On the occasion of World Music Day today (21 June), meet Bhuvana N., a first year MBA student at BNMIT, who can make bamboos sing in a tune than can soothe and inspire.
Bhuvana Playing Angklung in a live show
She started dancing at the age of seven and gave her first Bharatnatyam performance at the age of eight. And now, at the age of 22, Bhuvana N., a trained Carnatic singer, boasts of being one out of only handful of musicians in India that can play Angklung, an Indonesian musical instrument.
Musical instruments, especially those from foreign shores, have always fascinated music connoisseurs owing to a variety of sound produced and their adaptability to Indian music. However, in case of Bhuvana, it was her father who developed an affinity towards this instrument of a distant land. A cable operator by profession, it was Nagesh G (Bhuvana’s father), who persuaded Bhuvana to pick up Angklung.
‘My father is a cable operator and one of his customers is Dr. H. S. Anasuya Kulkarni, a renowned vocalist, musician, and a performer. My father saw her playing the instrument and requested her to take me as her disciple’, recalls Bhuvana.
Since then, Bhuvana has not looked back.
A keen learner, she has been playing Angklung for the past six years. ‘Although it was my father who persuaded me to learn the instrument, I enjoy playing it now. I am passionate about music and this instrument has introduced me to another realm altogether’, says Bhuvana, who is pursuing her MBA degree from BNMIT.
Music to this art lover is a stress buster and Angklung is no exception. “While in degree college, I had the opportunity to played Angklung in front of the cancer patients at Kidwai Hospital. Its therapeutic effect was visible on their faces throughout the ten sessions,” recalls Bhuvana, who is eager to learn many more musical instruments from her guru.
“My teacher can play more than 300 musical instruments. I want to learn as many as I can’, signs off the music buff.
Bhuvana is associated with Kala Bhageerathi, the cultural wing of BNMIT. The club identifies and nurtures the inherent talent among students and provide a platform to exhibit their skills in various art forms.
The word Angklung has its origin in two Indonesian words: angka and lung. Angka means ‘tone’, and lung means ‘broken’ or ‘lost’.
It is a traditional rattle percussion instrument made out of bamboo tubes of different length and pitch, attached to a bamboo frame. The tubes are carved so that they have a resonant pitch when struck, and are tuned to octaves. The base of the frame is held with one hand while the other hand shakes the instrument rapidly from side to side. This produces an enchanting sound.
Angklung in India is known as Ankrang, renamed so by none other than Bhuvana’s guru, Ganakala Bhushana, Karnataka Kalashree Dr. H. S. Anasuya Kulkarni. She introduced innovations in the instrument and improvised it into an Indian solo instrument, called Ankrang.
Dr. H.S. Anasuya Kulkarni (Bhuvana’s teacher) with Ankrang