A subtle listening experience

Great chemistry

A subtle listening experience

It was a calming experience for those who attended the fourth programme in the 2012 series of Hindustani Music in Karnataka held at Alliance Française recently.

The musical unison between Alliance Française and Sursagar saw sitar gods Ustad Rafique and Ustad Shafique Khan come together for a powerful jugalbandi.

“This is the beginning of a hopefully long partnership with Sursagar. We already have a dance discourse every few months. From now, there shall be such music discourses often enough in the future as well,” says Chiranjiv Singh, president, Alliance Française.

 “One of the biggest problems today is that everyone is into experimentation. What we want to do is shift the focus back to classicism,” he adds.

The show began with a performance by Ankush Nayak, a disciple of the maestros. He was accompanied by Rajendra Nakode on tabla.

He played three compositions in raga patdip with madtaal (nine beats), ektal (12 beats) and teentaal (16 beats).

The crisp sound produced by his fingers as they naturally explored the instrument showed that he has learnt well from his gurus.

Quick tapping from Nakode added to the subtle listening experience and the chemistry between the two added a special flavour to the music.

Their hour-long recital showed their command over the technique and more importantly, of the lifting power of music.

“I enjoyed Ankush’s recital more because he was enthusiastic and one could feel the emotions when he played.

He didn’t always stick to the taalam but that was done on purpose. It was almost as if he and Nakode were telling each other little jokes on stage and enjoying themselves thoroughly,” says Jayanth N, a member of the audience.

“I had no expectations of the young artiste. One thing I noticed was that his fingering wasn’t too clean. But to get that, it takes years and years of experience and practice,” he says.

The audience was excited as Ustad Rafique and Ustad Shafique Khan took the stage. The maestros hail from a family of musicians and produce music which is a happy
blend of the gayaki ang and tantakari ang.

Their recital gave an insight into the Dharwad gharana of sitar playing. They performed three compositions in raga kirwani, which is adopted from Carnatic music and now popular in Hindustani.

It was almost as if there were three layers of sound with the two sitars and tabla on stage as they took turns to lead the jugalbandi.

 The whole auditorium was ringing with the vibrations as they clashed and merged.
“It was a pleasure to hear the young artiste as well as the great masters of the sitar.

Music is something that you experience. I can’t really put what I felt in words but all I have to say is this — the music really transported me to a whole different world,” says Sowinder Singh, who attended the concert.

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