Check out “Shanti” on youtube!
India’s venerable Tanpura – now with a great new twist!
The soothing sound of the Tanpura, India’s ancient stringed accompaniment instrument, provides a rich carpet of sound on which the musicians recreate the age old tradition of ragas and talas. In recent times many musicians have switched to electronic digital drone devices, which attempt to imitate the sound of a real tanpura. Although these devices are compact, convenient and do not require someone to play them, the sound they produce does not measure up to the real tanpura. But now there is an alternative: Shanti, the Automatic Acoustic Tanpura Player.
Now you can have the real sound of the Tanpura whenever and wherever you want.
Designed and manufactured in Switzerland by Ken Zuckerman and a team of European craftsmen. Protected by international patent laws. 2012 Patent Pending #61473718.
The exact placement of the sarod bridge is critical to the sound of the instrument. Not only does a slight change in position influence the sound, but changes in temperature and humidity require additional changes in the positioning in order to achieve the optimum tone and clarity. I thought of several possible systems to simplify what had always been a cumbersome process of changing the position of the bridge, but it was Daniel Bradley who came up with the simplest and most effective solution.
Here is a close-up of the tiny screw which has been inserted into a hole drilled into the end pin of the sarod bridge. It is attached to the thread which holds the bridge in place.
Micro bridge adjuster – By using a screw driver, one can easily move the sarod bridge by either tightening (increasing the knots in the connecting thread), or loosening. A beveled point of contact between the screw and the post insures that it holds its position, and also makes it easy to make precise changes in the bridge placement. It works like a charm!
Resonators made from a mixture of Alaskan Yellow Cedar, Pear and Rosewood. Thanks to Markus Schori and Rolf Joray for their contributions during the development and fabrication of these resonators.
This oversize resonator not only combines the unique sound qualities of 3 woods, but also has a brass horn inside to capture the higher frequencies. It increases the volume, bass, mid-range and high frequencies of the sarod! Special thanks to Rolf Joray for his untiring work during the fabrication and fine-tuning this resonator.
Planetary gears (4:1 ratio), implanted into the traditional sarod pegs
Finished pegs inserted into sarod. Special thanks to Daniel Bradley for finding a way to implant these planetary banjo tuners into the traditional sarod pegs and turn this idea into an elegant and superior tuning system!
To listen to a 7-minute collage sampler of Ken’s music, please click here:
“Whether playing the medieval lute, oud, sarod, and whether appearing alone, with his mentor Ali Akbar Khan, with Jordi Savall’s Hesperion XXI or with medieval chant expert Dominique Vellard, Ken Zuckerman is one of the world’s most eclectic masters of improvisation. His electrifying performances of medieval, Renaissance and classical Indian music leave his audiences breathless. Following sell-out performances in 2001, he returns to the Purcell Room with two of his favourite musical colleagues, both master percussionists.” Phillip Pickett, South Bank Centre, February 2006.
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To view a 2-minute sample video, please click the PLAY button
Watch Ken’s recent performance of Raga Madhumalati on youtube!
New! Inventions and Innovations for Indian Instruments
Check out “Shanti“, Ken’s new automatic acoustic tanpura player on youtube!]]>
The new “Shanti” – with lid closed.
Shanti, with lid raised and back flap down. This position projects the sound both to the right side and outward (to the audience).
Shanti – front view with lid raised, back flap down and front door removed. This enables one to see the rotation and plucking action of the robot and allows for access to make fine adjustments of the plectrums.
Shanti – side view with both flaps down. This projects the full sound to the side, in the direction of the musicians.]]>
To listen to a song from this CD, please click here:
To read more and order this CD direct from Glossa please click here.
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To order this CD in the US please click here.
To listen and download this CD from iTunes please click here.
To listen and download this CD from emusic please click here.
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November 16, 2012 , Musik-Akademie, Basel, with Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri
November 10, 2012 , Zurich, Switzerland
August 25, 2012 , Zurich, Switzerland
July 28, 2012 , Ali Akbar College, San Rafael, Calif., with Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri
July 22, 2012 , Portland, Oregon
June 22, 2012 , Aix en Provence, France, with Dominique Vellard
May 6, 2012 , Salon de Musique, Basel, with Kushal Das
To listen to a sampler of Kushal & Kenâ€˜s music, please click here:
May 4, 2012 , Neunkirch, Switzerland, with Kushal Das
April 22, 2012 , Rietberg Museum, Zurich, with Sanju Sahai
April 15, 2012 , Fairfax, Virginia, with Anirban Roy Choudhuri
April 14, 2012 , Washington, DC, with Anirban Roy Choudhuri
April 2, 2012 , Slippery Rock University, PA, with Samir Chatterjee
March 10, 2012 , Brandeis Residency & Concert with Homayun Sakhi
March 3, 2012 , Asia Society, New York City, with Homayun Sakhi
March 1, 2012 , Dartmouth College, New Hampshire, with Homayun Sakhi
February 25, 2012 , Boulder, Colorado, Naropa Institute
January 13, 2012 , Kolkata – Weavers’ Studio Centre, 94 Ballygunge
January 11, 2012 , Kharagpur – Indian Institute of Technology
January 10, 2012 , Kolkata – AKAAR PRAKAAR
January 8, 2012 , New Bombay
January 4, 2012 , New Delhi – India International Centre, with Akram Khan
January 2, 2012 , Pune
2011 * * * 2011
December 24, 2011, Ahmedabad
December 27, 2011, Mumbai (Dadar)
December 28, 2011, Mumbai (Shivaji Park Nagarik Sangh)
December 29, 2011, N.C.P.A. Mumbai – Listening session on the music of U. Ali Akbar Khan
July 2, 2011, Badenweiler, Germany
July 5-6, 2011, Braunwald, Switzerland, with Dominique Vellard – “Songs of Love & Ragas of Longing”
July 9, 2011, Rietberg Museum ZÃ¼rich, Switzerland, with the ZÃ¼richer Kammerorchester
2010 * * * 2010
December 23, 2009 – January 11, 2010, India Tour
January 1, 2010 – Bhopal, India
January 15, 2010, Mumbai, India – Ken receives an award from the Music Forum for his contribution to the cause of Indian Music.
