CITI-NCPA Aadi Anant
Zakir Hussain (tabla)
with Sabir Khan (sarangi)
and Debopriya Chatterjee (bansuri)
Despite the primacy accorded to the human voice and music emanating from it, the Indian subcontinent abounds with a variety of musical instruments, which are made from various natural materials and use diverse techniques for sound production. It is interesting to know that since the last quarter of the 20th century, Indian instrumental music in particular, seems to have claimed a prominent position, not only at home but also around the world.
This ensemble features three varied instruments. The tabla is a pair of drums made of wood and metal, and covered with animal hide, while the sarangi is a fretless string instrument that is bowed and the bansuri, unlike the Western flute, is the simplest instrument having just a tube of bamboo without any reed blown from the side.
Both the sarangi and the bansuri can have a timbre closer to the human voice. While these instruments are primarily expected to create melody, conventionally, the tabla is expected to provide a rhythmic component. However, in recent times, tabla players, having had scope to play a more active and creative role, have lent a new dimension to the aesthetics of the overall presentation. As a result, today, the tabla player is recognised as an integral part of a performance.
In this regard, the contribution made by Zakir Hussain, the internationally renowned tabla maestro, is indeed phenomenal.
Sabir Khan and Debopriya Chatterjee have trained under legendary maestros whose names are inextricably associated with the respective instruments, Sultan Khan and Hariprasad Chaurasia respectively. Today, these talented artistes have claimed their own space in the world of instrumental music.
In this presentation, Hussain will showcase the versatility of the tabla by performing solo pieces as well as exploring the sonic space together with the other two instrumentalists, leaving aside the conventional hierarchy of either one of the instruments. The spontaneous improvisations are bound to lead up to a musical dialogue that will take the listeners on a journey moving from classical to lighter genres, showcasing the capability of Indian instruments to express myriad shades of sound and emotion.
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