Key takeaways from the Lonavla Music Retreat – Unlock the Magic

The recently held music retreat at Lonavla provided a unique opportunity for both performers and listeners to completely immerse themselves in music for 48 hours. Organized by Pune based Mukund Athavale, this was the eighth edition of the retreat. The serene surroundings of the retreat made it easy for attendees to disconnect from the outside world and focus solely on music. Even the artists were required to stay back after their performance to fully engage in the retreat experience.

According to Kalapini Komkali, who gave an outstanding performance at the retreat, the close interaction between artists and listeners and the informal atmosphere were a few of the many advantages of the retreat. She also appreciated the decision to limit the duration of performances to one hour, as it kept the audience engaged and charged. This allowed for a variety of performances throughout the day, starting with the early morning concert of raag Vibhas by Bharati Pratap, which created a prayer-like ambiance. The retreat provided an opportunity for listeners to experience various raags that are traditionally sung at specific times of the day.

The intimate setting of the retreat seemed to enhance the performances of the artists, as they could feel the passion and intensity of the audience. Artists like Pt. Ajay Pohankar and Pt. Nityanand Haldipur, who were among the audience themselves, inspired others to give their best. Vasant Madhav, a participant from Bengaluru, expressed that the emotions felt in this environment were different and that the retreat also served as a platform for discovering new talent. The opening jugalbandi by Chinmay Lele and Saahil Bhogale, both in their twenties, was particularly amazing.

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The retreat was well-planned, featuring a balanced mix of star performers like Pt. Venkatesh Kumar and emerging artists like the dhrupad duo of Prassanna Vishwanathan and Sagar Morankar, as well as Kshitija Sahasrabudhe. To engage younger listeners, dynamic youngsters like Yashwant Vaishnav and vocalist Bhagyesh Marathe performed. Veterans like Padma Talwalkar, Shruti Sadolikar, and Ajay Pohankar showcased their mastery of the art. Dr. Ojesh Pratap Singh from Delhi also demonstrated how to ensure variety in presentation.

Mukund Athavale, the organizer, emphasized the importance of giving back to the music community and ensuring the presence of good listeners. The music retreats aim to support smaller music circles in Maharashtra that often struggle due to financial constraints. By providing a platform for both established and emerging artists, these retreats help engage the audience and prevent the decline in audience size that many music circles face.

Overall, the Lonavla music retreat created a unique environment for music lovers to fully immerse themselves in music and foster meaningful interactions between artists and listeners. It provided a platform to showcase talent, discover new artists, and promote the richness and diversity of Indian classical music.

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