sounds of India
Hariprasad Chaurasia (1938-, bansuri), Raag Hansadhwani, live
I’m not lonely
because I have secrets;
I’m lonely because words
can’t bring the past into the present
(which amounts to the same thing).
—Rae Armantrout, from “Pretty Little” (London Review of Books, 7/19/18)
sounds of India
Hariprasad Chaurasia (bansuri) and Zakir Hussain (tabla), Raga Chandrakauns, live, India (Pune), 1992
road to the World Series
There’s times I tell myself, ‘Shut up and just watch what’s going on and observe what’s going on and really appreciate a moment.’ Because we have a tendency in our lives to go through a moment quickly.
sounds of India
Feel like floating?
Hariprasad Chaurasia (1938-), bansuri (bamboo flute), Raag Durga, live
What would it be like to live there—a world with no sky?
sounds of joy
This I could listen to all day.
Hariprasad Chaurasia (1938-; bansuri [bamboo flute]) & Vijay Ghate (1964-; tabla), Raag Jog, live, Italy (Cabella), 2007
Music offers an escape from the swamp of the self.
Hariprasad Chaurasia (bansuri [bamboo flute]), Raga Bhimpalasi, 1991
Today, celebrating the jazz saxophonist’s birthday, WKCR-FM (Columbia University) is Coleman Hawkins Radio.
The natural flights of the human mind are not from pleasure to pleasure, but from hope to hope.
—Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), The Rambler (#2), 1750
Every so often, like, for instance, last night, when I was listening to the radio* while working on a brief for a client who’s serving a 20-year sentence for attempted murder, I find myself being totally swept away by something that, a minute earlier, I didn’t even know existed.
Pannalal Ghosh (1911-1960), bansuri (Indian flute), Raga Darbari
One thing we can be sure of, in an otherwise uncertain world, is that each of us is a child of a God who may or may not exist.
*Raag Aur Taal, WKCR-FM (Columbia University).
Too much beauty in your life?
Well, I guess you can skip this.
Shivkumar Sharma, santoor
Hariprasad Chaurasia, bansuri (bamboo flute)
Raga Bhoopali, live, India (Mumbai), 1995 (music begins at 3:55)
More Pandit Sharma? Here.
More Pandit Chaurasia? Here.
Sorrow everywhere. Slaughter everywhere. If babies
are not starving someplace, they are starving
somewhere else. With flies in their nostrils.
But we enjoy our lives because that’s what God wants.
Otherwise the mornings before summer dawn would not
be made so fine. The Bengal tiger would not
be fashioned so miraculously well. The poor women
at the fountain are laughing together between
the suffering they have known and the awfulness
in their future, smiling and laughing while somebody
in the village is very sick. There is laughter
every day in the terrible streets of Calcutta,
and the women laugh in the cages of Bombay.
If we deny our happiness, resist our satisfaction,
we lessen the importance of their deprivation.
We must risk delight. We can do without pleasure,
but not delight. Not enjoyment. We must have
the stubbornness to accept our gladness in the ruthless
furnace of this world. To make injustice the only
measure of our attention is to praise the Devil.
If the locomotive of the Lord runs us down,
we should give thanks that the end had magnitude.
We must admit there will be music despite everything.
We stand at the prow again of a small ship
anchored late at night in the tiny port
looking over to the sleeping island: the waterfront
is three shuttered cafés and one naked light burning.
To hear the faint sound of oars in the silence as a rowboat
comes slowly out and then goes back is truly worth
all the years of sorrow that are to come.
—Jack Gilbert, “A Brief for the Defense” (Collected Poems, 2012)
Indian Music Festival, part 4
This instrument, in this man’s hands, makes some of the most haunting sounds I’ve ever heard.
Hariprasad Chaurasia, bansuri (bamboo flute), with Zakir Hussain, tabla, Raga Chandrakauns, live, India (Pune), 1992
Want more Indian music?
part 1: Ali Akbar Khan, sarod
part 2: Nikhil Banerjee, sitar, with Zakir Hussain, tabla
part 3: Shivkumar Sharma, santoor, with Zakir Hussain, tabla