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Eminent Flautist Sameer Rao on his Musical Journey: Sweet Notes of Bansuri

By Pavitra Hegde

21 May, 2020

While soft, sweet notes of the bansuri waft in the air, resonating through the audience, humility and modesty emanate from Sameer Rao as he plays the flute making spirits rise with his music. Sameer Rao, a prolific flautist and an ardent disciple of Pt. Hariprasad Chaurasia sound liquid poetry in every note breathed through the flute. Rao found his calling in music at a very tender age and passionately followed it to perfection and continues to pursue it. BV: Can you tell us about how your love for the bansuri started and a little about your flautist’s journey? Sameer:  I think my interest in music started because of my father. He used to have a huge collection of gramophone records and used to listen to various styles of music. While looking for something, one day I found a flute in the attic. The instrument immediately connected, somehow, I could play it quite well in the first attempt. Over time I taught myself simple tunes and so began my journey. My father noticed my enthusiasm and took me to a music school in Mysore, to learn under pt. Veerabhadriah Hiremath Ji. Every flautist, playing Indian classical music, is influenced and inspired by Pt. Hari Prasad Chaurasia ji, at one point of time in their journey. I am fortunate to be under his tutelage since 2002, and learn in the guru shishya parampara. flautist, Sameer Rao, bananivista Sameer Rao- Flautist BV: As a flautist/musician, you might have gone through your fair share of struggle. What were the obstacles that crossed your way? Sameer:  I am still struggling. Music is such a vast subject so to explore any Raag, being in the boundaries of what all you can do and what you cannot is a challenge in itself. And it has to be different every time you explore it. That is what we are trained to do. Ultimately the goal is what comes to mind should flow through your instrument effortlessly. That requires a lot of patience, dedication, and hard work. BV: For a lot of musicians, music is a place of solace, for some, it is a profession or simply a skill. What is music to you? Sameer:  To put it in simple words, music is everything to me. Music is my passion, it’s my profession. It is my language to convey what I feel inside. You know they say where words fail music speaks. All I can say is that I breathe through my Bansuri. BV: What would be your advice to budding musicians in an industry of playback and incessant competition? Sameer:  First is to do your ‘Riyaz’ with awareness  Even if you are doing it for two hours, you have to make sure that you are doing it with awareness. Second thing is to have patience. If you want to be a musician or artist from any genre, you need to be patient, while learning, while practicing and also while performing. I would like to add that one should listen to a lot of music, from all genres. This will give a better vision and inspires you to think and create something nice and beautiful, which will be completely your music. BV: Are you working on a new composition that we can look out for? Sameer: Apart from my regular Riyaz, I have a few things on my list that I want to do. Two of my albums, ‘Raag Chakra’ and ‘Colours of Life’ have been released recently. They are now available on all major digital platforms. I am now working on a multi-instrument project, which hopefully I will start recording after the lockdown is lifted and things start coming to normal. For more such updates, follow us on Facebook and  Instagram. Download our magazine Spunky Indian for exclusive stories.