Music

Gurbani: Flavour of Sikh devotion

Dr. Alankar Singh sang gurbani to the lilting accompaniment of rabab at an event in Chennai

On Saturday last, Viswa kala Sangama presented a team of promising artistes at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Chennai. Pt. Janardhan Mitta, disciple of Pt. Ravi Shankar, set the tone with a prayer song.

The concert began with the soothing strains of raag Puriyadhanashri on dilruba. Sandeep Singh, disciple of Ustad Dilshad Khan, nephew of the renowned Ustad Sultan Khan of Sikar Gharana of Jodhpur is a much sought after artiste from Jalandhar.

He performs both solo and in the company of Dr. Alankar Singh, artiste of the evening. Both have presented recitals at prestigious musical gatherings, including the Hariballabh and Tansen festivals.

Sandeep Singh is the recipient of the Ustad Latif Khan Award from Ustad Alauddin Khan Sangeet Academy, Bhopal. Dr. Alankar Singh is an Assistant Professor of Hindustani classical Music in Punjabi University, Patiala. He is a disciple of the late Prof. Tara Singh, Madhurima Kishore and Pt. Ganesh Prasad Sharma, a disciple of Ustad Wajid Hussain Khan of Rampur Sahaswan Gharana. Dr. Alankar Singh, incidentally, is the recipient of the Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar Award for gurbani singing.

Sandeep Singh performing at an event in Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Chennai

Sandeep Singh performing at an event in Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Chennai   | Photo Credit: K_V_Srinivasan

Accompanying Alankar on the tabla in the concert on Saturday was D. Chandrajith, disciple of Pt. Abhijit Banerjee. After an elaborate alap, which showcased the beautiful nuances of the raga, Sandeep Singh set out to play gat, jod and jhala in the tantrakari style. Alankar Singh’s gayaki was laced with sargams and bol-bants and bol-taans.

Executing meends in the melodic rendition of different raags, beginning with Shud Kalyan, a favourite of Patiala Gharana musicians, he presented a composition in vilambit ektaal, “Jab hee ghar aave,” followed by two compositions in dhrut of Pt. Ganesh Sharma — “Aayo re manmeet’ and “Eri aali aaj piyarwa’ to the accompaniment of dilruba.

A Punjabi composition in Raag Nand, also known as Anandi Kalyani, followed. “Toon tan saadi peed n jaani, jaani pausiyan panwa kaak udawa” in teen taal, presented a vivid imagery of the crow announcing the arrival of the lover as his beloved draws lines on the wall starting a countdown. Finally came “Man japoh Ram Gopal” — the much-awaited gurbani composition of Guru Arjun Dev (fifth) in raag Kanhada in Pad taal. The last shabd — ‘Mehrbaan, Sahib mera mehrbaan’ — in Bhairavi was a request of Pt. Janardhan.

The gurbani shabds were sung to the accompaniment of rabab by Ravinder Singh. Rabab is associated with the Sikh sacred music and can be traced to Guru Nanak Devji’s bhajans, almost 500 years ago. Tabla for this part of the concert was played by Harmanjeet Singh, a disciple of Madhuresh Bhatt of Benares Gharana.

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Printable version | Mar 28, 2020 4:56:03 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/music/gurbani-flavour-of-sikh-devotion/article30930734.ece

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