Salon de Musique

Salon de Musique

Ken Zuckerman & Swapan Chaudhuri in concert

A performance in the Salon de Musique of the Ali Akbar College of Music in Basel, Switzerland, on February 15, 2002.

Ragas Chayanat & Kirwani
LMT CD3008 C 2002 Living Music Traditions, Inc. P LMT Verlag

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Review from FolkRoots

Ken Zuckerman: Born in New Jersey, USA in 1952 and student of Ali Akbar Khan for the past 30 years. Since 1985, he has been director of the Swiss branch of the Ali Akbar College in Basel. www.kenzuckerman.com

Ken Zuckerman: Salon de Musique (Living Music Traditions, 2002)

Listening to this disc, I don’t believe anyone would know Zuckerman was not an Indian sarod player. An intimate recital in the salon de musique of the Ali Akbar College in Basel in intimate acoustic conditions with no microphones, specifically designed for Indian classical music. Ragas ‘Chayanat’ and ‘Kirwani’, the latter absolutely exquisite, with Swapan Chaudhuri on tabla.

CD Booklet Text

Listening to ragas like a Maharaja…

An intimate hall adorned with oriental carpets, cushions and comfortable chairs, the music room of a Maharaja was a perfect setting for music lovers to luxuriate in the microtonal riches of India’s traditional ragas. Today, the Salon de Musique in Basel is permeated with this atmosphere of another era – quiet, dedicated listening where, once the music begins, time seems to stand still.

Raga Chayanat
1. Alap 9:23
2. Jor 6:31
3. Gat in slow jhaptal (10 beats) 16:52
4. Gat in fast tintal (16) 8:58
Total Time: 41:44

Chayanat is a very old, traditional raga and encompasses the moods of peace, pathos and heroism. It is based on a major scale and in addition, sometimes uses the augmented 4th. Long descending glissandi from the 5th to the 2nd degree and from the tonic to the 6th, exemplify the ragas’ microtonal nuances.

The performance begins with alap, the unmeasured introduction where the flavor and details of the raga are carefully developed. In the jor, a rhythmic pulse is added and the exploration of the raga becomes more accentuated. The first section with tabla accompaniment consists of a theme (gat) and improvisations in a slow tempo of jhaptal, a rhythmic cycle of ten beats. This is followed by a theme and improvisations in a fast cycle of sixteen beats (tintal), ending in a climatic section of rhythmic intensity known as jhala.

Raga Kirwani
5. Alap 6:01
6. Gat in deepchandi (14) 10:41
7. Gat in medium chachar (14) 7:39
8. Gat and jhala in fast tintal (16) 10:16
Total Time: 34:37

Although the exact origins of this popular raga are difficult to trace, Kirwani belongs to a melodic mode that is used extensively all over the world. It corresponds closely to the western harmonic minor scale, and additionally employs the minor 7th in some descending passages. The raga dwells in the intermingled moods of romance and pathos and although considered by many to be a “lighter” raga, is often performed with much passion and depth.

The performance begins with a brief alap and continues with a theme and variations in a slow cycle of 14 beats known as deepchandi. This cycle is then rendered with a new theme in a faster tempo (known as chachar), and the performance culminates with a theme and improvisations in a fast cycle of tintal.

With thirty years of intensive training from India’s renowned master musician, Ustad Ali Akbar Khan, Ken Zuckerman has become a major force as a performer of the sarod in Europe, the USA and India. He is also becoming increasingly known for his crossover projects, which have successfully integrated his long-time work as a composer and performer in such diverse fields as medieval, classical and popular music.

Swapan Chaudhuri is one of India’s most celebrated tabla virtuosos. Known throughout the world as a master soloist and accompanist, he has performed with most all of the greatest musicians of India. Born in 1947 in Calcutta, Swapan Chaudhuri began his training at the age of five and later became a disciple of Pandit Santosh Krishna Biswas of the Lucknow Gharana.

Ken Zuckerman and Swapan Chaudhuri have enjoyed a close musical association for over twenty years. In addition to being a friend and teacher of rhythm, Swapan has also been a kind of elder brother to Ken, giving support and guidance throughout his musical development. Their temperaments also match closely on stage, where both fully immerse themselves in the moods of the classical ragas and talas.

Ken and Swapan also share a close association with the legendary master Ustad Ali Akbar Khan. Swapan is the director of percussion at the Ali Akbar College of Music in California and as well, at the branch of the College in Basel, Switzerland, which Ken has been leading since 1985.

Ken Zuckerman and Swapan Chaudhuri perform together regularly in the USA, Europe and India. For more information please visit: www.kenzuckerman.com

This is a recording of a performance given by Ken Zuckerman and Swapan Chaudhuri in the Salon de Musique of the Ali Akbar College of Music-Switzerland, on February 15, 2002. The music was performed acoustically, without microphones or loudspeakers, and recorded directly to a digital audio recorder using two Schoeps microphones.

Special thanks go to Ustad Ali Akbar Khan, who founded the Swiss branch of the Ali Akbar College in 1985, as a center for learning the classical music of North India. The Salon de Musique is part of the College and functions both as a teaching and performance space. Its special atmosphere provides both students and listeners with an ideal environment to study and appreciate the wonderful music of India, and aims to contribute to Ali Akbar Khan’s longtime goal to transmit this ancient tradition to students and music lovers all over the world.

Tanpura accompaniment: Amelie Berner & Emilie Zuckerman
CD mastering: Peter Jenne
Recording: February 15, 2002
Graphic design: Stefan Witschi
Photos: Heiner Grieder & GDS Promotions

For more information: www.kenzuckerman.com

C 2002 Living Music Traditions, Inc.
P 2002 LMT Verlag Zuckerman
All Rights Reserved

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