Prewien Pandohi-Mishre is a vocalist, specialized in Indian classical and spiritual, Bhakti music. He is the founder of Rasique music school and teaches at SKVR in Rotterdam. Prewien is not only a great teacher and singer, but he also composes music for cultural organizations. Currently he is working on a devotional piece.
“Just before the lockdown I recorded a video in one of the most prestigious theaters in The Netherlands, de Doelen, to promote my upcoming concert Yogic Slumber. We recorded the song against the backdrop of an empty concert hall. Little did we know then that concert halls would remain empty for most of this year”.
Prewien’s year started with high hopes and big expectations The first year of this new decade, turned out to be very different then he could ever imagine. “All the concerts that I had planned got cancelled, including my debut concert in De Doelen. This was a major setback for me. And it was very sad to notice that this pandemic affected almost every artist and musician that I know. Everyone experienced the same, and struggle to earn a stable income”.
The one good thing that happened this year for Prewien is that he got appointed as a vocal teacher at SKVR, the largest Centre for Arts in The Netherlands. “I am very proud that formal education in Indian vocal music at this renowned Arts school is reinstated after many years of absence”.
This pandemic inspired Prewien to take a step back and observe all that is happening within the cultural industry. “It struck me how vulnerable the arts sector is after the government announced to close the doors of every designated space for performances and productions. I also saw the heartwarming initiatives of musicians who would go and play music in front of retirement and nursing homes and the new form of live-streaming concerts. I realized that in the end the love for the arts, the need for entertainment and fulfillment will allow the sector to survive”.
Prewien made a conscious decision not do any live-streaming concert or live-vlogging with fans/followers as he felt that it would not add much in comparison to what was already being done by fellow musicians. “Before the lockdown I was lucky to tell my story about my musical journey to the Dutch National Broadcast station which was quite a nice experience for me and more recently I composed a vocal arrangement for a spiritual song for Sacred Songs Festival. I used my spare time to re-design my Rasique website and I wrote a couple of blogs. One of my poems about the elections in Surinam even got featured in a magazine. It was through these social media posts, that I continued my interaction with followers”.
If there is one thing that Prewien now knows for sure is that life is full of surprises and that it’s useless to cling on tightly to plans or expectations. “Whether we like it or not, we have to go with the flow. If I look at the dramatic impact that the pandemic has on many lives, I am just happy to be healthy and safe. And that my inner circle of loved ones is unharmed by the coronavirus is something that I am grateful for. I am really blessed that I can continue with doing the things I love to do, and that all of us get a second chance to appreciate and revalue the most important things in life: health, peace and love”.