An Enlightening Session With Aman Bathla - World's Fastest Pianist
The pride of India, 8 world records holder (phew!), the fastest pianist of the world having played 804 notes in 1 minute, a music composer and an inspiration to all, we had a candid chat with Mr. Aman Bathla about his journey of being a pianist, the ups and downs and the healing power of music!
Take us back to the commencement of your musical journey?
I started playing the piano when I was very young. Even in those days I was a music enthusiast as I used to play many other instruments like flute, mouth organ and the guitar. One day I was jamming with my friends and one of them came up to me saying,” It’s crazy how you can make music on the spot. You’ve got some real talent.” That’s when it hit me! After a few days of pondering, I realized that music is my calling and the piano is my life!
What were your initial struggles?
So it was 2008, when I realized that playing the piano was my real passion. My parents gave me a choice - either join the family business or choose music and leave. I chose the latter. I left home shouldering the responsibility of my wife and my newborn daughter. My wife has been my source of strength all this while, without her none of this would be possible! The path I chose was tough, but fortunately it has paid off.
When did you get your first world record?
On 4th December 2014, I played 804 notes in one minute and was honored with the title of the fastest pianist of India by the India Book of Records. Not only this, I had also broken the world record mentioned in the Guinness Book of World Records where the fastest pianist has played 765 notes in a minute so then I was awarded with assist world records, world records India, and was a record setter for the same.
What is music to you?
Music to me is not just a mere passion, it’s everything! It’s the best way to connect with god, like meditation. Even scientifically it’s proven that playing the piano especially is equivalent to meditation. The logic is that the right hand on the piano demands the attention of the left part of the brain and vice versa. Hence, at that moment you can’t afford to lose your concentration.
We’ve heard people say your music has helped them heal. Would love to know more!
Music itself is a healer. It’s scientifically proven that when a person is stressed, or unwell, listening to music helps. It changes your state of mind! I remember in one concert, a 70 year old man came up to me and asked to me play Jagjit Singh’s ‘Baat Niklegi Toh Phir’. So, without a second a thought I played it for him. After I finished, he bursted into tears and hugged me immediately! This particular incident keeps playing in my mind, making me realize the strength of music every now and then.
Tell us about your music school - Passionnotes.
I started the school during my salad days by the name of Passionnotes. Initially I used to teach kids from the neighborhood and even used to give home tuitions. You can rather call it a gurukul, not institution as I teach students personally and I also teach students who can’t always afford to pay their fees. All I want to do is spread the magic of the piano, for it’s the best way to connect to the almighty. And one of my students, Gauri Mishra has been awarded as the youngest pianist of India. It gives me real pride and pleasure to see my students reach such heights.
What according to you makes Delhi ‘So Delhi’?
Delhi, for me is a hybrid of cultures and people - happy and sad. Despite the fact that Delhi has progressed to a great extent, what concerns me is perpetual eve teasing, littering on the roads and honking. These things should be looked into and banned right away. Apart from that, since most of my fans are from the capital, I love Delhi!
What advice what would you like to give musicians who want to follow your footsteps?
First and foremost, keep your basics absolutely clear and if you have doubts, then don’t hesitate to ask your mentor. The stronger the roots, the better the results. Once your basics are clear, you can make your own music. Mingle up the basics with your own elements and create something original. Never mug up the music. And of course, take rehearsals very seriously. Must do it every day!