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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 16 December 2018

Video of Dubai teen playing Indian raga on guitar goes viral

A screenshot of a video featuring celebrated guitarist Prasanna and his pupil, 13-year-old Dubai teenager Gokul Shyam Sundar, which has gone viral on social media.
A screenshot of a video featuring celebrated guitarist Prasanna and his pupil, 13-year-old Dubai teenager Gokul Shyam Sundar, which has gone viral on social media.

A video of a Dubai teenager playing Indian classical music on the electric guitar has gone viral, clocking more than 400,000 views.

The clip showcases 13-year-old Gokul Shyam Sundar, dextrously playing a complicated raga in unison with his teacher Prasanna – a celebrated guitarist who shared the video on his own Facebook page, where it has attracted more than 470 comments.

“Adrenaline rush – Gokul pushes me beyond the speed barrier,” said Prasanna in the post. “Music to recharge your batteries.”

The pair perform from the raga Kedara Gowla, traditional Carnatic (Southern Indian) music composed by Syama Sastri two centuries ago.

Indian classical music is not conventionally played on the guitar, and Prasanna – a virtuoso who also moves between jazz and rock ensembles – is one of the most prominent practitioners of the art on six strings.

Based in New York, Prasanna recently visited Dubai to teach Gokul, one of a few young prodigies he has singled out to pass on his distinctive methods.

“It really feels awesome when so many music lovers across the globe enjoyed the waterfall swaras that my Guru Prasanna and I played together,” said the Indian teenager.

“Thanks for all the love – my passion for guitar and music will continue to flow.”

Prasanna’s latest album All Terrain Guitar – which fuses jazz, metal, reggae and traditional Carnatic styles – was released in August. Read our interview with the 45-year-old Indian guitar master here.