11 Eylül 2011 Pazar

My India - The country breathes with music

India is the country of lights, colours and surely music...

I had great "musical experiences" during my stay in India...This is going to be a long article but I hope you will enjoy it!




Indian socity has a great respect for artists and specially for musicians...

So, I beleive this is why Indian Culture has a solid existence on earth.

It was the firts days of September in 1999 and we were staying in a friends house...It was very small one but surely within full of love and hospitality ...

As I remember the day was Krishna's birthday and we wanted have a Bhajan Night...

A Bhajan is any type of Indian devotional song. It has no fixed form: it may be as simple as a mantra.It is normally lyrical, expressing love for the Divine.


So , people from the neigbourhood joined us one by one when they heard the music with their instruments. After 10-15 minutes we were almost like a small "bahajan group"...Honestly speaking I feel I was a quite good bahajan singer those days and I was really enjoying it! Even several times I performed on the stage ... Bahajans can be in Sanskrit,Hindi,Urdu and Marathi languages in general...

Music is such powerful instrument which helps people to communicate in a much deeper way and just simply unities the hearts...It was also imazing to see how people like to play an instrument or sing Bahajans/songs in India. Music really is part of their daily life.

This was my first experince with music...A very good start!

Than we were living in a flat in an apartment block in Pune and my husband was practising "classical Indian raga singings" every early morning. As you can see due to the hot weather life starts very early in India. By 10:00 am it is so hot to do anything...You had to be better to be quick!

Raga means the melodic notes used in Indian Classical Music.

We realized afterwords when he was singing all neigbours were opening their windows and listening him. When he was away for few days they asked if he was alright than we realized the situation...Imagine ! ...Some people even wanted him to give lessons to their children from our neigbourhood...

Music is always in the air in Pune! You can even feel the wind or rain sings...

Than another greatful experince...My husband was having tabla lessons from very well known tabla master in Pune...

Tabla is popular Indian percussion instrument. You can see its picture below.


So one day I also went to visit master's house. According to my western mind, I had a fixed idea about a well known artist. I was completely astonished for what I saw and experinced that day. He was living in a very simple flat. He had a wife with full of love and compasionate towards his students. Like a mother...He was teaching tabla to his own son but next to his student. He was treating everybody equally...There were many students in different ages. He was very very humble man...Than I realize a great thing...If you really seek to become a master in anything than you need to be humble first...Than you will receive the knowledge from within yourself...It was a very joyful day for me infact!

As you may all know one of well known tabla master is Zakir Hussain and we wellcomed him in İstanbul in İstanbul Jazz Festival on 1st of July 20011 . He performed with Mısırlı Ahmet and Niladri Kumar...It was really fascinating performance!


ZAKIR HUSSAIN


Than here we come for the my most greatful experince with music in India...

Pune Music Festival...

Pune is one of the ancient city in India and it is near Mumbai in Maharastra. It was 1999 December. Since more than 50 years the festival takes place in Pune in December...Very traditional activity...

You can visit www.punefestival.com for more info.

I should say this is a non stop festival. You just be there as much as you like...Could be couple of days ... You eat , drink "Indian çay" , sleep if you like...At least my experince was like that...We stayed there more than a day as I remembered. Non stop Indian Classical Music...

That year I had great chance to listen Pandit Shivkumar Sharma and his son Rahul Sharma who are the greatest santoor players.



PANDIT SHIVKUMAR SHARMA


Pandit means musical master or I should say guru...

The santoor is an ancient Babylonian stringed musical instrument. Again you can see the picture.


It was imazingly beatiful and I remember my heart was resonanced with the sound of the strings and tears came from my eyes...So powerful artists...

As I always beleived musicians have special talents and mission on earth for evolution of human mind and soul.

Ofcourse I have to introduce the queen and the king of Indian music to you. Sitar as the queen and Sarod as the king.

We generally know sitar because of western music and ofcourse via Pandit Ravi Shankar whom I had great chance to listen him in İstanbul many years ago.


PANDIT RAVI SHANKAR


Nevertheless sarod has a special place in my heart. One my friend named Ahmet Selim Ergen who is Turkish musician is also great in sarod playing. He has his own CD named HINDISTANBUL. Remarkable performance...

Sound of sarod is so deep so you can feel all your being moves with the rhytm of the sound ...Flowing in the air...Traveling wonders...You touch your deeper self...

Some information about Sitar and Sarod via Wikipedia.

The sitar is a plucked stringed instrument predominantly used in Hindustani classical music, where it has been ubiquitous since the Middle Ages. It derives its resonance from sympathetic strings, a long hollow neck and a gourd resonating chamber.


Used throughout the Indian subcontinent, particularly in India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, the sitar became known in the western world through the work of Pandit Ravi Shankar beginning in the late 1950s and early 1960s after The Kinks' top 10 single "See My Friends" featured a low tuned drone guitar which was widely mistaken to be the instrument. The sitar saw further use in popular music after The Beatles featured the sitar in their compositions, namely "Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)" and "Within You Without You". Their use of the instrument came as a result of George Harrison taking lessons on how to play it from Shankar and Shambhu Das. Shortly after, The Rolling Stones used a sitar in "Paint It, Black" and a brief fad began for using the instrument in pop songs.



The sarod is a stringed musical instrument, used mainly in Indian classical music. Along with the sitar, it is the most popular and prominent instrument in the classical music of Hindustan (northern India, Bangladesh and Pakistan). The sarod is known for a deep, weighty, introspective sound, in contrast with the sweet, overtone-rich texture of the sitar, with sympathetic strings that give it a resonant, reverberant quality.



One of the well known sarod master is Amjad Ali Khan.


AMJAD ALI KHAN


I strongly recommend you to check youtube for the performances of those great maters I mentioned above.

Your soul will appriciate it! And your mind will calm down!

We have a saying in Turkish...

"Music is the nourishment of the soul"


So Indian Clasical Music is more than this...

I think I am a very "rich woman" so that I had great chances to attend those great masters performances as well as many live Indian classical music concerts in my life...

I am thankful and greatful from deep of my heart for all whom let this humble heart of mine to meet such great knowledge , wisdom and nourishment on my way...

with love

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