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Live At Darbar Festival - Bahauddin Dagar
Home » » Sense World Music » Instrumental music » Live At Darbar Festival - Bahauddin Dagar
Live At Darbar Festival - Bahauddin Dagar      
Product Name : Live At Darbar Festival - Bahauddin Dagar
Product Code : Sense093
Product Weight : 150 grams.
Price : £7.99
Bahauddin Dagar - Rudra Veena
Ravishankar Upadhyay - Pakhawaj
Debipriya Das - Tanpura


Rag Bhairavi
1 Alap (24.36)
2 Jor/Jhalla (36.49)
3 Dhrupad Composition in Chautaal (17.39)

Between the 3rd and 5th of March 2006, a host of eminent and distinguished Indian musicians converged in the Peepul Centre, Leicester, to pay tribute to the life and works of the celebrated musician and educator Bhai Gurmit Singh Virdee.More than 50 artists from the UK and abroad performed in the first 'Darbar-South Asian Music Festival' which proved to be the largest Indian music gathering of its kind to be held in the UK.

The music provided a most fitting and wholesome experience of India's rich and varied music culture and a taste of the deeper spiritual values of South Asian musical heritage.
On the morning of Saturday 4th March, Bahauddin Dagar graced the festival
with a memorable recital of Raga Bhairavi on the ancient Rudra Veena.
Bahauddin represents the twentieth generation of the Dagar music dynasty which represents the Dagarbani school of Dhrupad music. He started his training on the sitar under the tutelage of his mother Smt Pramila Dagar at the age of seven. After three years of initial training he went on to learn the Surbahar and then the Rudra Veena under his father. After the demise of his father he continued to learn from his uncle Ustad Zia Fariduddin Dagar.

The untimely demise of his father in 1990 forced Bahauddin to step on to the concert platform at the early age of twenty. Since then he has been responsible for keeping the Dagarbani style of Dhrupad alive on the Rudra Veena.While Bahauddin's music clearly reflects the training he has received from his father, he has incorporated a personal dimension to the depth and exploration of the raga. The vocal training he has received from his uncle has helped him incorporate the Dhrupad syllables (Te, Ta, Ra, Naa etc.) in the playing of the Rudra Veena. This gives a unique and precise sense of timing in the cutting of phrases while presenting the alap, jor and jhalla.

Acknowledging his responsibility in taking the Dhrupad tradition to future generations, Bahauddin teaches both, vocal and instrumental forms of music to students from different backgrounds in various parts of the country and abroad. He firmly believes that teaching is integral to his own learning and growth as a musician. Bahauddin has also rediscovered a new veena and named it the Ras Veena. This brings together both the north and the south music veena traditions.

According to legend, Lord Shiva created the Veena with Parvathi's broken bangles. The seven pegs represent the seven rishis (sages) with Brahma residing in one base and Vishnu in the other. Today the Rudra Veena has become something of an endangered species rarely heard on concert platforms. However, just two centuries ago it reigned supreme in Indian Music and was regarded as the king of all instruments. It has a hollow tubular body called the dandi with 24 frets usually glued to the tube with beeswax and resin although some players also use frets tied to the dandi as in the sitar. There are four main playing strings and three to four drone strings. Attached to the tubular dandi are two hollow resonators made of dried and seasoned pumpkins.

The traditional sitting position for the Rudra Veena is the yogic vajrasana posture with legs folded under and one of the two gourds placed on the left shoulder. Ustad Asad Ali Khan and Ustad Shamsuddin Faridi Desai are two of few remaining players of the traditional veena in India today. Ustad Zia Mohiuddin Dagar, son of Ustad Ziauddin Khan of Udaipur, developed a large and heavy veena that he played in a different posture with the veena resting on the two gourds because it was simply too heavy to be played in
the traditional manner. Bahauddin Dagar has adopted this posture and is the only rudra veena exponent who plays on this variant of the instrument. The Rudra Veena is most suitable for dhrupad because its sound has the same richness of overtones that the voice acquires with the practice of Nada Yoga.

Ustad Zia Mohiuddin Dagar transformed the ancient 'Been' into the Rudra Veena by introducing several changes to suit the Dhrupad gayaki. This new veena prototype was made at 'Kanailal and Brothers', pioneering instrument makers based in Barabazar area of Kolkotta. The wood was changed to teak wood instead of the traditional bamboo, which prevented the veena from warping. The size of gourds and their fixing positions at the stem was altered mainly because the veena weighed ten kilos and hence could not be held on the shoulders like the older 'Been'. Roslau and phosphorus bronze wires from the grand piano were added on, and the gauge of the strings was altered to improve the resonance. With thicker strings than the older been, the pitch was finally set to G sharp. The new veena is now known as the 'Dagar Been'.

The performance on this recording adopts the traditional form of dhrupad presentation, beginning with the introspective Alap, serenely establishing the mood of Raga Bhairavi. Dhrupad Alap is a note by note elaboration starting with the SA (tonic note) of the middle octave, gradually descending to the lower octave, and then returning to the middle octave. The following Jor and Jhalla section (track 2) is a further exploration of the raga with the injection of a rhythmic pulse, the improvised passages gaining in intensity as the performance progresses. Finally the dhrupad composition (track 3) is performed with the rhythmic accompaniment of the majestic sounding barrel-shaped Pakhawaj which articulates a twelve beat rhythmic cycle, performed by the accomplished Ravi Shankar Upadhay.

Notes: John Ball
John Ball is a musician and musicologist specialising in Indian Music based at the University of Sheffield.


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