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16 Sep 2008 2,402 views
 
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photoblog image Vikipedia: Kakali Bandyopadhyay

Vikipedia: Kakali Bandyopadhyay

 

…and you thought my name was a mouthful. Even with the help of my Indian friends, my Russian tongue could not produce anything even remotely resembling the proper pronunciation of her name.

Being a long time fan of Indian music (not the Bollywood pop songs, but the traditional classical ragas, which date back thousands of years), I could not miss the concert of a sitar virtuoso Kakali Bandyopadhyay. This was one of the best concerts I attended last year. Listening to Indian raga is like experiencing a deep immersion into your inner self, where one can find countless colorful streams and undercurrents. All you need is let it go and flow with one of them. I'm not smart enough to understand all the complexity and nuances of this extraordinary music, but my love for jazz helps a lot in connecting with the rich improvisational nature of ragas.  

 

Vikipedia: Kakali Bandyopadhyay

 

…and you thought my name was a mouthful. Even with the help of my Indian friends, my Russian tongue could not produce anything even remotely resembling the proper pronunciation of her name.

Being a long time fan of Indian music (not the Bollywood pop songs, but the traditional classical ragas, which date back thousands of years), I could not miss the concert of a sitar virtuoso Kakali Bandyopadhyay. This was one of the best concerts I attended last year. Listening to Indian raga is like experiencing a deep immersion into your inner self, where one can find countless colorful streams and undercurrents. All you need is let it go and flow with one of them. I'm not smart enough to understand all the complexity and nuances of this extraordinary music, but my love for jazz helps a lot in connecting with the rich improvisational nature of ragas.  

 

comments (14)

  • Ray
  • Thailand
  • 16 Sep 2008, 02:57
A fine portrait, VZ.

I share your awe of Indian Raga and those who have achieved mastery of the spectacular Sitar.
vz-nostalgia: Ravi Shankar himself was her teacher. Not everyone is accepted to be his student. It's a great honor.
This is a very agreeable composition Viktor
vz-nostalgia: Well, that is what I do, Chris. I refine the composition until I can't neither add nor substract anything from the picture. smile
Excellent picture Viktor. I'm not a jazz lover and I confess have never really listened to Indian music although I believe mastering this instrument is a lifetimes work.
vz-nostalgia: "a lifetime work" must be right on point, Bill. I couldn't master a Russian balalaika with its three strings, less this monster of an instrument with 20 something ones.
  • Philine
  • Germany
  • 16 Sep 2008, 09:16
Oh, Viktor, I can well understand your passion for this Indian music! Since I heard Amelia Cuni singing traditional Indian Drhupad -temple-songs whilst playing a sitar, I'm an enthousiast, too! You have well described this kind of music, first strange to our ears, but then it lets us becoming absorbed in our inner self. This music was contrasted with Gregorian music in 'my' concert- a wonderful new experience of connections between East and West, too! Your pic is well composed, with beautiful colours which may catch that contemplative atmosphere and the 'sound' of that music!
vz-nostalgia: What an interesting idea of having the Gregorian chants and Indian ragas under one roof for a concert. I bet time had stopped for the audience during that performance.
I've never heard of Amelia Cuni. Got to google her.
That instrument is almost as big as the player. What is it called?
vz-nostalgia: From time to time you got to read the text below the picture, Nathan. smile
This is His Majesty Sitar, the king of the string instruments.
  • Kathryn
  • Germany
  • 16 Sep 2008, 20:10
When I was in Florida recently, I participated in a drum circle, of which a sitar player was part. The combination drumming and the sitar was hypnotic and transformative and just flowed and found it's own current. It was my first experience in having a sitar join in and it added so much to the drumming.

