A collection of short vignettes, ideal as an introduction to Indian music.
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Excellent sarod performances, connecting Indian classical music to the natural world.
The connection of Indian ragas to specific seasons and times of the day has long fascinated Western listeners. It’s an intriguing extra-musical dimension that immediately conjures up the scents and moods of another culture. However, it is unclear how literal these connections are and not all Indian musicians will make a simple link for example, between the ambience of early morning and a raga specified for performance at this time. Indian music is not programmatic in that straightforward sense – often the connections are more abstract and subtle
On his new CD, though, American sarod player Ken Zuckerman makes quite specific links between particular ragas and elements of nature, hence track titles such as ‘Morning Mist’, ‘Awakening’, ‘The Sun’s Welcome’, ‘Passing of the Day’, ‘Twilight’s Secret’ and ‘Soothing Rain’. In his view ‘the classical ragas have an almost magical power to bring us in closer contact with the natural world’.
Zuckerman is the accomplished student of sarod maestro Ali Akbar Khan and the latter’s influence permeates the album both in sound and aesthetic outlook (and because several of Khan’s original compositions are included). Zuckerman’s playing is impressive throughout, particularly in the alaps or unmetered introductions to the ragas where the delicate mood of each piece is explored in detail. He is accompanied by Anindo Chatterjee, one of India’s most renowned tabla players.
The liner notes, by Zuckerman, are detailed and informative, revealing to the listener the fascinating meanings of this music. Gerry Farrell
NATURE OF RAGAS – RAGAS OF NATURE
- A collection for times, moods and seasons (more…)