Sunday, October 31, 2004

ICMS 2004 ends

* when: Saturday, October 30, 2004

* where: The Georgia Tech Student Centre Theatre

* who: pt suresh talwalkar (tabalaa: tuned in the lower register giving us the effect of a pakhaawaj), ramdas palsule (tabalaa), sameer dubley (vocal), pt sudhir phadke (sitar)

miscellaneous highlights

* sameer dubley, the speaker for the group, noted that the introductions were the shortest that they had had on this tour

* he also introduced the pieces presented (the best I have seen since I started attending the ICMS concerts), and also provided explanations about the different improvisations attempted

* he also noted the uniqueness of using vocal (instead of saara.ngii) to accompany tabalaa performances

the programme

1. excursions in diipacha.ndii taal with vocal/sitaar melody in raag yaman, which included anaaghaats, and taal improvisations by dividing the beat cycle into 8 and then later into 6 {while the spinal melody and rhythm maintain the 14-beat cycle}

2. improvisations in drut ek taal with the melody in raag shyaam kalyaan

INTERMISSION: wherein CDs by the artists (including Pt Talwalkar's Taal Kalpana produced at Shivaranjani Studios in Pune, and Dubley's 2-disc instruction to raags)

2. [sudhir phadke on sitaar; ramdas palsule on tabalaa] Short and light exercises in improvisation: the first in raag maa.Nj khamaaj {alaap; gat in diip cha.ndii} and the second in raag rasiyaa {madhya and drut in tiin taal}. During the end of the presentation, sudhir phadke (who almost inhumanly remained as a paradigm of time during all the crazy temporal percussive adventures during the show) recovered seamlessly from several pitfalls including a string breaking off and a string going ever-so out-of-tune during a furious pre-coda riff-o-rama (he effortlessly switched to another riff)

4. all the performers returned to the stage to present two compositions in raag bhairavii {where the vocalist was denied room to improvise}. The first composition (bhavaanii) was in jhap taal (10 beats) and the second (jaa jaa re jaa) in drut tiin taal.

Both Pt Talwalkar and Ramdas Palsule participated vocally with counts, bols, and even singing along with the vocalist on occasion. It was evident that everyone on stage was enjoying the improvisations and Pt Suresh Talwalkar's exhuberant frenzies on stage were a sight -- he was all pumped up like a dancer restricted by the need to sit cross-legged. This performance ranks right up there with (and might even supersede) splendid percussive coda last year.

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