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Evolution - Kadri Gopalnath & Ronu Majumdar
Home » » Sense World Music » Instrumental music » Evolution - Kadri Gopalnath & Ronu Majumdar
Evolution - Kadri Gopalnath & Ronu Majumdar      
Product Name : Evolution - Kadri Gopalnath & Ronu Majumdar
Product Code : Sense101
Product Weight : 150 grams.
Price : £7.99

An exciting and rare collaboration between the traditions of South Indian Sax Maestro Kadri Gopalnath and North Indian Bansuri master Ronu Majumdar with a red hot percussion section. Experience the energy of this great concert at the world renowned Saptak festival India.

Kadri Gopalnath - Saxophone
Ronu Majumdar - Bansuri
Patri Satish Kumar - Mridangam
Abhijit Banerjee - Tabla
Rajshekar - Morsing

Raga Hansadhwani
1 Alap 18.14
2 Jhor/Jhalla 6.34
3 Hansadhwani / Pilu Gat in Addha taal 25.09
4 Percussion solo featuring Tabla, Mridangam and Morsing 17.16

This Sense World recording brings together two highly accomplished Indian musicians who have never shied away from exploring new creative territory throughout their respective careers. This unique collaboration sees North Indian flautist Ronu Majumdar team up with South Indian Saxophonist Kadri Gopalnath to play in duet, or jugalbandi, for the first time. Jugalbandi (literally "tied together") is a traditional Indian art form where two musicians with different instruments or styles perform together. It features two instruments with contrasting evolutionary paths in the world of Indian music. The Flute, or Bansuri was the chosen instrument of the ancient Hindu god Krishna, while the Saxophone, born out of western band music in the nineteenth century, is a most recent addition to the Indian music stage.

Furthermore, the recording also brings together two distinct music traditions of India. The Hindustani Music of the North has been born out of a cultural synthesis, influenced by Persian music introduced by the Mughals in the thirteenth century. The indigenous Carnatic music of the South with a history stretching back 2500 years, is considered to
be divine in origin.

Ronu Majumdar, born in Varanasi in 1965, represents the third generation of flautists in his family. He was initiated into the art of playing by his father, Dr. Bhanu Majumdar and received singing lessons from Pandit Laxman Prasad Jaipurwale, an invaluable skill in an art form rooted in vocal music. It was Pandit Vijay Raghav Rao, a scholar and a well-respected performer, who groomed Ronu as a concert flautist. Expert guidance, hard work, and natural talent enabled Ronu to establish himself as one of the most accomplished exponents of his instrument and subsequently a popular concert performer.

His playing style is firmly rooted in the established tradition of the Maihar gharana, which has produced such luminaries as Maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar and Ustad Ali Akbar Khan.

As well as scores of personal achievements and awards including the 'Kumar Gandharva Award for 2006', Ronu has a history of outstanding collaborative successes with significant contributions to "Passages" with his 'grand guru' Pandit Ravi Shankar and composer Philip Glass. He also performed on Ravi Shankar's inspirational "Chants of India" and toured with him in 1988. He has recorded with legends including Beatle George Harrison who championed Indian music to young people in the West, guitarist Ry Cooder and Zakir Hussain, the world's number one tabla exponent. He enjoyed a ten year association with the illustrious Indian film composer RD Burman, performing on the popular Bollywood film score "1942-A Love Story".

In Indian culture, Lord Krishna hypnotised his followers, the 'gopis', playing divine music on the flute. The Bansuri has to be one of the world's most simple musical instruments. A flute hollowed out of bamboo, with six fingers holes and one blowing hole. According to legend, an insect pierced bamboo to hide from the storm, and as the wind roared, enchanting tones emanated through the holes.

Kadri Gopalnath was born in Dakshina Kannada district, Karnataka. He acquired a taste for music from his father Thaniappa, an accomplished Nadhaswaram player.Kadri first experienced the Saxophone being played in a big band in Mysore palace and was hooked straight away. He saw possibilities in the Saxophone, which were not contemplated in India at that time. His fascination led him to seek technical tips from the bandleader to set him on his way. From then on, he worked tirelessly over a period of twenty years adapting the instrument to Indian music tastes before taking to the stage. Over this period he has made several modifications to the conventional alto sax.

