Jon Welch, better known to Houston audiences as Tyagaraja, remains one of our most brilliant and esoteric artists. We sat down with him to see what we could learn about the mystical musician in 30 seconds.
Rocks Off: What is the worst song in the world?
Tyagaraja: A song that has no one to hear it, the listener is the most important part, they carry the experience.
RO: What is the best lyric in the world?
T: "Do not break the Human Heart, because God dwells within." It's from a Sufi song in Urdu translated to English, and sung by Abda Parveen.
RO: Someone throws a beer bottle at you onstage. What do you do?
T: I would most likely never evoke something like that from a participant, and I guess the character answer would be, fill it with water, put a daisy in it, and smile as I hand it back to the person that threw it.
RO: What would be the ultimate gig to play?
T: India along the river Ganges as the sun sets, on a hill with thousands, no millions of like-minded people all going to the same place, or even just my family living room with my family.
RO: What would you buy with a million dollars?
T: Land, food, and the means to live there sustainably with family and anyone that needed shelter and food.
RO: What would you buy with your last dollar?
T: I would give it to someone that needed it more.
RO: If you could canonize another musician, who would it be and of what would they be the patron saint?
T: Pandit Jasraj, Patron Saint of the Voice Meets the Spirit.
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RO: What will be written on the plaque under the giant statue future generations will erect in your honor?
T: Helping and serving one person and one family member will serve an entire society of living beings.