January 16, 2010, Krakow, Poland, with Dominique Vellard, Keyvan Chemirani & Prabhu Edouard
February 10 – 14, 2010 – South Africa
Three Shades of Raga, with Pandit Jasraj, Kala Ramnath, Anindo Chatterjee & Vijay Ghate
Songlines â€“ April 2010
You should have been there…
3 Shades of Raga, featuring Pandit Jasraj, Ken Zuckerman and Kala Ramnath, Durban, Cape Town & Johannesburg, February 10, 12 & 14 2010
Not only was South Africa experiencing its hottest summer for 30 years but Three Shades of Raga promised three stars of Indian music on the same bill.
It began with Ken Zuckerman, the American-Swiss sarod player who still attracts some curiosity: can a non-Indian musician, albeit a long-time pupil of the legendary Ali Akbar Khan, really pull it off? As though reading the audienceâ€™s minds, he promises to return as an Indian in his next life. They laugh and then, less than a minute into the recital, theyâ€™ve closed their eyes, any doubts melting away into the sounds of his exquisite alaap. If anything, the recent death of his master has added more poignancy to his music. Theyâ€™re still on a high when Kala Ramnath comes on to mesmerize them with ultra-romantic ragas on her â€œsinging violinâ€. One reviewer has said this is what Mozart might have sounded like if transported to the subcontinent. Jasraj, at 80, is still in full control of three octaves, living proof that age is just a number. He sings from his regular repertoire of Haveli Sangeet (Hindu temple music), plus a couple of joyously received Muslim devotional numbers. He engages in constant banter with his accompanists and when his harmonium player Mukund Petkar keeps turning to see someone, Jasraj makes up a piece on the sport cautioning against the habit of turning oneâ€™s head.
Judging by the audienceâ€™s response, it seems post-apartheid South Africa is a natural home for the classical music of India â€“ thereâ€™s a special relationship as it was once home to Mahatma Gandhi. Indian settlers (here since the 1820s) have never entirely lost their link with the â€œhomelandâ€ and are ready for the real thing.
March 31, 2010, Krakow, Poland, The Route to the Orient, with Hesperion XXI
April 14, 2010, Basel, Switzerland – Salon de Musique, in celebration of the late Ustad Ali Akbar Khan’s birthday
June 12, 2010, Basel, Switzerland – Two Worlds of Modal Music
July 31, 2010, San Rafael, California – Ali Akbar College Summer Series
August 27, 2010, Zurich, Switzerland – RÃ¶ntgenplatzfest 2010
October 2, 2010, Cologne, Germany – Two Worlds of Modal Music
October 12, 2010, Oviedo, Spain – The Route to the Orient, with Hesperion XXI
October 24, 2010, Bern, Switzerland – “Zoom In” Festival
2009 * * * 2009
January – March, 2009, Dartmouth College, Hanover New Hampshire, Visiting Professor in residence
February 17, 2009, Dartmouth College, 8 PM, with Samir Chatterjee
March 27, 2009, Cambridge, England, with Dominique Vellard and Sanju Sahai
March 28, 2009, Chelmsford, Essex, England, with Dominique Vellard and Sanju Sahai
May 8, 2009, Basel, Switzerland, Schweizer-Indische Gesellschaft
June 5, 2009, Jerusalem, Israel, with Sanju Sahai and Yair Dalal
September 8, 2009, Zurich, Switzerland, with the Zurich Kammerorchester
September 25, 2009, Zurich, Switzerland, with Hanna JÃ¤rvelÃ¤inen (soprano), and Sanju Sahai (Tabla)
October 5-6, 2009, Muhlenberg College, Allentown, PA, concert & workshop
November 13, 2009, Basel, Switzerland, with Swapan Chaudhuri – Memorial concert for Ustad Ali Akbar Khan
November 29, 2009, Paris, France, with Hesperion XXI
December 23, 2009 – January 11, 2010, India Tour]]>