EthnicTune team proud to present our lovely friend, musician Kharem Kamlakhar, also known as “Pranam” Kamalakhar.
In 1995, Pranam worked with George Harrison(Beatles) and Pandit Ravi Shankar. Pranam Kamlakhar have composed music for couple of private albums and also films which were greatly appreciated by music critics. Now Pranam works with Oscar Award winner Mr. A. R. Rahman, Famous Indian Music Composer.
Where have you born?
K.K. I am born in Kottagudem in Khammam district which is now in Telangana State, one of the South Indian states.
When and why did you start playing?
K.K. I began playing flute from very young age of 6 years. Being musicians themselves, my parents recognized my interest in flute and encouraged me a lot.
Which instruments do you Play?
K.K. I play many types of Woodwind instruments like Flute, penny whistles, recorders, pan flute, Uilleann pipes. Besides these wind instruments, I have also learned Keyboard, Guitar, Harmonium.
What was the first tune you learned?
K.K. Since I learnt music and musical instruments from my childhood, I didn’t remember the first tune I learnt. I learnt basics of Carnatic Music that we follow here in India which has thousands of ragas.
Is your family musical?
K.K. Yes, my parents are musicians, My father, K. Yohan babu was a composer and worked with many famous musicians for Telugu movies. My mother, K. Meenakshi was a singer and she sang lot of songs in albums.
Which famous musicians you admire, Why ?
K.K. I admire famous Indian Flautist Hariprasad Chaurasia for his consummate artistry. I also like Irish virtuoso flute player , James Galway, Davy Spillane of Ireland who is known for playing Uilleann pipes, Michael Bolton the famous American writer and singer, Michel Jackson the famous American pop singer, Eric Clapton the famous English Guitarist. I love all these musicians for their passion and dedication towards music.
K.K. Which famous musicians have you learned from?
K.K. My parents are my first teachers. My journey in music started with my parents. Apart from this, reputed flute Vidwan Sri N. S. Srinivasan has played an important role in bringing out my talent.
Who was your first teacher? Other teachers?
K.K. As mentioned earlier, My parents are my first teachers. They first recognized my talent at an early age, encouraged me a lot and gave me training.
Describe your first instrument. Other instruments.
K.K. The first instrument I played was wind instrument. Though now I can play a variety of woodwind instruments, I first started my journey with Indian Bamboo Flute. When it comes to other instruments, first I learned Harmonium from my father.
What are your fondest musical memories? In your house? In your neighborhood or town?
K.K. My childhood days were filled with music, i cannot forget them. My home environment was always filled with music. In my college days, I participated in many programs and youth festivals and got good recognition. I can never forget those days which helped me to grow both as a person and as a musician. After my college when I started my journey in music field, the encouragement, suggestions, and techniques I got from famous musicians and from my fellow musicians is unforgettable.
Were you influenced by old records & tapes? Which ones?
K.K. Our Indian music is very ancient. The notes of Indian music were bifurcated and classified into thousands of Ragas thousands of years ago in Vedas. By using these Ragas many Indian Famous Musicians like Thyagaraju, Shyama Sastri, Dhikshitar have written lot of compositions. I was inspired a lot by their work.
As well as Dr. Hariprasad Chuarasia from North India, one of the finest Flute artiste in the country, made many records and tapes of Hindustani Classical music, which inspired me in my musical journey.
How do you handle mistakes during a performance?
K.K. For me, every performance is a fresh challenge. My father told me everyone does mistakes, but the one who does less mistakes at that time is the best. So i always try to give out my best and I will rectify my mistakes by practicing more and more.
How often and for how long do you practice?
K.K. I used to practice for 18 hours previously in my first stage on Indian Bansuri (Bamboo flute). As we all know, learning is a continuous process, now I continue to practice at least 3-4 hours a day.
What do you practice – exercises, new tunes, hard tunes, etc.?
K.K. I practice Indian Classical music, exercises and International woodwind music, mainly concentrating in tuning.
Do you teach music?
K.K. I am not a professional tutor, but I always love to teach music. But My hectic schedules are not allowing me to teach regularly. I am teaching occasionally. I always encourage my juniors by teaching the techniques and supporting when required.
How do you balance your music with other obligations – mate, children, job?
K.K. It is very difficult to balance between personal life and professional life, but with the support of my lovely family I overcome this easily. Also listening to good music keeps me stress free and helps me a lot in balancing various aspects of my life.
We know that you latest have started to playing Armenian wind instruments? Why? Have you ever traveled to Armenia? Or maybe you have listened Armenian Ethnic Music?
K.K. I started playing Armenian instruments mainly Duduk in 2011 just because of its beautiful tone. I always feel meditative when I play or listen to Duduk tone. No, I never travelled to Armenia, but I heard lot of Armenian music through Youtube.
What Armenian Instrument is your favorite? Duduk, Pku, Shvi, Blul?
K.K. My favorite Armenian instruments are Duduk and Shvi
Does Armenian Instruments are differ from Indian? What is the difference?
K.K. Yes, both are different. Armenian instruments are having their own timber and tone and built-in Arabic scales. While Indian Bamboo flutes are having 7 holes plus one blowing hole. With the help of these 7 holes, we will play 12 notes. As Indian Music is more defined, some eminent musicians like Mangalampalli Balamuralikrishna can sing total 25 different notes where it was not mentioned in any other kind of music.
What plans do you have in future, maybe recording some track or make some new album, or any new projects you are working now.
K.K. I am currently working for a Movie project. I have signed for few more music projects. I am planning to do a special project based on world wind music.
Where are you planning to perform in next 5-6 months.
K.K. I am mainly concentrating in Recordings only for the present time. We have planned a couple of concerts abroad in the near future. I am looking forward to associate with great musicians from all over the globe.