Saturday, September 21, 2013

My First Recital

Now, I think I should tell you that even though I have heard a little classical music, I was never able to differentiate between the various classical genres, not that I can now but am just saying, don’t consider this post as to something that will increase your knowledge or give any know how on how to critique or even be able to pretend to know just a little about classical music.

So anyway, like the name suggests this is about a recital, a music concert, my first one ever! Well, firstly, if you haven’t heard about Dhanashree Pandit-Rai, don’t worry; neither had I till a couple of days ago. She, yes Dhanashree is female, doesn’t have a Wikipedia page dedicated to her, so that won’t be of much help here, but obviously Google will. Still, let me give you a brief idea of who we are talking about. Rai is a Thumri performer and has received many awards for her work, even recorded a few fusion albums.

The first time I had heard Rai or even her name was in my Critical Appreciation class where she was a guest lecturer. I like this subject, so far at least and she seemed nice enough so I thought let’s listen to her and if I don’t like it then I can easily nod off to sleep or do something else, another subject’s assignment most probably. But not only did I like her, she was also able to keep my attention directed towards her the whole 2 hours, an almost impossible feat! Well, she has a good voice and knows how to modulate it well too. The main objective of that class, according to her it was to give a little intro and technical terms to flaunt in front of others.

On Friday, September 20, 2013 at the Gallery Beyond in Fort, Sanskar Trust organised a Thumri recital by Dhanashree Pandit-Rai. Accompanying her were Girish Nalavade on Tabla and Niranjan Lele on Harmonium. Sorry if this sounds too much like a news report opening rather than my blog entry but lately all I can write is either a very badly written feature or a somewhat mediocre news report. I think I have forgotten how to write a normal blog entry with just my opinions without any other facts necessary whatsoever. 

Now if you don’t know what Thumri is, then we have a serious problem my friend. But I am feeling pretty generous right now so here goes a very, very brief definition. Thumri is a semi classical Indian Music genre. 

Today, however, it was a proper concert, an Indian one. If asked what all lyrics were played, I won’t be able to tell you because lyrics don’t matter in this genre of music (I am serious about this!). But I can tell you that I enjoyed every bit of it. Before I reached, I was a little sceptical whether I will be able to match up to its standards and understand what is going on, since I have never been to one before. But once she started singing, my mind stopped worrying and I let myself be taken away with the flow of the evening. .

I could feel the energy in the room even though there weren’t many people present there. Thumri is all about the ornamentation of words and Rai knows how to do that and that seemed enough, for the time being. 

I have a habit of noticing the other artists rather than the main one and that’s what I was doing when I hadn’t kept my eyes closed. Both Nalavade and Lele seemed to be enjoying themselves as well, a fact which was probably one of the reasons that I was smiling most of the concert. It could be seen from their faces that they loved every second of that recital and so were a few others, esp. the organisers of the event.

The highs and lows of this music, the beat, sometimes slow, sometimes fast kept me so concentrated on the music that I didn’t even realise when two and a half hours had passed away. All in all, it was a great experience and I absolutely loved it!

To know more about Dhanashree Pandit-Rai, visit the following link. 

Also since I have made it my habit to give sources after whatever I write, the above one is where I got the information on Rai and the next one is from where I have taken the meaning of Thumri. (Just in case you are inclined to know more about it, this could be of some use.)

1 comment :

  1. Hi Archana. delighted to see this article and so happy that you enjoyed my concert ! do let me know your email id so that I can keep you posted on all my event. Thanks warmly for featuring me in your blog.