Born in Beirut, Lebanon, Paul Livingstone (in picture) plays the sitar and a fretless guitar of his own design. Livingstone has also developed a unique style of playing on a nine-string fretless guitar on which he plays Indian ragas, jazz, and creative new music, blending ideas from different musical traditions of the world. To him, music is the expression of love for god.
Giridih, Feb. 21: After picking up the nuances of Indian classical music in Los Angeles for 21 years, Paul Livingstone has finally got a chance to show off his skill in India.
The 36-year-old sitar player is having an amazing experience in performing before Indian audiences.
“I have been learning Indian classical music from my gurus, Omio Prasad Gupta and Pandit Ravi Shankar for the last 21 years,” said Livingstone.
“In 1996, my first guru passed away and thereafter, Panditji accepted my as his shishya,” he proudly said.
A resident of Los Angeles, Livingstone acquired his bachelor and master degrees in Indian music and had always wanted to perform in India.
After performing in six concerts at Calcutta in the last 20 days, the sitar player is here today to take part in a musical evening organised by Sangeet Sadhan Kendra, Giridih.
“During my student life, I visited India twice, but this is the first time I am here to perform,” he said.
“It was an amazing experience to perform before music lovers of Calcutta. At first, I was nervous with the people sitting in the first row looking at me doubting whether I would justify the art.”
“But 10 minutes later, when the same people smiled, I was relieved,” Livingstone said with a smile. “God is showering blessings on me and I feel blessed performing in India”.
However, Paul did not want to compare Indian classical with western music. “While Indian classical music is great in rhythm, the harmony of western is better.”
“Music is the expression of love for god. I may be a Christian, but am a Ishu Bhakt due to my music,” he added.
From Giridih, Livingstone would return to Calcutta before flying off to Delhi to perform in a festival hosted by Pandit Ravi Shankar.