Sunday, May 15, 2011

Day 227: Workshop with the Maestro Twins

Sat., May 14, 2011

If it were possible, I'd like to wake up to the sound of live classical music playing every morning. A dhrupad one day, a sweet thumri the next. But apparently, asking to have my very own personal live classical music orchestra ready to play at my whim is asking too much (*rolling eyes*).

Regardless of such daydreams, spending at least this morning listening to a workshop demonstration of the history of classical Indian music through the centuries was a tremendous treat. Master Santoor artist Ranjeet Pathak and master of the table Ajeet Pathak gave workshop attendees a live audio tour of the subcontinent's historic musical gems, running from the earliest form of dhrupad dhamaar up to the semi-classical ghazals and bhajans.

It's also very interesting to think about the ways in which classical and semi-classical music in Pakistan has branched off from the Indian classical music tradition, and I wonder if the branching off occurred at any clear point in time, or if it was a slow movement. Qawwalis and Ghazals, which would be semi-classical forms, seem to really have found a home in Pakistan over the past few decades (and of course folk music in each of South Asia's various countries is an entirely different and fascinating topic). Yet so much of the sub-continent's music is still all one flowing piece; I'd like to think of it all like this: imagine what would happen if you were to pour some bright yellow paint on a large surface, which would spread out slowly, and then you were to pour directly on top of that bright pink, and then bright green, etc. etc. And then you were to pour not in the center, but in various other parts of this vast and growing colorworld. What would it look like? What would it sound like?
An audio cd of the 2 hour workshop will be available soon. Please contact me if you're interested in getting a copy and supporting these wonderful artists in doing so!

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