A digression for the New Year : Raga Desh (Des)

I woke up on New Year’s Day 2015 with a burning desire to play Raga Des (Desh), a beautiful raga from the Khamaj group of ragas which I’ve written about before…. Of particular interest to me were compositions in fast 12 beat time cycle (Ektaal), and by fast, I mean reasonably fast, much faster than what can be usually played on the sarod (especially in …

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An inspiring book for all performance artists

I recently read Steve Martin’s autobiography : Born Standing Up Part philosophical treatise, part how-to guide, it’s a deep dive into how a performance is created-an intersection of art and science, intense honesty and brutal self examination. He delivers an elegant and sophisticated analysis of his journey from Disneyland to sold out shows and hit movies with not a single gripe against anyone, solely focusing …

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Beautiful Ragas from the Khamaj Garden- Raga Jhinjhoti

Recently I played at the Independence day function for a local association, and ended up playing Raga Desh. Which made me think of other ragas which are related to Desh. In this category lies the beautiful raga Jhinjhoti. For some reason, Bengalis often call this raga Jhijhit…. not quite sure why…. Here’s a brief introduction to Jhinjhoti as I’ve leant it… Raga Jhinjhoti Thaat (Parent): …

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The Magnificence of Malkauns

I’ve been practicing Malkauns a bit lately – in preparation for an upcoming concert. Malkauns is a grand raga but very simple in its construction – S g M d n S (lowercase=komal swaras) Technically, it’s classified as a member of Bhairavi, however, it is an ancient raga, and the classification system is of recent origin in Hindustani music. In Carnatic music, there is a …

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Raga Dhani – An afternoon introspection

Raga Dhani is a rather uncommon afternoon raga and is not very common on the sarod, although it’s structure lends itself very well to the instrument. Some experts believe it can be played any time of the day and night. I tend to favour the afternoon time cycle. Dhani is an amalgam of Malkauns and Bhimpalasi – if not careful, the identity of the raga …

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Various tributes to Ud Amir Khan

Ud Amir Khan was one of the greatest musicians of the last century. Although very well known to regulars of Indian classical music, he remains relatively unknown among the population generally. He inspired many stalwarts including Ud Vilayat Khan, Pt Nikhil Banerjee and others.    I personally consider his Darbari as the mother of all renditions of North Indian Classical Music of this raga – maybe …

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Raag Khamaj : An ocean of sweetness

My New Year’s resolution is to keep content on this site updated regularly – aim is to cover off one raga a month at least. I start off with Khamaj. Khamaj is a huge repository of very melodious and sweet tunes – so sweet sometimes, it’s unbearable !. Key ragas of this camp include Khamaj itself, the beautiful raag Des (or Desh), Tilak Kamod and …

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