music clip of the day


Category: santoor

Wednesday, July 8th

sounds of India
day three

Shivkumar [AKA Shiv Kumar] Sharma (1938-), santoor
Raag Hamsadhwani, live



musical thoughts

Indian music calls for surrender. Of what? Busyness. Distractability. Impatience.


reading table

[S]ince we do float on an unknown sea, I think we should examine the other floating things that come our way carefully; who knows what might depend on it?

—Elizabeth Bishop (1911-1979), letter to Robert Lowell

Friday, June 14th

Shivkumar Sharma (santoor) & Zakir Hussain (tabla), live, Tokyo, 1988






Today it’s all ragas all day at WKCR-FM (Columbia University), where they’re hosting the Ragas Live Festival—24 hours straight of Indian classical music, featuring 24 live in-studio performances.

Thursday, 3/15/12

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.



reading table

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)

Thursday, 4/1/10

Indian Music Festival, part 3

Light, clear, open: I could listen to this all day.

Shivkumar Sharma, santoor, with Zakir Hussain, tabla

Raga Kausi Kanada, live


Raga Kirwani, live



Shivkumar Sharma is responsible for validating the santoor as a classical instrument . . . . and it is especially exciting to hear him with an accomplished tabla master, particularly his long-time collaborator Zakir Hussain.

—Peter Lavezzoli, The Dawn of Indian Music in the West (2006)


More Indian music?

Every Sunday one of my favorite radio stations, WKCR-FM (broadcasting from Columbia University), offers four hours of Indian music (6-8 a.m., 7-9 p.m. [EST])—records, interviews, studio performances, etc.

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