i went to the Dover Lane music conference yesterday. and i have to say it was one of the most the most amazing concertz i ever saw. itz a pity lotz of todayz 'musicianz' don't like indian classical music. i think i'm really lucky coz i've learnt a lot about music over time...i mean different kindz of music. i used to learn classical vocal when i waz small(i mean not really small) and then i didn't like it a lot but now i'm happy i did coz itz helping me a lot with sitar. and after that i learnt keyboardz(synthesizer i mean) and then piano and i learnt the difference between the two. and i know how to read music. i quite like the idea of fusion and i think i'm in a state to try it coz i actually know how different the two formz of music are AND how to merge them together. now i learn tabla too so i have a pretty good idea about rythm az well. i think itz important for every musician to have an idea bout rythm. the thing iz, after learning all that music, i'm able to UNDERSTAND music when itz played. i mean really understand it.
well anyway, i hadn't been to a concert of this sort for pretty long and i didn't knwo what it would really be like. i'd never been to a full sitar or sarod recital so i was particularly eager to watch this.
the concert waz suppose to go on all night and the first performance waz a vocal recital, and the sitar waz right after that so my plan waz that i would sleep through the vocal so that i could stay awake properly for the sitar.
but it waz impossible. i never i'd like vocal that much. it waz enthralling. i mean once you start listening to it, it just putz you into a trance. i couldnt make out the first raag - i could just make out a komol ni. she sang perfectly, flawlessly, effortlessly..it looked so natural coming from her. it waz evident that there waz a LOT of improvisation. but all of it waz done so perfectly. and it really looked like she waz having a great time up there. tabla waz cool. he too played seemingly effortlessly. both the vocalist and the tabla player seemed to be so cool about everything, az if singing and playing like that waz the easiest thing on earth. they would nod their headz in pleasure and smile when she sang a particularly intricate taan and he played a brialliant tabla solo. this whole on-stage musician partnership thing made it really cool to watch. maan, it waz seriously brilliant. another thing i learnt iz that when you're having a music recital for a long time(vocal or instrumental), taals change quite a lot, even in the same raag. i try to figure out taalz for myself and i waz really worried when i couldn't recognize them for sure. at first i think itz teentaal but then i count and see that it doezn't fit however i try and i'm forced to conclude itz ektaal but then later, he startz playing a clear-cut teentaal and i go like 'oh my gosh, how could i not regocnize it earlier!!?'. then i realized taalz change and i'm not that stupid. :P
the vocal recital ended with something(it sounded like a tarana) in raag kalyan(i haven't learnt it yet but itz supposed to be close to Iman - they have the same source). divine melody. really.
after that came what i'd been waiting for - the sitar recital. Ustad Shahid Pervez and his son. a duet waz bound to be interesting. this started at around 1:00 am. now i learnt another thing. i learnt the significe of different raagas and their timing. i think this is a unique concept. every raag haz a specific time when itz played. for example, bhairav and bhairavi are early morning raagaz and (i'm not too sure) kaafi and Iman are night raagaz. now i understood why they're night raagaz. it FELT like night. and we could actually hear an owl hooting. :P
most of these night raags have a komol ni. (if i try to explain any more at this point i will get utterly confuzed and i will confuze everyone az well).
i can't say anything except that it waz brilliant. from what i've been learning, a sitar recital haz three main partz - the aalap, where the raag is introduced, the actual piece, taanz, and jhaala. this recital went on for about two hourz and there's no way i'll be able to describe it. the aalap waz beautiful. but the thing waz that there waz no clear-cut aalap or taan. everything waz like mixed up. and thatz how professional sitar playerz play. sitar haz so much of detailed handwork.
And the duet waz really good. Shahid Pervez's son lookz like one of those typical rock band guitarists - long hair and all that. really. but he playz sitar brialliantly. the table accompaniment waz also really good. the raag they played waz Chandrakosh. i can't wait to learn it.
next waz Ustad Rashid Khan on vocalz. i slept coz i waz feeling really sleepy. but my god...what a VOICE the man haz...
and the final recital of the night - Amjad Ali Khan on sarod. He played two raagz i heard of for the first time - Shubhanjali and Sahana. and then at around 5:00 am he started with bhairavi to mark the break of dawn. it waz beautiful. bhairavi with birdz chirping in the background. he broke a string in the middle and fixed a new one in a jiffy while the tabla player Shubhankar Bannerjee played solo. itz hard to imagine how someone'z handz can move that fast. and he doez that smiling away at the audience like itz a piece of cake! the end had a bit of baul too.
so i came home completely exhausted. whoa. i think i've had enough Dover lane. i waz half freezing to death dammit!! but it waz worth it. :)
i don't think i'll go next year though. itz scary.