Monday, January 02, 2006

Music - the road to salvation...

From the Tamaso Ma Jyotir Gamaya archives, posted on October 25, 2005

The author was treated to two scintillating Hindustani concerts this weekend. The concerts vindicate the truth that music is the road to salvation. The world couldn't have been any better. Nothing else seemed to matter. It was like a flying dream. There are certain things in the world that cannot be expressed. Expressions of Silence would be the best approach. Nevertheless, I want to write about these concerts and the musical aspects in my own humble way.

Hindustani Classical Music, with its highly romantic concepts of Ragas for the moods and the time of the day, does touch the heart of a person. This post is not meant to denigrate other forms that exist in the world. The emphasis is on the Hindustani form alone. All other forms converge to the road to salvation.

What was special about the two concerts was the universal nature of the recitals. Instrumental Khayals, could be appreciated by a western audience too. Languages often prove to be a barrier for the proper appreciation of music.

Concert #1 A Sitar Recital

A contemporary sitarist, of the Maihar Gharana, Sri. Partha Bose enthralled an audience of around 150 people, with his virtuousity on the sitar. Sri. Gourisankar accompanied him on the tabla. He started off with an elaborate essay of Raga Patadip, an afternoon raga. He ended with a light classical composition on Raga Khammaj.

An interview with Sri. Partha Bose can be found here.

Concert #2 Sarode, Sitar and Jugalbandhi Recitals

Dr. Shankar Bhattacharyya, a disciple of Ustad Ali Akbar Khan Sahib since 1982, treated us to Raga Zila Kafi, a late afternoon raga, a mixture of Raga Kafi and Raga Zila. He followed with a short composition of Raga Tilak Kamod.

Sri. Indrajit Banerjee, a senior disciple of Kartick Kumar, a senior disciple of Pandit Ravi Shankar, played three different Ragas - Desh, Charukeshi, and Piloo.

We were fortunate to witness a Jugalbandhi of Raga Manj Khammaj by these two musicians, that definitely reminded me of the great Jugalbandhi duo Ustad Ali Akbar Khan and Pandit Nikhil Banerjee.

One word that would best describe the performances - sparkling.


Words failed me. I was speechless. Silence would be the best way of expressing the aesthetic and emotional impact of the concert. This brings me back to the question of surrender. Is it all right to emotionally surrender to musical compostions? Is it all right to be just musically alive and break down each composition for a detailed analysis of the technical aspects. I feel that it is all right to emotionally surrender to a musical piece within the gambit of the technical aspects. Sounds vague, right? Well, music has been a road to spiritual bliss and emotional contentment. The rasas and the bhaavas of the compositions are for us to discern and appreciate. It is a circular loop. What starts with feelings and moods has to converge back to the same.


Isn't it a wonder that music had, has and would continue to hold its own appeal among the people of the world. Life without music, unimaginable and frightening.


shikha said...

have not read your article, but i really like your introduction....

I also think that music is the road to salvation!

Rangakrishnan Srinivasan said...

shikha: thanks for your comments.