Kadri served his initial musical apprenticeship under the guidance of Gopalkrishna Iyer of Kalaniketana, Mangalore. Later, in Madras, he came into contact with Mridangist T.V. Gopalkrishnan who identified the youngster's potential and tutored him.Bombay Jazz festival 1980 was a turning point for Gopalnath. John Handy, a jazz musician from California happened to be present at the festival. Hearing Gopalnath play, Handy asked if he could go on stage and perform alongside with him. So well did the two combine, that the mix of improvised Jazz and Carnatic music became an instant hit with the audience.

Renowned in India for his disciplined lifestyle and devotion to a rigorous daily practice, Kadri Gopalnath has participated in major Jazz Festivals in Prague, Paris and Berlin, and performed in the BBC Promenade concert in 1994 at London. In 2004, he was awarded the Padma Shri, one of the highest awards available to Indian musicians.Patri Satish Kumar is one of the most sought after Mridangam accompanists on the circuit. His gurus are some of the great Mridangam players of the modern era including Andhra, Sri Ramachandramurthy, V. A. Swami and V. Narasimhan. From childhood, Satish was inspired into the world of Percussion by his mother Padmavathy, a renowned violinist. He played his first concert at the young age of seven. He is an adaptable player equally at ease with Classical, Fusion or Jazz styles. He is a regular accompanist of Flautist Shashank and violinists Ganesh and Kumaresh.

Rajashekar is a reputed name in the world of Morsing and South Indian classical music. Morsing is the South Indian Jewish harp, a common feature of South Indian Percussion ensembles. He represented India in the World Jewish Harp Festival in Spain 2005.

Considered among the front ranking tabla players from India, Abhijit Banerjee has crafted a unique style and a creative approach which has brought him accolades and awards from all over the world. He is regarded as one of pioneering disciples of the illustrious guru, the late Jnan Prakash Ghosh. His crossover work has included collaborations with musicians such as Ry Cooder, Larry Corryell and Trilok Gurtu.

The opening section of the performance is known as Alap. It is an unmetered, improvised and unaccompanied exposition of the raga played initially at a slow, meditative tempo. To the backdrop of the tanpura drone, the notes of the raga are sequentially and systematically revealed as the character of the raga is magically unfolded. The alap evolves into the jhor and jhalla sections (track 2) where a rhythmic pulse is introduced underpinning the improvised phrases. Here, the full tonal range of the raga is explored by both musicians as the playing becomes more expansive and lively. The main composition (track 3), accompanied by both the North Indian Tabla and the South Indian Mridangam, is set to Raga Hansadhwani, a popular raga rooted in the Carnatic music tradition. It is one of several South Indian ragas, like Kirvani and Charukeshi, now commonly performed by North Indian musicians. It is a pentatonic raga symbolising the song of the swan. The Sanskrit word for swan is hamsa or hansa, the vehicle of several Hindu deities, like Saraswati, the goddess of music and learning. Hansadhwani is joyful and uplifting in mood.

The theme is an instrumental adaptation of a South Indian vocal composition (or kriti) by Muthuswami Dikshitar, one of the trinity of legendary Carnatic composers, along with Tyagaraja and Shyama Sastri. It has a devotional theme in praise of Lord Ganesh. The theme is improvised on by both musicians around an 8 beat rhythm known as Addha taal. Without any break in the rhythm the two musicians switch from Raga Hansadhwani to Raga Pilu, a raga common to both North and South, but commonly associated with the romantic Hindustani vocal style of thumri. Raga Pilu has great scope for improvisation employing all twelve notes of the scale. The performance concludes with a breathtaking percussion solo, during which the tabla and mridangam trade intricate and often complex rhythmic phrases with the help of the Morsing.

Notes: John Ball
John Ball is a practicing musician and musicologist based at the University of Sheffield, UK


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