14 July 2010

The summer survey of the Indian instrumentarium continues apace with a show dedicated to the bamboo flute. Four players are featured: Steve Gorn, Ronu Majumdar, Rajender Prasanna and Hariprasad Chaurasia. Malkauns, that mystical raga of becoming human, crops up again.

Set #1 - 8:00am - 9:00am

1. Raga Bhairav (rec. 1982)
Steve Gorn - bansuri flute
Bansuri Bamboo Flute: Indian Ragas
Latitudes, LAT 50604
("Traditionally associated with sunrise and dawn.... contemplation, meditation and devotion....")

2. Raga Bhimpalasi (rec. 2007)
Ronu Majumdar - bansuri flute, Arvind Azad - tabla, Vilas D. Pednekar & Kalpesh Sachla - tanpuras
Ronu Majumdar: Master of the Indian Bansuri
ARC Music, EUCD 2056
(Playtime: Afternoon. "...soothing and sweet and easily accessible.")

Set #2 - 9:00am -10:00am

3. Ragamalika (Medley of Ragas)
Ananda - voice, Jana Starling - clarinet, K. S. Mani - violin, Anand Bala - mrdangam [double-sided drum]
Ananda: Treasures
Tantra, TSMV9701
(Our raga guide, beginning with South Indian Shankarabharanam, which happens to share its interval structure with the Western major scale. Note how the mood changes from carefree to tense round about 2:25 as D- and B-flats are added and E- and A-naturals jettisoned, turning the composition into the pentatonic ragam Revathi. Fortunately for us Ananda sings the note names: Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Dha Ni Sa (same as Do Re Mi Fa Sol La Ti Do), which facilitates your following along...)

4. Raga Shree
Rajender Prasanna - bansuri flute, Athar Hussain - tabla, Rajesh Prasanna - swarmandal [zither]
Tribute to Pandit Raghu Nath Prasanna
Super Cassettes Industries, SICCD-132
(Playtime: Just after sunset. Lots of "odd" intervals in this one, i.e augmented third between Db and F# in ascending melodies.)

Set #3 - 10:00am - 11:00am

5. Raga Malkauns
Hariprasad Chaurasia - bansuri flute, Rik Masterson & Emam - tanpuras
Hariprasad Chaurasia: Flying Beyond: Improvisations on the Bamboo Flute: Music for Mediation, Relaxation, and Healing
Eternal Music, n.n.
(Note: no tabla! Playtime: 1:00am - 4:00am. That Kohlbergian raga of personal transformation.)

6. (Ordinarily after a performance like this I want 15 minutes of silence, but management frowns on dead air. Here's a lighter, folksy raga "from the mountains" to cool us down.)
Raga Pahadi (rec. 1991)
Hariprasad Chaurasia - bansuri flute, Fazal Qureshi - tabla
Written on the Wind
Audiorec Classics, 766032 1008-2

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