I have not heard Indian rage, but will find some on youtubes. Thanks for broadening my knowledge...
vz-nostalgia: I haven't heard an Indian "rage" either, but I bet you'll be able to find some on youtubes (how many of them do you have, btw?) grin

A drumming with a sitar must be a very stimulating experience, ...a drumming on steroids. smile
  • Kathryn
  • Germany
  • 16 Sep 2008, 20:11
Make that Indian raga because I have heard a few Indians rage smile
vz-nostalgia: smile That's not been my experience. smile
Indian ragas played not only on sitars. If you've never heard ragas, nice place to start would be with Lakshminarayana Shankar's "Raga Aberi",
where L. Shankar (do not confuse with Ravi Shankar) plays a 10-string double-neck violin, or Hariprasad Chaurasia and Shivkumar Sharma's "Call of the Valley",
http://www.amazon.com/Call-Valley-Shivkumar-Sharma/dp/B000005H0H/ref=sr_1_14?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1221601745&sr=1-14
where Chaurasia plays a bansuri (a North Indian bamboo flute) and Sharma plays a santoor (a sort of a dulcimer with dozens of strings).
  • L.Reis
  • Portugal
  • 16 Sep 2008, 21:55
Sometime ago someone gave me a CD of Ravi Shankar and I had a very strange reaction: I was unable to say if I liked it or not. I simply didn't know. But I kept listening and slowly begin
to understand some of the beauty of that kind of music, but it's still a "difficult strange music" and I know I didn't even get close to its meaning. In your picture Kakali and her instrument are as one, dressed in the same warm colours and speaking the same language...
vz-nostalgia: How interesting. My first encounter with ragas started with a vinyl album someone gave me to listen to back in 1970s. It was Ravi Shankar on sitar and Alla Rakha on tablas. That music blew me away, as I've never listened to anything like that before. That album sparkled a little fire of love for Indian music that still glimmers in my soul. smile
  • Ginnie
  • Atlanta, GA, United States
  • 17 Sep 2008, 14:59
The woman, the instrument, the image...all are so beautiful, Viktor. I'm not familiar with the music, however, and did not have luck finding something on the Internet (YouTube?) that would give me a bit of your glimmer. Do you have a link to something?
vz-nostalgia: I'll burn a couple of CDs for you, Ms. Ginnie. Let me know to where and when to send them.
  • terry
  • Nepal
  • 18 Sep 2008, 18:55
Vik, when the photograph loaded, i immediately checked to see whether i was on your blog or if i'd lost my way smile the reaction would be much like you opening my blog to find matryoshkha dolls.

it's a pleasant surprise to know that Indian classical music has its following even on SC. although i've never heard of this particular sitar virtuoso, but because she is Bengali, i can shed light on the pronunciation of her name. ka-ko-lee bon-do-pa-dhaye. 'do' is pronounced with a soft consonant sound and the last syllable rhymes with high.
vz-nostalgia: Hahahaha. I bet you were not alone who felt as being fooled. smile
Ms. Bandyopadhyay is a professor. She teaches sitar and North Indian Music class at the Music Department of the Emory University here in Atlanta. But the most amazing thing about her is that she also holds PhD in biotechnology and does research at the CDC (Center for Disease Control, a leading medical research institution in the world based in Atlanta. Talking about a Renaissance woman! smile
Thanks for the lesson, Terry, easy for you to say it. smile
This is quite an interesting shot VZ, I like the composition, and colour harmony.
vz-nostalgia: That's all to it, Tunde. A composition and a color harmony. And my love for Indian music. smile
  • Beth
  • Atlanta
  • 23 Sep 2008, 14:18
Your nature shots are exquisite, but I like to see occasional people shots like this one too....there's something about pictures of people that are more interesting than any other kind for me. Funny, since I would rather hang out with my dog than a group of humans...ha ha
vz-nostalgia: I suck at taking pictures of people, Beth. That's why there are not many of them on this website. smile I'm not comfortable taking candid pictures on the street, but when asked to be photographed, people usually get tense and try to appear better than they are. I better stick to flowers and bugs. smile
Just noticed we have another passion in common!!!

The sitar in the hands of a true virtuoso can indeed provoke a deep immersion in your innerself.
vz-nostalgia: Glad I found a brother in soul! smile
Love the portrait, the reds are so warm and inviting... I love Indian music - listen to a lot of Ravi Shankar, still my favorite. But I listen to a lot of Midle East tunes as well, form Morocco and Egypt. I think the feeling is so unusual and at the same time so comfortable on your ears...
vz-nostalgia: Looks like I found a sister in soul too. smile I love world music in all its simple and complex at the same time diversity, from Bolivian pan flutes to Japanese shakuhachi and everything in between. smile
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