Wednesday, 3/31/10

by musicclipoftheday

Indian Music Festival, part 2

Nikhil Banerjee, sitar

With Zakir Hussain (tabla), live


Raga Bhimpalasi (Alap [opening section])


Raga Bhairavi


Raga Manj Khammaj, with Ali Akbar Khan (sarod)

Part 1


Part 2



In my own listening, I have sometimes felt that a raga symbolizes the states of a person’s life in reverse order. The open-ended introduction, or the alap, with its meditative quality, seems to reflect the wisdom of the elder sage, or sannyasin. As the raga progresses, and the rhythmic pulse and melodic development begins, one meets the adult in full control of his or her faculties in the prime of life. There is a healthy balance between bursts of improvisation and the observance of structure. Toward the end, as the raga accelerates and approaches a climax, one enters the childlike realm, where the desire to display virtuosity is strongest, and the performers throw caution to the wind and go for broke. But for many musicians and connoisseurs, this is where the raga has lost its purity, with the delicate opening alap seen as the “true essence” of raga.—Peter Lavezzoli, The Dawn of Indian Music in the West (2006)


A musician must lift up the souls of the listeners, and take them towards Space.—Nikhil Banerjee