Music

Well begun is half done

Almost there: Danish Ali

Almost there: Danish Ali  

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The sitar and violin duet by Adnan Khan and Danish Ali was pleasing in parts

The Swarit Foundation featured a sitar-violin duet by Adnan Khan and Danish Ali in the 9th edition of Smaran, a concert series featuring young Indian musicians and dancers, at the Kamani auditorium.

The first half of the evening was, in fact, a trio of young talents with Adnan Khan on sitar, Danish Ali on violin, and Zuheb Ahmed Khan on tabla, all three of them coming from traditional family of musicians. Adnan, initiated into music by Zafar Ahmed Khan is the son of sitarist Sayeed Khan, both from the Dilli gharana. He was further groomed at the ITC-SRA, into gayaki ang under the tutelage of Ud. Mashkoor Ali Khan of Kirana Gharana, who happens to be his maternal uncle.

Dayam Ali was initiated into violin by his grandfather Ud. Mohammed Ali Khan, who used to play sarangi and sur-singar. Later, he trained under his uncle Aleem Khan and presently he is being groomed under Ud. Iqbal Ahmed Khan, the Khalifa of Dilli Gharana. Zuheb, a young Tabla practitioner of Ajrada Gharana is the son of Naushad Khan and got trained under his maternal grandfather Ud. Hashmat Ali Khan and maternal uncle Mohd Akram Khan.

The chosen raga for the duet by the young sitarist and violinist was Yaman, one of the most expansive and melodious ragas of the evening. The leisurely aalap was perhaps the most beautiful part of the duet, where the personal chemistry between both the instrumentalists came forth in imaginative sequences of the swaras adorned with soot and meend, while playing around the chosen ‘nyas’ swara, in the sequential progression of the raga. Jod had beautiful rhythmic patterns before they reached the jhala and concluded the introductory part of their performance.

Dramatic element

The slow composition set to the seven-beat cycle of Rupak tala, had a beautiful mukhda, the opening phrase, that reached the ‘sam’ most dramatically. Zuheb joined them with a calculated uthaan that reached the sam with a chakkardar tihai, reciprocating the dramatic element like tit for tat. The raga revealed itself gradually through the raga-vistar with gat-toda sequences where both the instrumentalists complemented each other, enthralling the discerning audiences. The medium tempo Teentala gat composition resembled the famous Bandish “Mori gagari na bharan det...”, studded with harmonised phrases, intricatemelody and rhythm-based patterns. This was followed by yet another drut composition in the same tala, facilitating the jhala.

This unnecessarily elongated part of the performance tended to sound repetitive, especially in the taan patterns, before they reached the jhala, where Zuheb also matched their jet speed.

There was no time left to undo this chaotic end by playing some melodious dhun or thumri-dadra, to bring back their opening impact. The young duo seems to have a lot of potential, but they have yet to learn how to organise all the material in the given time and showcase it all in an aesthetic way.

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Printable version | Dec 16, 2019 12:50:43 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/music/well-begun-is-half-done/article29786411.ece

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