Saturday, 7 July, 2007

Oh...Ive been flyin....

And if you listen very hard
he tune will come to you at last.
When all are one and one is all
To be a rock and not to roll.
I once again  had the pleasure of watching Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt perform live. The creator of the Mohan Veena, a modified guitar of kinds, has won a Grammy for the incredible music he pours out. I will be eternally grateful to Banyan Tree for bringing truly unique, simply elegant, non pseudo and well managed musical shows together.
Monsoons and Malhar …aaah. Panditji set the stage on fire in the stormy weather. In a shimmering kurta that flashed  with every move, he started with a light pattering on his Venna that gradually build up to a hair raising and heady tempo. The whole effect of diamonds sparkling off his entire form in rhythm to the reverberating music brought visions of fire and brimstone.
On and On, Faster and Faster……
till one could hear the very clouds thunder and  rumble as a dazed audience stepped out into a soft shower of rain.
Yesterday I was treated to double the magic, Pandit Vijay Ghate accompanied him on the Tabla. Now I would be content just looking at him ! Tall , fair, with light brown curls, his whole body dances to the rhythm of his Tabla.
What is  it about  classical musicians that is so aristocratic?  Amjad Ali Khan, Zakir Hussain,  Vijay Ghate, Ayan and Amaan Ali Bangash, Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, Rahul Sharma  ….. the classy kurtas, the impeccable grooming,  the soft speech and that regal mien…sigh!
Panditji played the Aalap soloband then in one fluid motion Pt. Vijay Ghate joined in middle part( Vilambitghat). The duo complemented each other perfectly, increasing the tempo till the audience could no longer even clap, just remain silently mesmerized by the the waves of music crashing into us, again and again soaring to a dizzying crescendo. Now THAT'S what i call a fucking trip!
They ended with the classic "Sawaal Jawaab" session, teasing and testing but never out doing the other's expertise. To top it all Panditji also rendered a hypnotic vocal composition. What a night! Ever noticed how rock ( i mean pure rock like Led Zep, Pink Floyd and Doors) and classical music are essentially similar in composition, anyone who truly likes rock , has to appreciate this music. Jim Morrison did !

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