Paula: When did you begin your musical training and how difficult did you find learning Indian Music?Rajeev Taranath: I began music when I was about four, when my father gave me tabla drums to play with, mixing some learning too. At six I was into formal education in vocal music, which continued until I was fifteen or more. At 21+ I was accepted by Ustad Ali Akbar Khan as his disciple on the sarod. Six years thereafter were spent in hard practice. I learn from him even now; there is no end. Indian Classical Music, like any other classical music, has challenges in technique programmed into the learning of it. Then there are the challenges of creativity, and so forth. I had to deal with them. I continue to do so - a performing art is a constant present. Paula: Who are some of your musical influences? Rajeev Taranath: Predominantly my guru, Ustad Ali Akbar Khan. Also, the great singer of the 30s, Ustad Abdul Kareem Khan. I listen to Pandit Ravishankarji with sharp attention and reverance. Annapurnaji has cosiderable influence on me; so does Nikhil Bannerji. Ashihsh Khan has had considerable influence on some of my techniques.
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