Often, when discussing my passion for Indian Classical music – attempting to offer entry into its remarkable traditions for others, I raise instrumentation. Particularly in my early explorations, this was a crucial vehicle for discovery.
By far the most well know instrument in the Indian Classical traditions, thanks in large part to the popularity and fame of Ravi Shankar, is the sitar, but, for this very reason – its presence in pop culture, it was an instrument which I almost exclusively avoided during my first years plumbing the depths. It was my quest for, and response to, other sounds, which illumined the path.
The two primary traditions of Indian Classical music – the Carnatic and the Hindustani, are among the oldest living traditions on the planet. Many of the ragas played today, date back thousands of years. While often difficult to discern – so much time and evolution having transpired, this music lays at the root of countless distinct cultural traditions fingering across the globe. It is the well from which so much springs, making the examination of its instruments a fascinating web.
Turkish oudist Mehmet Polat, a familiar name to this blog, has new music available!
2017 is as good a year as any to start learning a bit more about Carnatic music, and any help which can be provided by friends would be most welcome.
This is a track by an acknowledged master in the field, Maduri Mani Iyer, from Madurai, Tamilnadu, in India.
Zakir Hussain is one of India’s national treasures. The tabla player is featured here providing a wonderful beat for this tune.
I had the privilege of meeting the Louvat Bros., who are ably represented by Patrick De Loecker out of Belgium, as well as the talented vocalist Debalina Bhowmick, who hails from Kolkota, India. I also had the opportunity to witness this improvisation at the Without Borders World Music Conference in Varna, Bulgaria, in September of 2015, where I was able to see a lot of old friends and made what I hope to be new, long-lasting ones.