Mysticism of the sarod

Ustad Amjad Ali Khan. Photo: K. Ananthan.   | Photo Credit: K_Ananthan

It was like a burst of summer shower on the parched soil. Ustad Amjad Ali Khan with his two sons Amaan and Ayaan gently struck at hearts of all Hindustani music lovers with his ‘Mystic chords' with his magic wand — the sarod.

The three-segmented concert was unveiled by the young maestros Amaan and Ayaan with the Jhinjoti, a flexible evening raag. They took to a brief alaap of this very tuneful raag alternately giving us a glimpse of their individual contribution towards expanding the nuances of this raag.

Each interpreted the raag in his style which was highly fascinating. Ayaan had this art of giving a melodic twitch to his sarod while his brother's had a clear cut approach. The duo presented two compositions in Jhinjoti, the first being tilting yet tender as they scaled the octaves one after another, blending with each other towards the concluding part.

In the second one, we were taken into an energetic burst of melody as they whizzed their way with the instrument in a rapid action mode. The two table players, Anubrata Chatterjee and Mitlesh Jha, more so the former, emerged a dexterous percussionist with his fingers whipping up sheer magic. It was like a drive in the top gear (OD) with the foursome competing with each other in the race.

Then came the much-sought-after Ustad himself and the very opening notes of his own composition dedicated to the sunset, in a cluster of evening raags, was a lucid exposition that could reach sublime heights. The fact that there is no second to an Amjad Ali Khan becomes clearer as we are drawn to his magnetic presentation. The adroit manner in which he plays the sarod itself is something of a marvel. His technical ability in playing highly complex phrases (ekhaara taan) establishes his layakari. The hushed notes that echo the open syllables make for the sensuous meend, the stunning gamak and scintillating taan. The gaths are bathed in vibrant colours and shades and the khyal gayaki style literally drew pictures of the sunset where the sky wraps itself in a semi-dark cloak, the birds are chirping back to their cosy nests, weary labourers plodding back home, the oceanic waves lulling themselves to hushing sounds and so on. A sensitive mind was able to discern Nature in the twilight zone.

The Kafi raga in the tumri-dadra style sprinkled crystal clear notes swathed in melody. The intrinsic lilt of the raag was enriched by his dulcet rendition on the sarod. The tarana in Bahaar was like the effervescent spring where he spelt the bhol and then played it for us in slow to fast tempo. This was his tribute to Amir Khusro, the father of tarana. Ekla chalo re Rabindranath Tagore's popular piece laced with Bengali and Bhigu folk music was a fitting finale to this solo. The trio came together for the concluding piece in Keervani which was pulsating with all the three sarods and the percussion in full brilliance. The concert was hosted at Shilpakala Vedika.

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2021 5:53:04 PM |

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