World music comes alive, haveli style

ENCHANTING evening

World music comes alive, haveli style

This was surely a once-in-a-lifetime concert and Delhiites enjoyed it to their heart’s content. In a never before seen performance 13 artists came together from different parts of India to recreate the bygone era of Haveli baithaks. The difference lay in the manner in which instruments from across the board were used to recreate the ambience of a baithak - complete with chandeliers, jharokhas, low seating and light effects. 

The out-of-the-world concert saw the use of piano, drums, saxophone and a guitar besides tabla, sarangi, violin, khartal, kamiacha, sitar and an Odissi recital – all together on one platform! The masters performed for two hours non-stop to recreate the magic of haveli music on stage.
There was a slight twist to the traditional music as the added fusion element only enhanced the performance instead of taking away anything from it. A camaraderie was established between Pt Arvind Kumar Azad on tabla and Deu Khan on khartal. Moving from fast beats to slow beats and then raising the tempo, the musical piece gave audiences goose bumps.  

And this was just the beginning. A piece by Sridhar Sagar on saxophone, Santosh Mulekar on keyboard and Jeoraj Stanley George made music lovers swing to the music. The ultimate surprise came when Deepak Pandit on violin and Mishko M’Ba on bass guitar  played their instruments. The auditorium echoed with claps and whistles. Michel’s expertise in guitar chords left the audience spell bound. 

But it was Arushi Mudgal, who added grace and beauty with her Odissi recital.  With her beautiful expressions and swift hand movements, Arushi stole the heart of many. A soulful Rajasthani recital by Ghenwar and Dare Khan gave a feel of musical nights during kings era.

Talking to Metrolife about their production, Pt Arvind Kumar Azad, of the Banaras gharana mentioned, “We do a lot of shows but this one was special as so many of us came together for the first time. The USP was the amalgamation of Indian classical music with modern instruments like bass guitar and piano. The show gave us the freedom to express our art but it was also quite challenging. One had to remember all the cues given by the other musicians. We had rehearsed for this for over a month. As an artist you also have to be open to work with other artists. This perfor­mance was a good blend and the audiences enjoyed it to the core.” The performance brought together artists like music composer Dewo Khan, sitarist brothers Rafique and Shafique Khan, saxophonist Sridhar Sagar, drummer Stanley Jeoraj, bass guitarist Mishko M’Ba, pianist Santosh Mulekar and Ghenwar Khan and Dare Khan on the khemcha and vocals.

Haveli music is often associated with devotional music but this effort to combine modern with the traditional created something entirely different and ended up being a world-class performance.  

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