity like that?) a day before my viva! But with a lot of hard work, I somehow managed to complete my project 2-3 days before I left for the concert.
Hurdles, difficulties they are always going to stand in your path. If you say you’ve had it easy all this while, then I’m sorry but you’re either great like Shah Rukh Khan or there’s something wrong here.
What do you envision your passion shaping into?
I hope to make a name/niche for myself here in India as a musician and make a name in the international atmosphere with my signature style. It’s a very exciting time for me as I got hold of some new equipment that will help my technique and make my performance flow seamlessly. I’m very hopeful with what the future holds for me as a lot of new things are coming my way, which will be revealed soon to my audience of course!
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To know more about Aneesh's musical world follow the link to his Facebook page!
What keeps us going!
AR. SATHYA PRAKASH VARANASI
AR. GITA BALAKRISHNAN
Architectural education has become very predictable and events like these extend the learning outside the four walls. Unbind's hands-on approach and dialogue way of learning becomes very important and they're doing a good job and I hope they organize more such events!
The whole experience has been so professional and I'm extremely proud of the team! It never once felt like they were a group of youngsters.
This is a great initiative where all forms of art are on display and it helps students choose what path they want to take in future.